Frequently Asked Questions

“We believe in growing talent from within. This requires not only for us to have amongst the best learning environment but also to be able to get the best of minds into our talent pipeline. Golden Key partnership provides us the best opportunity to not only grow future leaders for Procter &Gamble, but also for Africa.” Mr Arvind Chandak, Procter & Gamble, HR Director for South and East Africa

1. What is Golden Key?

 Golden Key International Honour Society was founded by a group of undergraduate students and faculty members at the Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia on 29th November 1977.  It is an internationally recognised non-profit organisation, under Section 501©(3) of the U.S. International Revenue Code and registered as a Section 21 company in South Africa.

Golden Key is affiliated with over 400 universities in 8 countries.  These include Australia, Canada, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Africa, The Bahamas and The United States of America.  The Society’s mission is “to enable members to realize their potential through the advancement of academics, leadership and service.”  Membership is by invitation only and extended to the top 15% students, as identified by their universities across all degree programmes.

Golden Key is the world’s largest honour society, is a mission-focused, values-based and demographics-driven organisation.  With a rich traction, starting with Golden Key inauguration in 1976, Golden Key remains committed to scholarship offerings, career development, leadership development and community service.


2. What is an honour society?

Honour societies have been recognised by universities in the United States for more than two centuries. The primary function of this academic honour society includes: providing academic recognition to high achieving students, establishing professional and social contacts for these students within a network of universities, bringing together students from diverse faculties and degree programmes within each university, reinforcing students’ interaction with university staff.

3. What are the benefits of joining Golden Key?

  • Membership is lifelong and a membership certificate with a unique membership number is issued to each member.
  • Your academic achievements are internationally recognised.
  • Golden Key membership adds prestige to your qualifications and CV.
  • Opportunity to apply for the Golden Key member only scholarships and awards.
  • Leadership development opportunities – on campus and internationally.
  • The opportunity to attend both International and Local summits.
  • Networking and interaction opportunities with other students, university leaders and corporate partners.
  • Access to an international network of universities.
  • Membership is transferable between universities.
  • Community engagement service opportunities.
  • Targeted Career Opportunities, via e-communication on behalf of our corporate partners.

Events on campus (professional development, leadership, CV tips, etc.)

4. What are membership requirements?

  • Degree programme courses only.
  • Students must have completed at least one full academic year of study at an university (all modules that are part of the first year level).
  • Top 15% of students per field of study in any undergraduate and post-graduate degree course.
  • Full and part-time students can be eligible for invitations.
  • Local academic average cut-off is set by the university and varies from faculty to faculty.


5. Who are Golden Key members?

Golden Key membership has grown to a very large network of over two million members from 151 nationalities.  There are more 2 million Golden Key members worldwide, of which more than 120 000 are South African.

Members include teachers, doctors, engineers, university presidents, social workers, entrepreneurs, politicians, military leaders, and many more.

Well known US honorary members include: Colin Powell, John Glenn, Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan.  
 Well known South African honorary members include: Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Judge Edwin Cameron, Mr Clem Sunter, Mr Ahmed Kathadra, Mr Shaka Sizulu, Mr Derek Watts, Mr Yusuf Abramjee, Prof Herman van Schalkwyk, Prof Njabulo Ndebele, Dr Khotso Mokhele and Prof Mashudu Davhana-Maselesel. 

6. Now that I have received the invitation, what do I do?

1.    Read your personalised email invitation and attached brochure.
2.    Visit the website and
3.    Stop by the information tables (date, time and venue listed in the invitation).
4.    JOIN NOW as indicated on the invitation.
5.   Take note of the deadline date indicated on the invitation to attend the New Member Recognition Ceremony. Remember to RSVP for the Ceremony at
6.    Alternatively, join before the 30 November deadline.
7.    Be sure to keep your email address and contact numbers updated in order to receive communication from Golden Key and our Corporate Partners.


7. How to join

Join On-line:

  • Visit and click “Join Now”.
  • Use your Personalised Online Acceptance Code (included in your invitation).
  • Click “Save and Continue”.
  • Complete only step one of the On-line Membership Profile Form
  • Make your EFT or direct deposit payment and e-mail the confirmation to


8. Where and how do I pay?

Once-off membership fee of R670 (membership only) or R780 (membership fee and lapel pin)

Payment options:
Direct Deposit OR Electronic Funds Transfer (Internet/On-line Banking)

Proof of payment:
Reference: Use your First Name and Surname.
Please DO NOT use your student number or nickname. Faulty referencing can result in your payment not being allocated to you, causing a delay in the processing of your membership.

Banking details:
ABSA, Menlyn Branch Code: 632005
Cheque Account Number: 405 1611 339
Reference: First Name and Surname or Pending Golden Key ID

If you make a direct deposit, write your FIRST NAME AND SURNAME as a reference on the slip.  Please keep the original for your own reference and send in a photocopy of the slip.  If we do not receive your deposit slip we can not confirm your application.
If you make an electronic transfer, include a printout as proof that the transaction was successful.

9. How is the membership fee used?

The joining fee pays for membership benefits:
Part of the fee goes to direct disbursements for the members – certificate of membership, New Member Ceremony arrangements, programmes, scholarships, awards, publications.

Part of the fee goes to disbursements for international, national and local chapter development – regional conference, international conference and chapter training materials.

Online programmes.

Part of the fee (15%) goes to operating expenses – administrative assistance, payroll, printing, postage, etc.  14% VAT is included in the fee.

R85 of the R670.00 goes back to the local chapter at your university.

10. After I completed the profile form online, what happens then?

As soon as Golden Key South Africa receives your proof of payment your membership will be processed within five working days and a confirmation e-mail will be sent to your e‑mail address (primary email) as provided.
You then have to RSVP for the New Member Ceremony online at  where you’ll be formally recognized and where you’ll receive your personalised life-time member certificate.
And do not forget to apply for the New Member Chapter Awards online at