The Mastercard Foundation has partnered with the University of Cape Town (UCT) to provide 338 scholarships over 10 years to academically talented yet economically disadvantaged students from Sub-Saharan Africa for study at UCT.
The Scholars Program is a $700 million initiative to educate young people – particularly from Africa – to lead change and make a positive social impact in their communities. Scholars will receive comprehensive scholarships, academic support, peer mentorship, career guidance, internship opportunities, transition-to-work support and access to a global alumni network.
Over the 10-year period (2014 – 2024), sixty students will be awarded scholarships to complete an undergraduate qualification and 240 students will be awarded support to obtain qualifications at Honours (as of 2016) and Masters level. In order to be considered for the scholarship, applicants must meet all the eligibility criteria, including the admission criteria for their chosen course of study at UCT.
The scholarship’s tenure is for the full period of the academic program for which the Undergraduate Scholar has enrolled, with the second and subsequent years dependent on satisfactory academic progress and co-curricular involvement.
Tenure for the Honours level scholarships is one year. For Masters level the scholarships tenure is two years, dependent on academic progress and co-curricular participation of the Scholar.
In order to be considered for the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program at the University of Cape Town, applicants must be:
- Academically talented, must value learning and be driven to complete their education.
- Economically disadvantaged and facing significant financial barriers to accessing education.
- Committed to giving back to their own communities once studies are completed, to return to their home countries and take a leadership role in promoting social and economic improvement.
- Future leaders committed to embracing ethical leadership to improve the lives of others.
- Commitment to community service through previous and/or past engagements with community outreach activities
- Citizens and residents of a Sub-Saharan African country.
- Wanting to study at undergraduate or postgraduate level (Masters by research and coursework or research Masters, only). Honours applicants will be considered from 2016.
- Applying to study in the fields of Commerce, Engineering and Built Environment, Health Sciences, Humanities, Law or Sciences at the University of Cape Town.
- All prospective Scholars must first be admitted to the University of Cape Town to be considered for the Scholarship. Although each academic department has its own criteria, a minimum of 60% for the Honours, or equivalent degree is the overall academic criterion required for entry into the Masters’ degree.
- Preference will be given to ‘first-generation’ students, i.e. those who are the first ones in their families to go to university.
Comprehensive Benefits and Financial Assistance includes:
- Visa application costs.
- Travel costs to and from South Africa and including travel insurance.
- Full tuition and international student fees, including any application fees to UCT.
- Full accommodation and living expenses, including medical aid, books, stipends and transport.
- Residences provide accommodation for undergraduate men and women students who are usually under the age of 21. These residences provide students with up to three meals a day in a dining hall. In all instances awarded Scholars will be provided with the necessary financial means to afford food services.
- Research, development and academic travel costs as approved or recommended by UCT and The MasterCard Foundation (for postgraduate students only).
- Access to internship opportunities and ad hoc costs related to such participation.
- There are no application fees for applying to the Scholars Program at UCT.
Applicants must have applied to and been accepted for a course of study at UCT before they apply for the Scholars Program. If you fulfill the eligibility requirements please follow the process below to apply:
- Review the study options and admissions requirements at UCT and decide which faculty and degree programme you wish to apply to.
- Obtain proof of English language proficiency (see How to Apply for further instructions).
- Write the National Benchmark Tests (for applicants from South Africa, or if you are an applicant from any country and intent to the Faculty of Health Sciences).
- Collate the necessary documentation to support your application, including evaluation of any previous university level qualification by the South African Qualifications Authority, additional portfolio requirements for degrees in Fine Art or Architecture, and matriculation exemption documentation.
- Apply online to UCT.
- Apply online for firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
- A selection panel will evaluate the applications during November and December 2014 and applicants will be informed of the outcome in mid-December 2014.