The Mastercard Foundation has partnered with the University of Cape Town (UCT) in South Africa 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.

Worth of Award
The Scholars Program is a $700 million initiative to educate young people – particularly from Africa.

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.

How to Apply
To apply for The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program, applicants must first apply to UCT for academic study and placement. Only applicants, who have applied for academic study and placement at UCT, can submit an application for a Mastercard Foundation scholarship. Applications for undergraduate admission to UCT are open from 1 April 2018 until 30 September 2018.
Step 1: Academic application

  • In preparing an academic application to UCT, it is essential that applicants refer to various resources for guidance. UCT’s undergraduate prospectus provides information on courses at UCT, how to apply to the university, as well as support structures available for undergraduate students at the university.
  • Detailed information on course offerings and academic pre-requisites is available on the UCT website in the respective 2018 faculty handbooks.
  • For any further enquiries on how to apply to UCT please contact the relevant faculty undergraduate or admissions office. Contact details of faculty undergraduate and admissions officers can be found in UCT’s undergraduate prospectus.

Step 2: Collate the necessary supporting documents to strengthen your academic application

  • Applicants are encouraged to refer to the relevant undergraduate faculty handbook for more information and should ensure that when submitting these documents online, each document is scanned and uploaded as a single document. Documents must be legible and clear.
  • UCT reserves the right to cancel the application if all the necessary certified hard copies are not submitted on time. Upon arrival and registration at UCT, the successful applicant will be asked to provide original documentation of the certified copies submitted during the application phase.

Step 3: Apply online for academic study and placement
Apply online for academic study and placement.

  • Once the application is submitted it cannot be amended by the applicant. In the event that an applicant would like to change their programme choice and biographical information and/or add documentation, only the Admissions Office can facilitate this. Applicants may monitor their application status online by logging in to the UCT students website. The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program Office at the University of Cape Town does not process academic applications.
  • Applications for student accommodation in a UCT residence are managed by UCT Student Housing Admissions and Advocacy Services. Applications for student accommodation must be received by 30 September 2018. The application is part of the online academic application process. Applicants are advised to tick the first box which reads “I apply for catering student accommodation”.

Deadline: applications close 30 September 2018.

Click here for more details and to apply

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