Do you have what it takes to be a Mastercard Foundation Scholar? The University of Cape Town is looking for the next generation of leaders to join this unique scholarship program.

Until 2024, over 400 African students will be awarded full scholarships to UCT as part of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program.

The initiative provides students with a top-level education, as well as leadership and career development, mentorship and access to a global alumni network.

The University of Cape Town (UCT) has partnered with the Mastercard Foundation in its global Scholars’ Program: an educational initiative that provides academically talented young people from economically disadvantaged communities in Africa with access to quality university education.

The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at UCT provides full-cost scholarships to young Africans who are first-time undergraduate or postgraduate (honours and master’s) degree-seeking applicants. The scholarships ensure a premium educational package that will produce graduates whose qualifications are internationally recognised and locally applicable, and whose transition into the workforce is underpinned by values of engaged citizenship and social justice.

These scholarships cover the full period of study and are renewable annually subject to satisfactory performance and participation in the activities and opportunities offered by the programme. Successful candidates will be required to commit themselves to returning to their home countries and to invest their gained skills and education in their country’s social and economic growth.

Selection Criteria

  • Applicants must have received a firm offer to study at UCT (for the 2022 academic year)
  • Applicants must come from an economically disadvantaged background
  • Applicants must demonstrate leadership potential and must have acted in a leadership capacity
  • Applicants must meet the set academic criteria (see no.3 below)
  • No applications for undergraduate, honours or masters by coursework and dissertation will be accepted or considered for the 2022 Scholar intake to the Program

To be eligible for consideration for The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at the University of Cape
Town, applicants must meet the following criteria:

Target Group

  • Be a citizen of an African country
  • Be admitted to a postgraduate Masters programme (Research only) and commence with their first year of registration in the Engineering and the Built Environment, Commerce, Health Sciences, Humanities, Law, or Sciences faculties at UCT
  • Be from an economically disadvantaged background, demonstrate financial need, and leadership potential
  • Applicants who intend to register for a second Masters postgraduate degree at the same level are ineligible to apply for this scholarship
  • Applicants who have previously registered for Masters postgraduate degree at any higher learning institution are ineligible to apply for this scholarship

Academic Criteria

  • Only applicants who have applied to the relevant academic department at UCT are eligible to apply for The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at the University of Cape Town awards.
  • The comments on the academic abilities of the applicant by the academic referees will form part of the academic criteria for this scholarship.
  • Successful applicants will be required to produce the original academic transcripts on arrival and registration at UCT.
  • Applicants will be required to produce translated copies of all academic transcripts where English is not the primary language.


The scholarships will cover for the following:

  • Reimbursement of costs incurred for visa application processing
  • An economy class air ticket to Cape Town South Africa for awardees who are i) citizens and/or residents of an African country other than South Africa or ii) residing in South Africa but outside of Cape Town
  • Full tuition fees and international student fees
  • Accommodation in a student residence managed by the UCT Student Housing Admissions and Advocacy Services at UCT
  • Meals through the student housing system at UCT
  • Medical cover with a recommended medical aid service provider
  • A living stipend; to be used to cover ad hoc expenses pertaining to awardees’ studies
  • A book allowance to purchase the prescribed textbooks required for the degree programme
  • Costs related to community activities as prescribed by The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at the University of Cape Town
  • Access to an internship opportunity, career development and job placement assistance
  • An economy class air ticket home upon completion of studies, for awardees who are i) citizens of and/or residents of an African country other than South Africa or ii) residing in South Africa but outside of Cape Town

Application procedure

In order to apply for The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program, applicants must first apply to the University of Cape Town for academic study and placement. Only applicants, who have applied for academic study and placement to UCT, can submit an application for a Mastercard Foundation scholarship. The admission requirements for postgraduate study vary from one programme to another. Consult the faculty concerned directly in order to find out what is required for the course or degree that you want to take. Please refer to the 2022 Directions for Postgraduate Applicants and faculties for the relevant closing dates and information on courses at UCT, how to apply to the University, as well as support structures available for postgraduate students at the University.

Part 1

Step 1: Academic application

In preparing an academic application to UCT, it is essential that applicants refer to various resources for guidance. UCT’s postgraduate prospectus provides information on courses at UCT, how to apply to the university, as well as support structures available for postgraduate students at the university.

Detailed information on course offerings and academic pre-requisites is available on the UCT website in the respective 2022 faculty handbooks. For any further enquiries on how to apply to UCT please contact the relevant faculty postgraduate / Admissions Office. Contact details of faculty postgraduate / Admissions Officers can be found in UCT’s postgraduate prospectus.

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

Applicants are encouraged to refer to the relevant postgraduate 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 supporting documents are not submitted on time. Upon arrival and registration at UCT, successful applicants will be asked to provide original documentation of the certified copies submitted during the application for funding from this initiative.

Step 3: Apply online for academic study and placement

Apply online for academic study and placement at UCT.

Once the application is submitted it cannot be amended by the applicant. In the event that an applicant would like to change the 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 following site –

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 31 October 2021.The application is part of the online academic application process.

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the University of Cape Town MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program 2021/2022



Important Notes

  • The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work to be performed by people assigned to this job.
    They are not to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills required of personnel so classified.
    All personnel may be required to perform other responsibilities in addition to those specified from time to time, as needed
    • We do not charge any application, processing, training, interviewing, testing or other fee in connection with the application or recruitment process. Should you receive a solicitation for the payment of a fee, please disregard it. Furthermore, please note that emblems, logos, names and addresses are easily copied and reproduced. Therefore, you are advised to apply particular care when submitting personal information on the web
    • We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity inclusion. We do not discriminate on grounds of colour, race, nationality, religion, age, ethnic origin, disability, gender, marital status, or sexual orientation in our employment practices
    • Our people are all equally gifted in unique ways: we come from diverse traditions, personal experiences and points of view. And we want to include yours, Are you ready to inspire us with your ideas?
    • We encourage all applicants to apply and does not practice any discrimination in any recruitment process.
    • Applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered.
    • Due to the urgency of the position, we have the right to recruit a candidate who matches the required profile before the above deadline
    • Only qualified candidates will be invited for interview

Publisher’s Note: is a scholarship, job, vacancy, career opportunity blog. We share daily updates on available local and international international scholarships, vacancies, Government/international organization loans and grants. is not an agent of any of the institutions or organisations. We can not assist any applicant secure a scholarship, job, loan, grant . We only share the information for interested persons to apply.
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