Over 300 Scholarships for Africans to Study at University of Cape Town

Mastercard Foundation in collaboration with the University of Cape Town (UCT) are offering over 300 scholarships to academically talented yet economically disadvantaged students from Sub-Saharan Africa for study at UCT. Deadline for submission of applications for University of Cape Town (UCT) Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program is August 31st, 2018.

University of Cape Town (UCT) Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program

The Mastercard Foundation has partnered with the University of Cape Town (UCT) to oversee the implementation of financial, academic, social and post-graduation support to awarded candidates under the scholarship titled The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at the University of Cape Town.

The Mastercard Foundation – University of Cape Town (UCT) will provide 338 scholarships over 10 years to academically talented yet economically disadvantaged students from Sub-Saharan Africa for study at UCT.

The vision of the program is to transition promising young people from beneficiaries to benefactors, preparing them with the necessary values, knowledge, skills, and leadership to fuel economic and social progress across Africa. The program targets academically qualified undergraduate and postgraduate candidates who are economically disadvantaged young people with leadership potential from sub-Saharan Africa.

The program will provide scholarships to academically talented young Africans to pursue undergraduate and postgraduate studies at UCT. Students enrolled on the Program will receive mentoring, leadership development, academic and life skills support. Academic support will include tutoring, language training, writing circles and guidance counselling.

In 2019, 50 opportunities (24 undergraduate, 10 honours and 16 master’s) are available for students who intend to commence with their first year of registration for full-time undergraduate, honours and master’s study.


  • 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.

How to Apply for the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program at the University of Cape Town

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.

If you fulfil the eligibility requirements please follow the process below to apply:

  1. Review the study options and admissions requirements at UCT and decide which faculty and degree programme you wish to apply to.
  2. Obtain proof of English language proficiency (see How to Apply for further instructions).
  3. 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).
  4. 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.

Should you have queries or require any assistance completing the scholarship application form, do not hesitate to contact the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program: recruitment and peer mentor officer or the program co-ordinator at info_mcfsp@uct.ac.za (telephone number +27 (0)21 650 5095/ 5923 / 3601). 

Applications for undergraduate and postgraduate admission to UCT are open from 1 April 2018 until 30 September 2018.

The scholarship application should reach us no later than 31 August 2018. Applications will be accepted up to and including 11:59 pm (SAST) on 31 August 2018. 


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