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Guidelines for Master's by research applicants

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 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 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 2022 60 scholarship opportunities - Masters by Research only are available for students who intend to commence with their first year of registration for full- time postgraduate Masters by Research studies.

To be eligible to apply for The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at the University of Cape Town, applicants must meet the stated criteria as recorded in the Terms of Reference and Conditions of Award document for Masters by Research applicants.

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 - www.students.uct.ac.za/students/applications/apply/Postgraduates/check-status.

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.

Additional Information for International Applicants

International applicants who receive an offer of admission to UCT are required to obtain a study visa to enter the Republic of South Africa and for purposes of registering at UCT. To apply for a study visa, applicants will need the following:

  1. An official passport which must be valid for at least 30 days after the end of the proposed stay in South Africa, otherwise the permit will only be granted for the period of up to 30 days before the expiry date. It should also have at least one unused page left when arriving in South Africa. Passports should not be endorsed or extended;
  2. A Department of Home Affairs application form (BI-1738);
  3. An official letter from UCT confirming acceptance at the institution for the duration of the course. This is a letter from the relevant faculty offering a place to
  4. In the event of persons under the age of 21, UCT will appoint guardian’s and proof of consent in liaison with the parents of such applicants;
  5. A police clearance certificate (less than 6 months old);
  6. A medical and radiological reports (less than 6 months old);
  7. A relevant certificate if married, widowed, divorced or separated;
  8. A yellow fever vaccination certificate if travelling from or through yellow fever endemic area;
  9. Proof of medical cover (which will be arranged by The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program staff members at UCT for successful applicants);
  10. Proof of accommodation (which will be arranged by The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program staff members at UCT for successful scholarship applicants).
  11. Proof of sufficient funds to cover tuition fees, maintenance and incidental costs (this will be confirmed in the letter of award to successful scholarship applicants).

The onus is on visa applicants to check with the South African embassy or High Commission that these are the only requirements for the application as the relevant authorities have the discretion to ask for additional documents. For more information on the South African High Commission or embassy located nearest to you please access: (www.dfa.gov.za/foreign/sa_abroad/sai.htm). Accepted international scholars must ensure that a study visa – valid for studies at UCT – is issued prior to departure for South Africa. International applicants will not be permitted to pre-register or register at UCT without a visa valid for studies at UCT.

Step 4: Await the outcome of your academic application

Part 2

Step 1: Visit the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at the University of Cape Town website

To apply for a Mastercard Foundation scholarship at the University of Cape Town, applicants will need to visit The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at The University of Cape Town website. On the home page, click the ‘APPLY’  button image which will direct the applicant to The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at The University of Cape Town online scholarship application form.

Carefully refer to the Terms of Reference and Conditions of Award document for Masters by Research applicants, prior to completing the scholarship application form.

Alternatively, request information on how to apply for a Mastercard Foundation scholarship from The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program: Recruitment and Peer Mentor Officer at info_mcfsp@uct.ac.za (telephone number 0027 21 650 5923 / 3601). Applicants are advised to work closely with The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program: Recruitment and Peer Mentor Officer whilst preparing and submitting an application for a Mastercard Foundation scholarship.

Step 2: Create a profile on the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program site

Only applicants who have applied for a Mastercard Foundation scholarship using the scholarship application website will be considered. Applicants will need to login to SM Apply (uctmcf.smapply.io/) using a unique email address and password. Click on ‘View Programs’ and Select ‘Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at the University of Cape Town’

Step 3: Complete the eligibility quiz

To access the postgraduate application form for a Mastercard Foundation scholarship, applicants will need to complete the eligibility quiz of The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at the online scholarship application website available at this link: https://uctmcf.smapply.io/.

Step 4: Complete the Mastercard Foundation Masters Scholarship application form

Complete the scholarship application form, in full, online. Download the AFFIDAVIT section of the form which must be completed in full by the applicant, and witnessed by a COMMISSIONER OF OATHS and by one further witness. These two witnesses may not be members of your immediate family. You are required to give clear and true responses to the questions below. These answers must be given by you under oath and witnessed by the two witnesses previously mentioned. All answers must be initialled by the applicant, as well as by the two witnesses. The Commissioner of Oaths’ signature must be accompanied by his/her official stamp.

Step 5: Upload certified copies of identity document, passport or refugee papers, proof of address, current and previous post-secondary transcripts as well as proof for complete/current degree, curriculum vitae, essay, declaration and signatures and affidavit declaration

The affidavit declaration must be downloaded from the online application site, completed by hand, signed and stamped by commissioner of oaths, and uploaded back on to the site with your application.

Click ‘Upload Files’ and upload the abovementioned supporting documentation. Once the scholarship application is uploaded it can be amended by the applicant prior to the official scholarship closing date. Only complete applications for a Mastercard Foundation scholarship uploaded onto the online scholarship application site will be considered. NO documents will be accepted by e-mail, hard copy or other methods.

Step 6: Idenitfy two recommenders

Insert the details of two (2) academics, who have taught or supervised the applicant during secondary and/or tertiary level of study, to support the scholarship application. The reference must be provided directly by the recommenders who have agreed to provide references. Applicants will not be able to review the contents of recommendations received.

Please ensure that all application forms and supporting documentation are legible. Fill out as much detail as possible and provide supporting documents as requested in the online scholarship application form to substantiate the application. Do not hesitate to contact The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program: Recruitment and Peer Mentor Officer or the Program Coordinator with queries or requests for assistance to complete the scholarship application form at info_mcfsp@uct.ac.za (telephone number +27 (0)21 650 5923 / 3601). The scholarship application should reach us no later than 30 September 2021. Applications will be accepted up to and including 11:59 pm (SAST) on 30 September 2021.

The University of Cape Town and The Mastercard Foundation reserve the right to cancel incomplete and/or late applications, to effect changes to the conditions of the scholarships or to make no awards at all.

We would like to wish all applicants success with their application. Let the leadership opportunity begin.

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