Selection Criteria  

  • Candidates must have received a firm offer to study at UCT
  • Candidates must come from an economically disadvantaged background 
  • Candidates must demonstrate leadership capability and must have acted in a leadership capacity
  • Candidates must meet the set academic criteria (see no.3 below)
  • A condition of the award is that graduates return to their home country and invest their gained skills and knowledge into the social and economic growth of their country


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 a Sub-Saharan African country
  • Be Honours study applicants 
  • Be admitted to an Honours programme and commence with their first year of registration in any of the faculties at UCT
  • Be from an economically disadvantaged background and demonstrate financial need
  • Candidates who intend to register for a second postgraduate Honours degree are ineligible to apply for this scholarship

Academic Criteria

  • Only candidates who have applied to the relevant academic department at the University of Cape Town are eligible to apply for The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at the University of Cape Town awards. Although each academic department has its own academic criteria, a minimum of 60% for undergraduate or an equivalent degree is the general academic criterion required for entry into the Honours programmes.
  • Successful candidates will be required to produce the original academic transcripts on registration at UCT.

Financial Need Criteria 

Financial need must be illustrated as follows:

  • Full declaration of all details required must be recorded in the space provided on The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at the University of Cape Town, postgraduate Honours scholarship application form, attached to this notice. 
  • Details of all property and assets of any nature must be declared. 
  • UCT reserves the right to request that applicants furnish evidence of answers/statements on the application form.  If it is found that the provided information is false or untrue, the University further reserves the right to disqualify an application and/or to cancel and recover any scholarship funds that may have been paid out to an awardee.

Value of the Scholarships

The scholarships are considered to be full-cost and will include full cover for the following:

  • Visa costs
  • Transport costs to and from South Africa
  • Full tuition and international student fees
  • Full accommodation, subsistence and living expenses
  • Research costs as approved or recommended by UCT and the Foundation
  • Access to internship opportunities and cover of related costs
  • Medical aid

Tenure of the Scholarships

  • The tenure of the scholarships is ONE YEAR ONLY.  

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.