Deadline: 21 January 2021|
The University of California, Berkeley has partnered with The MasterCard Foundation in a collaborative, global network of education institutions and non-profit organizations that believe education is a catalyst for social and economic advancement. The Scholars Program aims to develop a cohort of ethical, entrepreneurial, and energetic young leaders who will drive and lead socio-economic transformation in Africa. The Scholars Program is a growing commitment, and, to date, the Program has committed over USD $1.2 billion to supporting the education and leadership development of more than 40,000 young people.
The future of Africa will be shaped by its young people, including those talented, yet economically disadvantaged students who face significant barriers to accessing quality education. The MasterCard Foundation’s strategy, Young Africa Works, aims to enable 30 million young people, particularly young women, to secure dignified and fulfilling work by 2030. To harness the potential impact of this generation, The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program provides next-generation leaders who are committed to the social and economic transformation of their continent with access to quality education by delivering comprehensive financial, social, and academic support throughout their secondary and university education and supports their transition to further study or to the workforce.
The Program at UC Berkeley
At UC Berkeley, the Program has provided support to over 120 students from 2012 to 2020, both undergraduate and master’s degree students. Students seeking doctoral degrees are not eligible for this Program. Going forward through 2030, the Program at UC Berkeley will provide support to 108 master’s degree students. To be considered for the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program, master’s degree seekers must first be admitted to the university through the regular admissions process. After students apply for admission to a degree program, the Program will invite them to apply for the Scholarship, if they meet eligibility requirements. Please refer to the Apply page for more information on the application process.
Aligned with the Foundation’s Young Africa Works strategy and with Berkeley’s commitment to excellence for positive global contributions, the UC Berkeley Program seeks to enhance connections between the innovative and entrepreneurial ecosystems at Berkeley and those on the African continent. In addition to receiving high-quality education, Scholars will receive specialized training in leadership and entrepreneurship, and participate in program connecting them to the innovative ecosystems of the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley.
Collaboration with African universities is an important aspect of the Scholars Program. We anticipate working with at least three different African partners over the course of the grant to create opportunities to share Berkeley’s core competencies of innovation, entrepreneurship and research with partner institutions in the Scholars Program network.
Through the grant, the Centre for African Studies will offer catalytic seed grants to Berkeley faculty to encourage research collaborations with scholars at African institutions on projects that tackle critical needs and issues relevant to the Young Africa Works strategy. These funded projects will also offer MCF Scholars with career-enhancing research opportunities. The initiative will include a local Advisory Board to assist with creating and enhancing links between the Bay Area and African innovation hubs. Another element is an Alumni Impact Fund that will leverage the creativity within our own MCF Scholars community.
The five main eligibility criteria are:
- Being a citizen of a Sub-Saharan African country – This includes Africans who are refugees or displaced. This scholarship is not intended for citizens of North African countries.
- Excelling academically – All prospective Scholars must first be admitted to a UC Berkeley master’s degree program to be considered for the Scholarship. An important criteria for admission to the University is demonstrated academic excellence.
- Coming from an economically disadvantaged background – This Scholarship is designed for those extremely talented individuals who have no other means of acquiring the further education required to help realize their dreams and ambitions.
- Having demonstrated the will to give back to your community, country, or continent – We are looking for well-rounded students who are engaged in activities beyond the classroom. Some may be directly related to your field of study, but this may also include other issues (social, economic, political) that you are working on and passionate about. Applicants should elaborate on their achievements both in their application to UC Berkeley, and then later on the Scholarship application.
- Having expressed the desire and intention to return to your home country after completing your studies – We are looking for students who are engaged with and passionate about issues affecting their communities, and who will take advantage of their education at UC Berkeley to better equip themselves with the knowledge and training to address these issues upon return. While important work can be done from abroad, the intention of this Program is to enable Scholars to return home, after forming valuable professional connections through an internship, Academic Training and job placements.
How to Apply to be a UC Berkeley MasterCard Foundation Scholar
Master’s degree applicants must first apply to a graduate progam before they will be considered for the MasterCard Foundations Program Scholarship. Not all degree programs are eligible. A list is here. Each eligible graduate degree program has specific requirements and applicants should carefully review those. The Graduate Division also provides detailed information on the admissions process for international students. Questions regarding admission requirements should be directed toward the appropriate graduate program. We outline more details of the admissions process for master’s program here. We will accept applications through the fall of 2028.
While the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program is not open to undergraduates, students at this level are welcome to apply to the University of California, Berkeley. More information on the undergraduate process is available on the Undergraduate Admissions site.
Visit this official link: https://mcfscholarsprogram.berkeley.edu/graduate-application-process
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