University of Edinburgh & Mastercard Foundation Fully Funded Scholars Program in Scotland


Deadline: 30 November 2017

In partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, the University of Edinburgh will provide 200 full scholarships to students from Africa with great academic and leadership potential but few educational opportunities.

On top of the scholarship, the Scholars Program facilitates transformative leadership programming to inspire and support Scholars in making change change in their communities and countries on their return home.

The University of Edinburgh, founded in 1582, is the sixth oldest university in the English-speaking world and one of Scotland’s ancient universities. The University of Edinburgh offers a fully funded academic and transformative leadership program for undergraduate and postgraduate students from Sub-Saharan Africa. Students will receive comprehensive support to remove barriers to study in Edinburgh and will benefit from extracurricular opportunities including summer schools and internships.

The Scholars Program at the University of Edinburgh will provide 80 undergraduate  and 60 postgraduate scholarships to students from Africa with great academic and leadership potential but few educational opportunities.

25 undergraduate and 10 postgraduate scholarships are available for the 2018/2019 academic year which will cover the full tuition fees and expenses for accommodation and maintenance.

On top of financial support, Scholars will participate in activities as part of the wider Scholars Program (link) at the University of Edinburgh including work-based placements, mentorship, and other activities during the academic year.

Program Details
As well as receiving an excellent education at one of the top ranked universities in the world, Undergraduate Scholars will:

  • Receive comprehensive support, mentoring, and reflective opportunities through the Scholars Program:
  • Participate in UK and Africa based summer schools on transformative leadership;
  • Complete a course on African development;
  • Undertake a project-based placement in the UK and in Africa;
  • Receive support on their return to their home country; and
  • On graduation, 50% of Undergraduate Scholars will have the opportunity to complete a distance learning Masters degrees at The University of Edinburgh after their return to Africa.


  • Applicants must qualify academically for admission to the University of Edinburgh in any course except Medicine and Vet Medicine (for undergraduate applicants). This includes a high level of English language skills.  Applicants should apply directly to the Scholarship program – details in the sections below;
  • Applicants must be a resident and citizen of a Sub-Saharan African country, whose personal circumstances would make accepting an offer from The University of Edinburgh difficult.
  • Applications from Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe are particularly welcome;
  • Applicants should not have completed an undergraduate degree previously;
  • Applicants must demonstrate a track record of leadership and service within their community; and
  • Applicants are able to present economically disadvantaged circumstances and be able to show that they lack financial means from family or other sources to pursue post-secondary (university) education in their home country or elsewhere.

Scholarships Benefits

The scholarships will cover for the following:

  • Costs incurred for visa application processing;
  • Costs incurred for English language tests;
  • Economy class air tickets to and from Edinburgh for awardees who are citizens and residents of a Sub-Saharan country;
  • Full tuition fees at the Overseas rate;
  • University self catered accommodation;
  • A food stipend to cover costs of food expenses;
  • A general stipend to cover basic living costs, including an academic allowance towards prescribed textbooks, printing and school supplies.
  • Costs related to community activities as prescribed by the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program;
  • Access to project placement opportunities in Scotland and Africa
  • Access to work-based placement opportunities and a small work-based placement fund; and
  • Participation in a summer school in Scotland and Africa(undergraduate)
  • Participation in the Scholars Retreat (postgraduate)

Scholarships are available for the following postgraduate programs:

  • MSc Africa and International Development
  • MSc Environment and Development
  • MSc Global Health Policy
  • LLM Human Rights
  • MA Product Design
  • MSc Sustainable Energy Systems

Postgraduate Details

Postgraduate Masters Scholars will:

  • Receive comprehensive support, mentoring, and reflective opportunities through the Scholars Program;
  • Complete six courses followed by the production of a dissertation;
  • Participate in a Scholars Retreat designed to nurture transformative leadership skills; and
  • Undertake a work-based placement in their home region as part of their research which will include reflective learning.

Preference will be given to candidates who have not already had the opportunity to study in Scotland. The scholarship is not available to students already on programme.

Awards are tenable for the duration of the undergraduate programme of study, and at the end of the award candidates will be required to return to Africa.

Application Procedure

  • Applications for 2018 entry to the Mastercard Foundation Scholar Programs at the University of Edinburgh will open on Monday 9 October.
  • The deadline for all applications will be 17:00 GMT on Thursday 30 November.
  • All applicants must apply for the scholarship first through our online application form and, if successful, will be assisted in the process of applying for admission to the University.
  • Interviews via video or phone will be held during February and March 2018, with final decisions made by April. All successful applicants will join the Program in September 2018.
Visit the Official Scholarship Website for more details and to apply.
For more scholarships and other offers click here.

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