MasterCard University of British Columbia Scholarships 2024/2025 for African Students

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MasterCard University of British Columbia Scholarships: The University of British Columbia, Canada partners with the MasterCard foundation Scholars Programme to grant $25M Scholarships to African students.

Application Deadlines: 1st December 2023

Offered annually? Yes

Eligible Countries: African countries

To be taken at (country): University of British Columbia, Canada

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About MasterCard University of British Columbia Scholarships: The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program is a $500 million initiative to inspire young people — particularly from Africa — to lead change through education.

Watch How to Apply to Win the MasterCard Foundation Scholarship

The University of British Columbia, Canada is pleased to partner with The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program to provide comprehensive scholarships to students from Sub-Saharan Africa. The Program provides access to education for academically talented, yet economically marginalized young people. More than 110 students from Africa will receive comprehensive scholarships to live and learn at the University of British Columbia thanks to a $25 million grant from The MasterCard Foundation. Over the next 10 years, UBC expects to welcome 77 undergraduate and 35 master’s degree students through the Program.

UBC is among the first Canadian universities to join The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program and one of 15 institutions participating in the $500 million global education initiative.

Offered Since: 2013

Type: Masters

Number of Scholarships: 110 students over the next 10 years

Value of MasterCard University of British Columbia Scholarships: Selected students will receive a scholarship equivalent to the costs of attaining a degree, including travel, tuition, textbooks, housing, food, and living expenses. You will also receive financial, academic, social, and post-graduation support which will enable you to build experiences and competencies critical for academic success.

Duration of Scholarship: Full period of study

Eligibility and Selection Criteria: To be eligible for consideration for the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Masters’ Degree Program at UBC, the applicant must:

To be eligible for consideration for the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Masters’ Degree Program at UBC, the applicant must:

  • have completed a Bachelor’s degree;
  • must not already have a graduate or PhD degree;
  • be 35 years old or younger at the time of application (i.e. born in 1988 or after);
  • be a citizen or a refugee of a Sub-Saharan African country (listed here);
  • have lived a significant part of their life in a Sub-Saharan African country;
  • present economically disadvantaged financial circumstances
  • have achieved academic excellence under difficult circumstances
  • show leadership qualities or potential;
  • demonstrate an interest in and commitment to giving back to their home community
  • be a person who requires a Canadian study permit to study in Canada;
  • not be a person who claimed or will claim asylum or protected person status after arriving in Canada;
  • commit to returning to Africa in order to apply their training and skills to the betterment of others;
  • be applying for a Master’s degree in one of the following faculties and programs at UBC’s Vancouver campus;

*Mastercard Foundation Scholarship Program only covers the expenses of the admitted scholars.

*Canadian citizens and Permanent Residents are not eligible to apply for this award.

*Funds from the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at UBC cannot be applied to pursue programs at other academic institutions.

How to Apply for MasterCard University of British Columbia Scholarships: 

Step One: Assess Your Eligibility

  1. Decide your Program(s) of Interest from the list.
  2. Consult the link below identifying the Minimum Academic Requirements/International Credentials for Graduate Students, listed by country to determine your academic eligibility for the program and the Mastercard Foundation scholarship. *Given that the number of applicants exceeds the number of positions available, a record that satisfies basic entrance requirements does not guarantee admission to graduate studies* 
  3. Consult the program website to determine if you possess the appropriate background experience.

Step Two: Additional Tests

If your Bachelor’s degree was not taught in English, make arrangements to take an English Proficiency Exam (TOEFL or IELTS) and have the results sent to UBC. Please visit this website to confirm whether you meet UBC’s English requirement.

Step Three: Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program Application Package

You must complete the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program Application before you apply to UBC. The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program Applications are due on December 1, 2023. We ask that all applications be submitted electronically in a single PDF document, via email as this is faster and costs less. Late or incomplete packages cannot be accepted and UBC is not responsible for any packages not received by the deadline.

In order for the Selection Committee to determine your eligibility for this scholarship, you must demonstrate financial need, a commitment to give back and how your education will contribute towards the transformation of your community, your region or your country in Africa. You must:

  1. Complete the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program Application Form. If submitting a hand-written Form, ensure that the document is clearly legible.
  2. Submit the Personal Statements. An answer to each question not exceeding the word limit must be typed and submitted, essay format is not acceptable:
  3. Submit a CV/resume. This should include any relevant education and work experience
  4. Provide two reference letters. Please provide two reference letters on official letterhead that will attest and speak extensively to your community service, volunteering abilities, and leadership potential. If your referees would like to send their letters directly to us for privacy reasons, please note that these should be sent to us via email by December 1, 2023. Any letters sent after this date will deem your package as “incomplete”, and hence, will not be considered for the scholarship. The same referees can be provided for your academic application given that they meet the requirements. However, a strong preference will be given to references that can attest to your leadership skills, commitment to community services and why you are suited for this award. Please note that each faculty will have specific requirements for reference letters separate to the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program – make sure to follow these requirements.
  5. Transcripts. Please attach a legible copy of your (unofficial) transcripts. If your transcripts are in a language other than English, note that you will be required to also provide a translation.
  6. Submit the Checklist, Application Form, Personal Statements, CV, two reference letters on official letterhead, transcripts, and signed declaration. Upon completion of your Application Package, please submit a copy of your package as one pdf. document via email to [email protected] Note that the declaration must be signed by hand, electronically, or typed, otherwise, the package will be considered incomplete.
  7. Please tell us your story. What is of importance to you and reflects who you are? (200-300 words max.)
  8. Describe a recent, meaningful involvement in your community, including what your role is/has been in the activity/ies. (200-300 words max.)
  9. Why are you interested in studying at UBC, and how do you envision your chosen program of study at UBC helping you to reach your long-term career and personal goals? What drives you to achieve your goals? (200 – 300 words max.)
  10. Persistence is crucial to the completion of this application. Please describe a situation where you had to overcome a significant obstacle/challenge(s) to reach a goal. How did you react to this challenge, and what did you learn from the situation? (200 – 300 words max.)
  11. What else should we know about your financial condition in order to consider you for this scholarship? (200-300 words max.)

Step Four: UBC Faculty Applications

  1. Apply Online: Once your Mastercard Foundation Application is complete, eligible applicants will receive an email with instructions to submit an online application to UBC:
    1. Review the instructions for faculty applications
  2. Application Fees: You may be eligible for a fee waiver if your citizenship and correspondence address is located in one of the world’s 50 least developed countries, according to the United Nations. Please visit this website to check which countries are on the list:
    1. If your country is not listed above, please request a fee waiver when you are submitting your Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program application package. If you are invited to move to the Faculty Application step, we will provide instruction on how to use a fee waiver during the program application process. If you submit your application without applying your fee waiver, we are unable to provide a refund.

Step Five:  Reviewing Process

  1. In February 2024, faculties will nominate candidates for admission for the Mastercard Foundation Scholarship. A university-wide selection committee will review scholarship applications from the three faculties, rank them and select award recipients. Shortlisted candidates will be contacted at this time and invited to submit a video interview.
  2. In April 2024, only the Mastercard Foundation Scholar award recipients will be contacted and soon thereafter an announcement of award recipients will be made. Unfortunately, due to the high volume of applications we receive, we are not able to respond to applicants who have not received the scholarship.

Now that you have read the entire application process and determined you are eligible to apply, you can download the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program Application.

Nominations: When students are confirmed for nomination, their high school or recognized non-profit organization must use the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program nomination package. Find the Nomination package in the link below.

Visit Scholarship Webpage for Details


  • Ifeoma Chuks is a naturally-skilled writer. She has written and contributed to more than 6000 articles all over the internet that have formed solid experiences for particularly aspiring, young people around the globe.

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