Application Deadline: 26 November 2023
The Mastercard Foundation works to provide access to inclusive and quality education to young people in Sub-Saharan Africa, and to enable as many of them as possible to secure dignified and fulfilling employment.
As part of an ambitious new strategy (Young Africa Works), the Foundation aims to enable 30 million young people in Africa to enter employment and entrepreneurship by 2030. The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program, of which Sciences Po is a partner, is to play a central role in this strategy through university partnerships that give young people in Africa access to a top education.
The Mastercard Foundation Scholarships are designed for students who demonstrate academic excellence and strong leadership potential, but who face difficulties or do not have the funds to access higher education. They are particularly aimed at students who aspire to make a real and lasting impact in tackling some of the foremost issues facing the continent, particularly in the fields of public policy and major political, environmental and societal transitions.
The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program has three major strategic objectives: providing specialised support for students, developing their soft skills outside of the student experience and, lastly, building a strong alumni network.
To be eligible for the Mastercard Foundation scholarship, applicants must meet all of the following criteria:
- Be a citizen of a country in Sub-Saharan Africa.
- Show a willingness to commit to bringing about change in Africa and making a genuine impact on the region in the areas of public policy and major political, environmental and societal transitions.
- Have a demonstrable need for higher education funding (please note that proof of your financial circumstances will be required as part of your application).
- Provide a recommendation from your university.
- Have obtained a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree (or international equivalent) by the following academic year.
- Be applying for a two-year Master’s programme at one of Sciences Po’s seven Graduate Schools. Applicants to one-year Master’s programmes, dual degree programmes or joint Master’s programmes are not eligible for the scholarship.
- Have attained a minimum of C1 level in French or English, depending on the programme you are applying for (see the language requirements for each programme). Please note that programmes are either taught entirely in French, entirely in English, or in both languages.
- Not have obtained or be working towards a prior Master’s degree.
- Be under 35 at the start of the graduate academic year.
Scholarships cover the full cost of tuition and living expenses in France throughout the period of study at Sciences Po.
In addition to funding scholars’ studies, Sciences Po provides a range of specialised resources to support them during the process, and to facilitate their transition into the working world. In particular, scholarship students have access to:
- Support in the run-up to their departure, specialist support on arrival and an official welcome programme.
- Housing in Paris reserved for scholarship holders.
- Personalised support throughout their studies, ensuring that every student has the best possible experience at Sciences Po.
- Careers support: guidance to help students identify their professional aspirations; a careers fair focusing on employment and internship opportunities in Africa; access to the university’s business incubator (FR) and its network of employers and alumni working in Africa; careers support workshops; participation in conferences, etc.
- A mentoring programme co-run with the Africa Division of Sciences Po Alumni.
- Access to the wide range of general resources that Sciences Po provides to guide students through every step of their studies.
- Applications open: mid-October 2023
- Deadline for requesting eligibility for the Mastercard Foundation Scholarship: 23:59 (Paris time) on 26 November 2023
- Deadline for applying to Sciences Po: 3 December 2023
- Admissions outcome released: between the 10 and 22 February 2024
- Scholarship allocation outcome released: from 8 March 2024
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