USIU-Africa and the Mastercard Foundation formally commissioned the second cohort of 48 Scholars under the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program, bringing the total number of Scholars recruited under the program to 70. The Scholars are drawn from a pool of 3,500 applicants drawn from various parts of the country, as well as from the African continent. So far, the program has recruited 68 percent women and 33 percent male into the program with 48 percent of the Scholars are enrolled in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and 42 percent are enrolled in the Humanities program respectively.
Last year, the Mastercard Foundation partnered with USIU-Africa to launch the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at USIU-Africa, which will see 1,000 students from across the continent educated over 10 years at a cost of $63.2 million (Kshs. 6.8 billion).
The Program will recruit a diverse student body, which will include 700 women, 250 refugees, displaced youth and 70 persons with disability who will be will be placed in 11 programs which will provide skills training, leadership development, counselling, mentoring, internships and career services. The program will also educate, prepare and transition young people from disadvantaged backgrounds into the labour market as leaders who can inspire socio-economic transformation.
In his remarks, USIU-Africa’s Vice Chancellor, Prof. Paul Zeleza noted that the Scholars Program was aligned with the University’s mission of promoting discovery and application of knowledge and transitioning young people into gainful employment.
“We are glad to be part of Mastercard Foundation’s expanding global network of partners committed to developing a generation of African leaders who will use their knowledge and skills to lead change in their communities, and contribute to meaningful transformation across the continent,” he said.
“As an institution, we are honoured to be part of the Scholars Program, and it is indeed gratifying to see that we have managed to recruit our second cohort of students, who will have the chance to experience a truly global education here at USIU-Africa,” he added.
Mastercard Foundation’s Head of Scholars Program, Prof. Phil Cotton congratulated the Scholars on their achievement, noting that they were now on their way to becoming catalysts for change who would now be responsible for uplifting their communities.
“As recipients of the Mastercard Foundation Program Scholarships, you are now in a position that allows you to give back to your communities, and serve as actors of change. You are our ambassadors and role models for young people across the country and across the continent,” he said.
The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at USIU-Africa will provide full-cost scholarships to young Africans who are first-time undergraduate degree-seeking applicants. By completion of their studies, scholars will be required to lead changes in their communities and contribute to meaningful transformation across the continent, having been equipped with internationally recognized and locally applicable qualifications.