University of Pretoria partners with The MasterCard Foundation in providing financial assistance to needy students

Posted on March 03, 2014

The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program enables young people from economically disadvantaged communities to complete quality secondary and university education. Following their graduation with knowledge and skills, students are encouraged to give back and make a positive impact to their communities.

The Program is a $21 million, 10-year initiative that will educate and develop young leaders who have shown a commitment to giving back to their communities. The Program is primarily focused on Sub-Saharan Africa, and provides bright, talented young people from disadvantaged backgrounds with access to quality and relevant secondary or university education. An estimated 345 Scholars will gain the skills, values, and competencies they need to succeed in the economy and to make a positive change in their community. The Program is implemented by a global network of education institutions and non-profit organizations who together believe that education is a catalyst for social and economic advancement.

“We are very pleased to welcome University of Pretoria into The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program and know that our Scholars will have an extraordinary experience there,” says Reeta Roy, President and CEO of The MasterCard Foundation. “We are delighted to partner with an institution that is so focused on addressing the educational, cultural, and economic needs of the African continent and broader global community.”

The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program will put more than 340 undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Pretoria over a period of 10 years. This Program is not only committed to producing skilled academics, but also leaders who are have a common philosophy of change and ethical leadership which will drive social and economic transformation in their communities.

 The University of Pretoria registered nine first-year undergraduate students and eight postgraduate students for 2014. The selection of the students was based on their need, merit, leadership potential and a commitment to ‘giving back’ within one’s own community once they have completed their studies. Student beneficiaries for The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program will pursue studies in fields of Engineering, Agricultural Sciences and Economic studies at the University of Pretoria.

An intrinsic part of the Scholars Program is to develop a sense of commitment in the students to their communities. This will be demonstrated by students through their community engagement work at their respective communities during their studies and after completing their studies. The University will also, through its network with other African universities and companies, assist Scholars in finding internships in their home countries.

Prof Cheryl de la Rey, the Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Pretoria said The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program benefits the University’s Strategic Plan, UP 2025, because it is committed not only to attract and select the most talented students from South African communities and from the African region, but also to offer financial aid to deserving students from poor backgrounds.

“As it is our goal with the University’s Strategic Plan to increase a number of students from other African countries, The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program will assist us in reaching these goals of increased numbers of international students – both undergraduate and post-graduate level”, she said.

Prof De la Rey further said The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program will benefit the University of Pretoria in its post-graduate productivity, thus achieving its goal as a research-intensive university.

Prof De la Rey with the recipients of the scholarship.


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