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Mastercard Foundation AfOx Scholarships at the University of Oxford, UK for 2023/2024

Application is now open for Mastercard Foundation AfOx Scholarships at the University of Oxford. Interested candidates are encouraged to send in their applications.

About the University of Oxford and Scholarship

The University of Oxford, renowned as the world’s second-oldest continuously operating university, has joined forces with the Mastercard Foundation as part of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program and the Africa Oxford Initiative (AfOx). This groundbreaking partnership is dedicated to offering fully-funded opportunities to 400 passionate and globally oriented young African scholars. These scholars will have the chance to pursue taught Masters degrees in fields connected to pandemic preparedness and recovery at the University of Oxford.

The Mastercard Foundation AfOx Scholarship program is a manifestation of shared values between the Mastercard Foundation and AfOx, emphasizing collegiality, empathy, commitment, inclusion, and community. This scholarship is an integral component of the broader AfOx Graduate Scholars Program, designed to facilitate African students in accessing opportunities at Oxford and ensuring their success during and after their tenure at the University.


The scholarship program finances a rigorous one-year Master’s course at Oxford, with a focus on providing Scholars with the necessary technical, entrepreneurial, and leadership skills. It also connects them with world-leading resources in their respective sectors. Central to the scholarship program are extensive support and preparation for students to excel in their studies, a strong emphasis on life skills that go beyond academia, and the development of an enduring alumni network.

Each Scholar will benefit from top-notch training in disciplines crucial to addressing pressing challenges, spanning areas such as food systems, health sciences, sustainable water and energy systems, governance and public policy, entrepreneurship, and more. Their programs will align with the four key AfOx themes relevant to Africa’s Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals: Healthy People, Integrated Societies, Green Futures, and Innovation for Prosperity.

An innovative aspect of this program is the “Ubuntu period of service” that follows the completion of the Master’s degree. During this second year, the Scholars will receive support and encouragement to create and implement impactful projects based on African organizations. These projects may encompass initiatives such as launching start-ups or working with multinational development agencies, governments, NGOs, or research institutions.

The Mastercard Foundation AfOx Scholarship places a deliberate emphasis on inclusivity, targeting groups that have historically faced under-representation. This commitment extends to, but is not limited to, female scholars, individuals from refugee and displaced backgrounds, and scholars with accessibility needs. In the 2022 academic year, a pioneering group of 20 Mastercard Foundation AfOx Scholars embarked on their educational journey. These scholars are pursuing diverse academic disciplines, such as global health, engineering, public policy, law, and refugees and forced migration studies. Hailing from 13 African countries, they represent a rich tapestry of emerging African leaders and are affiliated with nine different Oxford colleges.

Details about Mastercard Foundation AfOx Scholarships at the University of Oxford:

Scholarship Sponsor: Mastercard Foundation and Africa Oxford Initiative

Scholarship Value: Fully Funded

Number of awards: Several

Study level: Postgraduate (Masters)

Host Institution(s): University of Oxford, UK


This comprehensive scholarship is available to Master’s students and encompasses tuition fees and living expenses for international students. Moreover, the scholarship provides essential logistics support, including an economy return flight, visa fees, Immigration Health Surcharge fees, a settling allowance, and access to the Thrive Fund for unforeseen emergencies.

The scholarship journey unfolds over the course of the first year, commencing with a rigorous academic Master’s program at Oxford. Scholars also participate in a Leadership and Impact Programme that fosters the development of collaborative leadership qualities. These qualities are instrumental in crafting interdisciplinary solutions to address intricate social and environmental challenges.

Following the completion of their Master’s program, scholars undertake 4-6 month placements in prominent Africa-based organizations during the Ubuntu Period of Service. This phase allows scholars to work on initiatives in Africa and gain invaluable mentoring from accomplished Africa-based academics and practitioners. This experience helps equip scholars with the tools and insights necessary for building impactful careers in Africa.

Throughout their academic journey, scholars have access to a customized Leadership and Impact Program delivered in partnership with the Skoll Centre for Social Enterprise. They also receive tailored academic and social support, ensuring they thrive during their studies.

Beyond their academic pursuits, scholars join the AfOx Alumni Network, a vibrant community of African scholars connected to the University of Oxford. This network offers ongoing peer support, mentorship, and career guidance, facilitated by AfOx Research and Innovation Fellows and a broader network of research leaders and entrepreneurs within the AfOx community.

Eligibility Criteria for Mastercard Foundation AfOx Scholarships

Candidates are advised to meet the following requirements to be eligible for Mastercard Foundation AfOx Scholarships at the University of Oxford:

  1. African Student: Applicants must be of African nationality or origin, showing a strong connection to the African continent.
  2. Relevant Bachelor’s Degree: Applicants should hold a bachelor’s degree from a recognized and esteemed institutions of higher education.
  3. Academic and Research Excellence: Prospective scholars must display outstanding academic and research capabilities, indicating their potential to excel in the rigorous Master’s program and make meaningful contributions to their fields and communities.

Application Process for Mastercard Foundation AfOx Scholarships

The Mastercard Foundation AfOx Scholarship offers African students the opportunity to pursue graduate studies at the University of Oxford. To apply for this scholarship, follow these steps:

Step 1: Ensure that you have African nationality and residence.

Step 2: Apply for graduate study at the University of Oxford through the graduate admissions portal. Be sure to adhere to the application deadline for your chosen course of study. It is highly recommended that you thoroughly review the Application Guide before completing your application. Submit your application form and all required supporting documents at least one week before the December/January deadline for your chosen course.

Step 3: If you receive a conditional offer from your chosen course, you will receive an invitation to apply for the AfOx Graduate Scholarship Program. During the application process, you will be required to complete the AfOx Graduate Scholarship questionnaire.

Step 4: Shortlisted candidates will undergo virtual interviews, and specific timelines for this stage will be communicated during the interview process. If you have questions or require further information, the University of Oxford has an extensive FAQ database that you can consult here. If your question is not answered in the FAQs, you can submit your inquiry via email to, and they will respond promptly.

The Submission Deadline is: Not specified

Not interested in this particular scholarship? See other UK scholarships here.