Forum for African Women Educationalists - Uganda Chapter (FAWEU)

"20 Years of Enhancing Girls' and Women's Education for Development" FAWE Uganda 1997-2017

Kwame Nkrumah University MasterCard Scholarships

The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program at KNUST provides academically talented yet economically disadvantaged young people in Ghana and Africa with access to quality and relevant university education. It embodies an array of mentoring and cultural transition services to ensure student academic success, community engagement and transition to employment opportunities which will further social and economic change in Africa.

Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology, Kumasi, Ghana is one of the host schools for this prestigious scholarship. Established in 1952, KNUST has a rich history in its evolution into a first class University over the years. Kwame Nkrumah, the African Personality of the Century and pioneer of African independence is the founder of KNUST. KNUST believes in achievement through diligence and commitment, and continually develops plans not only to maintain its status as Ghana’s No.1 University but also to improve its international standing.

Field(s) of Study

- All subjects are considered, with preference given to Science students.

What does the scholarship cover?

- Comprehensive financial support (full tuition, fully paid accommodation, learning materials and uniforms, transportation and stipend 
- Regular group meetings with other scholars that focus on personal and professional development opportunities and activities tailored to build relationships and scholar capacity.
- Continued academic support through academic mentoring, virtual learning, life and career coaching and tutoring
- Opportunities to participate in leadership congresses, community service and mentoring(Go-Back Give- Back) and uniquely sourced internship.
- An academic environment where faculty and students engage with global issues.
- The prestige of becoming part of the growing family of MasterCard Foundation Scholars Community and Alumni.
- Undergraduates have the opportunity to be selected for an accelerated Masters Degree with an MCF partner institution in the USA.

How many scholarships are given?

Several scholarships are given out every year.

Which countries are targeted?

- Ghana
- Sub-Saharan Africa Countries

Am I Eligible to Apply?

Below are the criteria for admission into this program.

  • ALL STUDENTS FROM THE 303 LESS ENDOWED SCHOOLS (classified by the GHANA EDUCATION SERVICE) who satisfy KNUST’s admission requirements
  • Attention will also be given to students outside the less endowed schools with extremely critical needs.
  • Applicants should have ‘O’ Level or equivalent results from an accredited institution.
  • Students who are awaiting results will not be accepted.
  • International students from provable economically vulnerable background
  • Girls and physically challenged applicants will be given top priority
  • A good record of accomplishment in leadership and community engagement.
  • The applicant must be prepared to “Go-Back Give-Back” to his or her community.

How do I Apply – Next Steps

  1. Download a copy of the application form
  2. Submit the completed application form THROUGH EMS or any other courier mail to

The Program Manager,
MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program,
Office of the Dean of Students, KNUST
Private Mail Bag
Kumasi, Ghana

For International Students, scan all relevant attachments in PDF format, attach to the Application form as one document and mail it This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Closing Date:

Applications close on 11th May 2017 at 17:00 GMT.

How do I get more information?


1st Cohort of beneficiairies pose for a group photo with the Minister of Science, Technology & Innovation (in a black suit) and FAWE Uganda Members after the launch of the Higher Education Access Program

Forum for African Women’s Educationalists Uganda Chapter (FAWE Uganda) in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation and the Forum for African Women’s Educationalists Regional Secretariat (FAWE RS) launched the Higher Education Access Program (HEAP) in Uganda on 20th October, 2017. This eight-year Program seeks to enable 300 young women and men from disadvantaged regions of Uganda access to education and leadership development, including transition to higher education or to secure employment in sectors that contribute to the development of their communities and the country.

The Higher Education Access Program is focused on providing bursaries to 300 academically gifted students from economically disadvantaged regions and districts of Uganda; the Northern region including; Adjumani, Amudat, Amuru, Kaabong and Pader; Eastern regions including Bukwo, Buyende, Katakwi and Mayuge; and, the Western region, including Buliisa, Bundibugyo, Kanungu and Ntoroko.

In his speech, the Guest of Honor at the launch, Dr. Elioda Tumwesigye, Minister of Science, Technology & Innovation encouraged the beneficiaries to take advantage of the scholarships and work hard. On behalf of his Ministry and the Government of Uganda, he expressed gratitude to FAWE & MasterCard for their timely intervention towards helping young people access education. He said that the government is committed to working with such organizations to improve the quality of education in Uganda. He condemned the irresponsible sexual behaviors students engage in that lead to increase in school dropouts and urged the students to focus on their studies. The Minister then officially launched the programme and wished the first cohort of students best of luck.

Ms. Christine Semambo Sempebwa, the Executive Director of FAWE Uganda said, “The Higher Education Access Program is a unique initiative aimed at giving a platform for all academically talented yet economically disadvantaged students an opportunity to study, realize their dreams and exploit their potential through increasing access to quality education in higher Institutions of learning.” She emphasized that, “The beneficiaries who have been enrolled should count themselves lucky, study very hard and get the best out of this opportunity while bearing in mind that although many students applied for the scholarship, a majority were not taken due to the limited number of slots.” This program offers 100% bursaries to learners and all you need to do is to take yourself to school and study which is a rear occurrence.”

She added that, “To guarantee success, the beneficiaries need to take the opportunity to learn from their peers on how to live responsibly, exercise self control and discipline, learn to prioritize and focus on their studies. As FAWE Uganda and other partners we commit to do whatever it takes to facilitate you to achieve all your planned goals.”

“The Mastercard Foundation supports this Program to provide access to quality higher education as well as a bridging program to provide a second chance at University education for promising students whose academic talent exceeds their financial resources into university degree programs. It will also provide academic and psycho-social support, and facilitate pathways for students to internships, industrial practice and employment”, said Peter Materu, Mastercard Foundation Director Education & Learning and Youth Livelihoods.

This program offers 100% bursaries to learners and targets 300 students between the ages of 18 to 25 over eight-years. 60% will undertake degree courses while 40% will be in diploma courses. The program is designed with focus on sciences, covering courses in agriculture, medical and health, whereas education related courses will focus on sciences and language. The Program is being implemented in partnership with 5 higher education institutions; Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Gulu University and Busitema University, Jinja School of Nursing and Midwifery, and Medical Laboratory Training School. Upon graduation, the students are encouraged to return to their communities to work and improve the lives of others by filling a critical human resources gap and contribute to economic development.

The program utilizes creative and innovative approaches like the Extended Orientation Program (EOP) to support disadvantaged students to settle in, compete favorably and successfully complete their studies. The pre-entry Bridging Program (BP) has been designed to give second chance opportunities to promising students whose pre-entry qualifications fall slightly below the cut-off points and whose academic potential is curtailed by the physical, academic and social inadequacies of their secondary schools. It will support them transition into undergraduate degree programs.

 To ensure transparency and accountability, Regional Bursary Technical Committees (RBTCs) have been established and are charged with the responsibility of selecting, interviewing and enrolling beneficiary students. Similarly, Bursary Coordination Committees have been established in each of the five partner institutions to guarantee requisite higher completion rates.

Present at the launch, at Imperial Royale Hotel Kampala, were key stakeholders including; the beneficiary students, the line Ministries of Education and Sports, Science and Technology; Gender, Labour and Social Development, the Ministry of Health; Development partners, Civil Society Organizations and the media.


Beneficiaries at Busitema University (Arapai Campus) pose for a group photo after recieving their basic requirements

After undergoing a successful verification and selection process, 100 Higher Education students were awarded scholarships under the Higher Education Access Program, which is being implemented by FAWE Uganda in partnership with Mastercard Foundation.   Students will be attending various fields of science and Technology study at Gulu University, Busitema University and Mbarara University of Science and Technology.

Beneficiaries were given basic needs and scholastic materials to use while at school.  These included: mattresses, suitcases to mention but a few.  Laptops were as well provided to all beneficiaries for purposes of facilitating academic research, expo- sure and online networking.



Students who applied for bursaries under the Forum for African Women Educationalists/Mastercard Foundation Higher Education Access Program for 2017/2018 intake underwent a verification exercise.  The process took a period of one week after which, selection of beneficiaries was done.  We congratulate all students who were awarded scholarships and wish you the very best in your academic endeavors.


MCF Objectives

Objective 1: Provide bursaries to 300 academically able, yet economically disadvantaged students from eastern, northern and western Uganda to access and complete higher education.
Objective 2: Design and implement a (pilot) pre-entry bridging program to provide second chance opportunities for promising students to transition into University degree programs.
Objective 3: Provide academic and psycho-social support and facilitate pathways for the students to internships, industrial practice and employment.
Objective 4: Institutional capacity strengthening to ensure disadvantaged students succeed. 

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