The University of Edinburgh's partnership with The MasterCard Foundation will allocate $27 million over seven years. It will ensure access to education for bright young leaders who have a personal commitment to changing the world around them and improving the lives of others.
Full scholarships will be offered to 80 undergraduate and 120 postgraduate African students. The initiative will enable Edinburgh to offer opportunities to the brightest and best African Scholars.
Munini Musembi, from Nairobi, Kenya, is one of the first undergraduate recipients. Munini will take her first steps in further education and shortly begin studying mechanical engineering at Edinburgh.
Munini said: "I was so elated when I received The MasterCard Foundation scholarship to study in Edinburgh. This will be an enlightening experience for us as the first cohort of MasterCard Foundation Scholars. I hope that our experiences will also benefit future Scholars at the University. It was a long process to get here, but I am very grateful for the opportunity."
The University will work with partners to recruit talented Scholars with great potential but who face significant financial barriers to entry in higher education.
Students will receive comprehensive support to remove barriers to study in Edinburgh.
They will benefit from dynamic extra-curricular course elements including summer schools and internships. These will help them to develop their abilities and make a difference to their countries and communities when they return home.
Africa is experiencing huge youth population growth as economic and employment growth stagnates. The University hopes to educate a new generation of African leaders who will create opportunities for others.
To date, the Scholars Program has committed over US $700 million to support the education and leadership development of over 30,000 young people. Edinburgh is the first university in Europe to collaborate with The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program.