Mastercard Foundation AfOx Scholarships


South West



Type of opportunity

University scholarship

Closed for 2024
Logo for University of Oxford & AfOx

University of Oxford & AfOx

About this opportunity

The University of Oxford and the Mastercard Foundation have an innovative and ambitious partnership under the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program and the Africa Oxford Initiative (AfOx). Over several years, the partnership is set to provide 400 young African scholars with a fully-funded opportunity to pursue taught Masters degrees in programmes related to pandemic preparedness and recovery at the University of Oxford.

The Scholarship funds a rigorous one-year taught Master’s course at Oxford aimed at equipping the Scholars with relevant technical, entrepreneurial and leadership skills and connecting them to world-leading resources in their respective sectors. Key elements of the scholarship programme include adequate support and preparation for students to take up their studies, intensive emphasis on life skills beyond academia and support for a lifelong network of alumni. Each Scholar will benefit from the highest calibre training in specific disciplines critical to solving pressing problems.

The scholarship specifically emphasises groups who have historically been under-represented, including but not limited to female scholars, people from refugee and displaced backgrounds and scholars with accessibility needs.  Approximately one third of all positions are designated for refugees and others with lived experience of forced displacement.

Level of Study

  • Master’s - Taught


Asylum seeker, Refugee status, Humanitarian protection, Temporary refugee permission, Limited or Discretionary Leave to Remain (private/family life), Indefinite Leave to Remain, British National (Overseas), Other forms of sanctuary (including Calais Leave, Section 67 Leave, UASC leave and Stateless Leave)

Additional notes about eligibility criteria

Note 1: Africans who have been affected by forced displacement will be considered for these scholarships. Those who are located outside of Africa (e.g., if you have been resettled to another country in Europe or North America, for instance), may be considered – please be in touch in advance of submitting your application.

Note 2: Displaced scholars who are not African and who are interested in studying at Oxford can look into the University of Oxford’s Refugee Academic Futures scheme (see third tab at top). [,twoyearparttimemaster’s]

What is included in this opportunity?

  • Fee Waiver (no fees)
  • Accommodation
  • Full bursary (study costs and full living costs)
  • Study costs (books, travel, etc.)
  • Other (see below)

Other support provided

This full-cost scholarship is available to Master’s students, covering tuition fees and living expenses for international students. The scholarship also provides logistics support, including an economy return flight, visa and Immigration Health Surcharge fees, settling down allowance, and access to a Thrive Fund for emergencies.

Additional notes about support provided

The first year includes a rigorous academic Master’s course at Oxford and a Leadership and  Impact Programme, which support the scholars in developing collaborative leadership qualities needed to build cross-sector, interdisciplinary solutions to address complex social and environmental problems.

After completing their Master’s Program, Scholars will be supported to take up 4-6 months placements in leading Africa-based organisations for their Ubuntu Period of Service. The scholars will work on initiatives in Africa, receiving mentoring from leading Africa-based academics and practitioners, enabling the Scholars to develop pathways to building impactful careers in Africa.

The Scholars benefit from a bespoke Leadership and Impact Program delivered in partnership with the Skoll Centre for Social Enterprise and tailored academic and social support throughout their studies. Beyond their studies, Scholars will join the AfOx Alumni Network, where they can continue to draw on and contribute to the community of African Scholars linked to the University of Oxford.  In addition to the peer support from the Scholar Community, the Scholars have access to mentorship and career support from AfOx Research and Innovation Fellows and the more comprehensive AfOx network of research leaders and entrepreneurs.

Types of study available

  • Face-to-face
  • Full-time

Additional details about application process

Oxford’s Graduate Admissions and AfOx will contact you to ask you to apply for these scholarships if you have:

(1) applied for an eligible course by the relevant November, December or January application deadline for your course and received an offer; and

(2) indicated that you are a refugee/displaced when you applied for your course. If you are eligible but did not complete the question on your course application about refugee/displaced status then you can still email Graduate Admissions ( by 15th May 2023 to confirm that you wish to apply.

If you are eligible for these scholarships, you will be considered regardless of which college (if any) you state as your preference on your graduate application form. However, some of these awards are only tenable at specific colleges and successful applicants will be transferred to the relevant college in order to take up the scholarship if applicable.

Number of places available

10–15 per year for displaced scholars

Is this opportunity available for individuals outside of the UK?


For further questions contact the scholarship provider

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