University of Cambridge
Promoted by University of Cambridge

Build climate resilience with a fully-funded education at the University of Cambridge

The urgency of building climate resilience cannot be ignored. Between 2030 and 2050, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has projected approximately 250,000 additional deaths per year. This is largely due to malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea and heat stress — all of which are influenced by climate change. Such conditions are set to result in between US$2 billion to US$4 billion damages to the health sector.

Many leading names in the environment sector are already doing their part to shrink greenhouse gas emissions and to spur major health co-benefits, particularly by abating air pollution. However, the world’s most vulnerable — those in countries with weak health infrastructure, for example — lack the resources to address this. 

The University of Cambridge is partnering with the Mastercard Foundation to change this through the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Cambridge. This is an education and leadership development program designed to support a diverse group of thoughtful, service-minded young people from Africa who want to drive climate and sustainability action through their careers. These young leaders, most of them young women, hail from communities in Africa that have faced significant economic and social challenges and are likely to be worst affected by the effects of climate change – including refugees, IDPs, rural communities, and persons living with disability. Through the Program, they will pursue a fully-funded Masters degree at Cambridge University.  

University of Cambridge

Source: University of Cambridge

As a forward-thinking University, Cambridge has always sought to deliver an education that addresses the current and future concerns of society. The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Cambridge University is designed to do exactly that. Addressing the climate crisis requires a multidisciplinary approach that combines the efforts of both scientific disciplines as well as the arts, humanities and social sciences. For this reason, the scholarship covers a wide range of disciplines. 

Cambridge actively invites innovative, intelligent change-makers into its academic community. The University is searching for students with academic talent and a commitment to giving back to their communities. Applicants with a particular focus on climate-resilient and sustainable futures for Africa and the world stand out in this regard. This will be assessed in a supplementary statement, which is included as part of the application process. 

The University values diversity and inclusion and is widening opportunities for all to ensure its community is reflective of the world it serves. Those across all backgrounds are encouraged to apply, especially African women, refugees and internally displaced people, and persons living with disabilities. Successful applicants will have their tuition fully covered and receive funding to cover the cost of travel and visas, accommodation, a laptop, health cover, and living expenses. 

Scholars join a University that has contributed to global reform for centuries. This is clearly reflected in its quality of research. Ninety-three percent of research submitted by Cambridge have been rated as world-leading or internationally excellent (Research Excellence Framework 2021).Times Higher Education names Cambridge as the leading University that covers a broad range of disciplines from STEM to the arts. 

Its far-reaching reputation has ensured it is consistently ranked among the top three universities in the world across rankings by QS, Times Higher Education and a number of other prestigious organisations. 

Furthermore, the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Cambridge University offers a transformative opportunity to join a global community of over 40,000 scholars who are leading change in their families, communities and fields of practice.

“Being a postgraduate student at Cambridge has given me an unmatched research experience. I have been exposed to many opportunities and had the pleasure of working alongside leading researchers in my field”, shares Nonhlanhla Mathibela, MPhil in Human Geography and current beneficiary of Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program.

All the while, the Scholars at the University of Cambridge enjoy the benefits of a wide-reaching campus that reflects the best of traditional British architecture. Regardless of where you are placed among the university’s 31 Colleges, you’ll be met with inspiring spaces, great facilities and supportive tutors. Cambridge is particularly famous for its Boat Club, one of 70 sports offered, where participants gather to beat its longtime rival, the University of Oxford, on the Tideway. 

The result? An educational experience that challenges you as an intellectual and individual. Cambridge graduates go on to achieve a lot, from winning Nobel Peace Prizes to changing the landscape of business as we know it. Famous alumni include Sir Isaac Newton, Stephen Hawking, Prof. Thomas Risley Odhiambo, Prof James Ezeilo, Efua Sutherland and Alan Turing, the list goes on. 

Applications for the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program will open in September. Meanwhile, see more information about the programme on the dedicated University of Cambridge webpage and reach out to for questions.

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