A model to replicate: Global collaboration through scholarships
May’s commencement ceremony, like most, marked a beginning and an end. The final cohort of undergraduate Mastercard Foundation Scholars, and the first cohort of graduate scholars, both graduated from Arizona State University.
“This was a transformative moment for us and for our scholars,” says Tamara Webb, director of International Education in the Center for Advanced Studies in Global Education at Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College and director for the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at ASU. “They’re graduating, but it’s so much more than that.”
Housed and managed by MLFTC, the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program is a comprehensive scholarship program to educate and prepare young people — particularly from Africa — to lead change in their communities.
“These are exceptional students who have faced barriers to continuing their education,” says Webb. “It’s a competitive process. They’re being offered a full ride, a flight, housing and healthcare. It requires a stellar academic portfolio, demonstrated leadership skills and experience, and a commitment to give back and serve the world and their communities."
Funded by a $27.5 million grant, the first phase (2012–19) of the program supported 120 scholars from 20 countries completing undergraduate degrees in more than 70 majors. Now, in its second phase (2017–22), a $21.9 million grant allows an additional 150 scholars to complete accelerated master’s degrees in select fields benefiting economic growth and social transformation in their home countries and communities.