McGill joins The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program

Initiative to develop next-generation of young African leaders will allow McGill to welcome 91 promising students

McGill University announced today its participation in The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program, a transformative initiative aimed at advancing social and economic progress in Africa. As part of the Program, McGill will receive $27 million over the next decade to educate academically talented young people from economically disadvantaged communities in Africa, and prepare them to return to their home countries, successfully transition into the workforce, and lead change in their communities.

Published: 3 May 2013
The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program will allow McGill to welcome and support 91 promising students from Africa over the next 10 years. These will include 67 at the undergraduate level – up to half of whom will be coming from French-speaking countries – and 24 students at the Master’s level. The Program includes comprehensive financial support for the students, as well as leadership development opportunities that reinforce ethics and a commitment to the betterment of students’ home communities, mentorship, career guidance, and internships in their home regions during the course of their studies. 

“We are absolutely delighted to participate in ‘The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program,’ which will support the development of next-generation African leaders while enriching the learning and research that takes place in our own community,” said Heather Munroe-Blum, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of McGill University. “The Program’s values align with McGill’s own commitment to include and foster youth who have the potential to lead change in their communities, but lack the financial means to access higher education.”

McGill joins the University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia as Canadian partners in The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program – a $500 million global education initiative involving 15 universities and secondary education partners around the world.

“The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program will develop next-generation leaders who will have a transformational impact in developing countries,” said Reeta Roy, President and CEO of The MasterCard Foundation. “McGill University, University of British Columbia, and University of Toronto bring tremendous expertise to our vision. The diversity and excellence of their institutions will offer Scholars an extraordinary opportunity for learning and exchange of knowledge.”

McGill prides itself on being Canada’s most international research-intensive university, with 20 per cent of its students coming from as many as 150 countries, including many African nations. McGill’s equally diverse faculty are leading programs making a profound contribution to Africa’s development and to the productive ties between Canada and Africa. These include research and teaching in areas such as international development, food security and water resources management, global health and parasitology, as well as international law.

McGill will welcome its first cohort of 13 Scholars in the fall of 2013.

For more information about the The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program at McGill:

About McGill University

Founded in Montreal, Que., in 1821, McGill is a leading Canadian post-secondary institution. It has two campuses, 11 faculties, 11 professional schools, 300 programs of study and some 38,000 students, including 8,800 graduate students. McGill attracts students from over 150 countries around the world, with more than 7,700 international students making up 20 per cent of the student body. Almost half of McGill students claim a first language other than English, including more than 6,700 with French as their first language. For more information about McGill University:

About The MasterCard Foundation

The MasterCard Foundation is an independent, global organization based in Toronto, Canada, with more than $6 billion in assets. Through collaboration with partner organizations in 49 countries, it is creating opportunities for all people to learn and prosper. The Foundation’s programs promote financial inclusion and advance youth learning, mostly in Africa. Established in 2006 through the generosity of MasterCard Worldwide when it became a public company, the Foundation is separate and independent from the company. Its policies, operations, and funding decisions are determined by its own Foundation Board of Directors and President and CEO. To learn more about the Foundation, please visit



Back to top