Media Releases

U of T and The Mastercard Foundation to develop next-generation African leaders

April 18, 2013

U of T to receive $22.5 million from The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program

TORONTO, ON – The Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to will join The Mas­ter­Card Foun­da­tion Schol­ars Pro­gram, with a USD $22.5 mil­lion grant announced today by The Mas­ter­Card Foun­da­tion.  The grant is part of a $75 mil­lion announce­ment, which brings three Cana­di­an insti­tu­tions into The Mas­ter­Card Foun­da­tion Schol­ars Pro­gram – a glob­al edu­ca­tion ini­tia­tive to edu­cate and devel­op   next-gen­er­a­tion African lead­ers who will con­tribute to social trans­for­ma­tion across the con­ti­nent. It is one of the largest foun­da­tion grants in Cana­di­an his­to­ry.

U of T is one of the Program’s 15 uni­ver­si­ty and sec­ondary edu­ca­tion part­ners from around the world. Today’s announce­ment includ­ed fund­ing for U of T, Uni­ver­si­ty of British Colum­bia, and McGill Uni­ver­si­ty, as the only Cana­di­an part­ners in the Program’s net­work of insti­tu­tions. The part­ners were select­ed based on their aca­d­e­m­ic excel­lence, nur­tur­ing envi­ron­ments and pro­grams rel­e­vant to eco­nom­ic growth sec­tors in Africa.

“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.”

U of T Pres­i­dent David Nay­lor expressed his appre­ci­a­tion for the part­ner­ship with The Mas­ter­Card Foun­da­tion.  “We’ve all seen Asia blos­som on the world stage.  Now, as the vision­ar­ies at The Mas­ter­Card Foun­da­tion have seen, it’s Africa’s turn,” said Nay­lor.  “That’s why I am so pleased that the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to will be par­tic­i­pat­ing in The Mas­ter­Card Foun­da­tion Schol­ars Pro­gram.”

“The Pro­gram will help us recruit some of the best and bright­est stu­dents from Africa.  They will join over 430 stu­dents from 31 coun­tries in Africa cur­rent­ly study­ing at U of T.   And these young lead­ers will not only play a part in the ongo­ing rise of Africa. They will be bridge-builders between that con­ti­nent and Cana­da.”

The Mas­ter­Card Foun­da­tion Schol­ars Pro­gram is a $500 mil­lion glob­al edu­ca­tion ini­tia­tive that will pro­vide sec­ondary and uni­ver­si­ty edu­ca­tion to an esti­mat­ed 15,000 young peo­ple in devel­op­ing nations, pri­mar­i­ly in Africa.

In total, the three Cana­di­an insti­tu­tions will part­ner with The Mas­ter­Card Foun­da­tion to edu­cate and devel­op 270 young Schol­ars from Africa, and pre­pare them to return to the con­ti­nent and lead change in their com­mu­ni­ties. The Pro­gram selects bright, moti­vat­ed young peo­ple from eco­nom­i­cal­ly dis­ad­van­taged com­mu­ni­ties, who, despite fac­ing chal­lenges, have demon­strat­ed lead­er­ship and a com­mit­ment to improv­ing the lives of oth­ers.

In total, 67 stu­dents – all under­grad­u­ates – will come to U of T over the next five years, to study Arts and Sci­ence or Engi­neer­ing at the St. George cam­pus. The Pro­gram pro­vides a com­pre­hen­sive set of sup­ports, which includes tuition, res­i­dence, meals and trav­el.  In addi­tion, the stu­dents will receive a com­pre­hen­sive set of wrap-around sup­ports — spe­cial ori­en­ta­tions, stu­dent and fac­ul­ty men­tors, intern­ships through a net­work of employ­ers in Africa, cohort-based activ­i­ties, a senior fac­ul­ty advi­sor as well as all the ser­vices nor­mal­ly avail­able to U of T stu­dents — to enable suc­cess­ful tran­si­tions into their edu­ca­tion in Cana­da, and ulti­mate­ly into the work­force in Africa. Schol­ars at U of T will also be engaged in oppor­tu­ni­ties for com­mu­ni­ty ser­vice through­out their edu­ca­tion, which will rein­force eth­i­cal lead­er­ship and a com­mit­ment to the bet­ter­ment of their home coun­tries.

For more infor­ma­tion about The Mas­ter­Card Foun­da­tion Schol­ars Pro­gram at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to, go to

To learn more about The Mas­ter­Card Foun­da­tion Schol­ars Pro­gram, vis­it

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


For more infor­ma­tion, con­tact:

U of T Media Rela­tions

Toni Tiemens, The Mas­ter­Card Foun­da­tion, +1–647-837‑5787

Jes­si­ca Howe, beSPEAK Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, +1–416-844‑3903

Edi­tors Note: Upcom­ing Event

Round­table Dis­cus­sion: On April 22nd, 2013, the Pres­i­dents of Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to, The Mas­ter­Card Foun­da­tion, McGill Uni­ver­si­ty, and Uni­ver­si­ty of British Colum­bia will be par­tic­i­pat­ing in a Round­table dis­cus­sion on Edu­ca­tion Part­ner­ships between Cana­da and Africa host­ed by His Excel­len­cy the Right Hon­ourable David John­ston, Gov­er­nor Gen­er­al of Cana­da, at Rideau Hall, in Ottawa. For more infor­ma­tion on this event, please vis­it:


The U of T and Africa

African Stu­dents and Alum­ni

As of Fall 2012, there are 433 African stu­dents study­ing at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to. That num­ber includes 357 under­grad­u­ate and 76 grad­u­ate stu­dents from 31 coun­tries in Africa. Six hun­dred and thir­ty-three U of T alum­ni are cur­rent­ly liv­ing in 34 African coun­tries, with the largest con­cen­tra­tions in South Africa, Kenya, Egypt and Niger.

 Select Part­ner­ship High­lights

Uni­ver­si­ty of Nairo­bi (Kenya)

The near­ly decade-long rela­tion­ship between the fac­ul­ties of med­i­cine at U of T and of U of N has spanned the areas of research, edu­ca­tion and joint pub­li­ca­tions. The Temer­ty Temer­ty Fac­ul­ty of Med­i­cine at U of T, in part­ner­ship with its coun­ter­part at U of N, has for­mal­ized this rela­tion­ship through an MOU signed in 2013 which cov­ers: exchange of fac­ul­ty, research staff, tech­ni­cians and stu­dents; joint research projects; exchange of infor­ma­tion and aca­d­e­m­ic pub­li­ca­tions; and, pro­mo­tion of edu­ca­tion­al activ­i­ties for research, per­son­nel tech­ni­cians and stu­dents.

Uni­ver­si­ty of Namib­ia

U of T has been send­ing stu­dents to U of Namib­ia since 1997 to advance our mutu­al under­stand­ing of the mul­ti­di­men­sion­al impact of HIV/AIDS in Namib­ia and beyond. Stu­dents from a wide range of dis­ci­plines at U of T have been par­tic­i­pat­ing in this pro­gram, includ­ing African Stud­ies, Gen­der and Equi­ty Stud­ies, Pub­lic Health, Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal Sci­ence, and Kine­si­ol­o­gy and Phys­i­cal Edu­ca­tion. The pro­gram cov­ers: joint research activ­i­ties (includ­ing stu­dent and fac­ul­ty exchange); exchange of aca­d­e­m­ic mate­ri­als; and, par­tic­i­pa­tion in sem­i­nars and aca­d­e­m­ic meet­ings.

Uni­ver­si­ty of Addis Aba­ba (Ethiopia)

The Ethiopi­an Cana­di­an Nurs­ing Col­lab­o­ra­tion: The Col­lab­o­ra­tion is a joint ini­tia­tive with Addis Aba­ba Uni­ver­si­ty Depart­ment of Nurs­ing and Mid­wifery (AAUCSN) and the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Fac­ul­ty of Nurs­ing. The over­all aim is to strength­en the nurs­ing pro­fes­sion and health sys­tem in Ethiopia. This part­ner­ship includes a total of six teach­ing trips, 2010–2013, as well as ongo­ing the­sis sup­port on site and by dis­tance. As this first research-focused phase ends this year, the clin­i­cal edu­ca­tion phase is set to begin.

TAAPP: In 2003 the Depart­ment of Psy­chi­a­try at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to was invit­ed to part­ner with the Depart­ment of Psy­chi­a­try at Addis Aba­ba Uni­ver­si­ty to form an edu­ca­tion­al col­lab­o­ra­tion called The Toron­to Addis Aba­ba Psy­chi­a­try Project (TAAPP). The objec­tives of TAAPP are to assist the devel­op­ment of edu­ca­tion­al capac­i­ty and sus­tain­abil­i­ty for Ethiopi­an psy­chi­a­try, and pro­mote the ongo­ing devel­op­ment of men­tal health ser­vices in the coun­try.

TAAAC: The man­date of the Toron­to Addis Aba­ba Aca­d­e­m­ic Col­lab­o­ra­tion (TAAAC), formed in 2008, is to devel­op a crit­i­cal mass of aca­d­e­mics and health pro­fes­sion­als trained in Ethiopia. In Feb­ru­ary 2013, Ethiopia’s first-ever class of fam­i­ly med­i­cine res­i­dents start­ed train­ing with help, in part, from the Depart­ment of Fam­i­ly and Com­mu­ni­ty Med­i­cine (DFCM) at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to. The Ethiopi­an fam­i­ly med­i­cine res­i­dents will address a con­stel­la­tion of med­ical prob­lems sig­nif­i­cant­ly dif­fer­ent from the pat­terns seen by their peers in Cana­da. For exam­ple, they will treat more infec­tious dis­eases, such as TB, malar­ia and HIV.

• MOI Uni­ver­si­ty School of Med­i­cine (Eldoret, Kenya)

AMPATH: The Uni­ver­si­ty of Toronto’s involve­ment in the Aca­d­e­m­ic Mod­el Pro­vid­ing Access To Health­care (AMPATH) involves both repro­duc­tive health and pub­lic health and is locat­ed at Moi Uni­ver­si­ty School of Med­i­cine and Moi Teach­ing Refer­ral Hos­pi­tal. Both U of T’s Temer­ty Temer­ty Fac­ul­ty of Med­i­cine and the Dal­la Lana School of Pub­lic Health are con­sor­tium mem­bers.