The Mastercard Foundation and University of Rwanda announced a 10-year, $55 million partnership to enable higher education access for 1,200 young Africans - with a focus on women pursuing STEM, young people with disabilities, and refugee and displaced youth - as part of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program. 

Mastercard Foundation to develop African youth leaders

Launched in 2012, the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program is committed to developing Africa's next generation of transformative leaders by providing economically disadvantaged students with skills training, leadership development, counseling, mentoring, internships, and career services. The Scholars Program has committed nearly 40,000 scholarships to date.

Established in 2013, the University of Rwanda is the largest and most comprehensive higher education institution in Rwanda with a mission to produce transformative and highly enterprising leaders who contribute to building a more just and sustainable world.

"We are thrilled that the University of Rwanda has become a partner in the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program," said Reeta Roy, President and CEO of the Mastercard Foundation. "The mission and programs of the University are inextricably linked to the country's national goals. That's why this partnership is especially compelling as it will be preparing young people for careers across multiple disciplines and for real-life problem-solving," she added.

The new partnership will build the University of Rwanda's capacity to deliver inclusive, blended learning and contribute to a robust knowledge ecosystem that supports new and meaningful pathways to work for young people. It is aligned with the Mastercard Foundation's Young Africa Works strategy to enable 30 million young Africans, particularly young African women, to access dignified and fulfilling work by 2030.

"The University of Rwanda believes strongly in the vision of the Mastercard Foundation," said University of Rwanda Vice Chancellor Professor Alexandre Lyambabaje. "That is why we made the decision to partner with the Foundation to scale up our efforts in training transformative leaders and highly enterprising graduates and prepare them to make meaningful change on the African continent. This program aligns with the Rwanda National Transformation Strategy and its impact will resonate at the University of Rwanda, among our stakeholders, and through the larger East African Community."

The University of Rwanda joins a global network of 29 Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program Partners committed to ensuring that all young people, no matter their starting point in life, have an equal chance to obtain quality education and pursue their aspirations.

The University of Rwanda (UR) is a public, multi-campus institution offering a wide range of academic studies. Established in 2013 through the merger of previously independent public institutions of higher education, UR has since graduated a total number of 49,477 students with 36% being females and 64% males. 

The University runs undergraduate, postgraduate, and certificate courses in the STEM and non- STEM fields at its six colleges (Science and Technology, Medicine and Health Sciences, Business and Economics, Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Education, and Arts and Social Sciences). 

The University  hosts the African Centres of Excellence in Internet of Things, in Data Sciences, in Renewable Energy and in Teaching Sciences, and Mathematics. Other Centres of Excellence are: Regional Centre of Excellence for Vaccines, Immunization and Health Supply Chain Management (EAC RCE-VIHSCM), the Regional Centre of Excellence in Biomedical Engineering and eHealth (CEBE), and the East African Institute for Fundamental Research (ICTP-EAIFR).