Global payments company, Mastercard has partnered with online and on-campus study platform, Unicaf to grant 75% scholarships to cardholders across 12 African countries. The scholarships would enable beneficiaries to partake in online studies at Unicaf’s partner universities.
Speaking on the two-year partnership, Mastercard Manager for West Africa, Ebehijie Momoh said:
We are extremely excited to partner with Unicaf to offer our premium cardholders’ access to internationally recognized degrees at discount.Ebehijie Momoh, Mastercard Country Manager, West Africa.
“As consumers in our markets embrace online learning, this is how we show dedication to our premium cardholders by offering value through lifestyle benefits and rewards that are perfectly matched to their new routines,” he added.
The scholarships are available to premium Mastercard holders in Nigeria, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Morocco, Somalia, Uganda, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Zambia and Rwanda.
From the first quarter of 2021, Mastercard Gold, Platinum, World and World Elite cardholders across these 12 countries will be able to choose from a wide range of internationally recognised degree programs offered by Unicaf’s partners and only pay 25% of the total fees in variable monthly instalments over the entire duration of the program.
The 75% Mastercard-Unicaf scholarship opportunity may compel other Mastercard customers to go for premium cards in order to be eligible. Or new customers could get a premium Mastercard just to qualify. Either way, Mastercard would expect an expanded customer base in these countries.
Online Learning is Here to Stay
As proven by the success of edtech startups like uLesson, the adoption of online learning in Africa has continued on an upward trajectory post-COVID-19. The closure of schools and higher institutions in many countries to enforce control measures such as social distancing has played a big part in the transition towards e-learning.
Unicaf offers both online and on-campus learning, therefore, students are able to keep learning remotely and undertake personalised study not available on campus.
In the new normal, more people are embracing e-learning to save time and cost, as well as avoid the interruptions that may come with on-campus education. However, many African students cannot afford tuition fees and can only enrol for online tertiary education when they get a scholarship.
According to a recent Mastercard study, 50% of respondents in Nigeria, 48% in Ghana and 47% in Kenya have enrolled at an online university since the COVID-19 outbreak. The figures from this study underlines the rise in online learning across Africa, and Mastercard wants to offer premium cardholders access to quality tertiary education at 75% discount on total fees payable.
More than half of Africa’s over 1 billion people use the internet, showing the continent’s massive potential e-learning market.
As part of the Mastercard-Unicaf scholarship, beneficiaries would get the opportunity to earn Bachelor, Masters or Doctoral degrees in their chosen field of study. Added to this, students will develop a global outlook on professional matters during interactions with internationally trained tutors and fellow virtual classmates from 156 countries spanning Europe, Asia and America.
Together with its university partners, Unicaf has trained more than 30,000 students worldwide.
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