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Be Africa’s best, with a Standard Bank Group Scholarship

Is your dream to become a leader of the future? If so, then the Standard Bank Chairman’s Scholarship is for you – as it plays a critical role in shaping the future of our continent… building a future for Africa, led by Africans.

Founded in 2013, the scholarship aims to offer both educational enrichment and international exposure to the next generation of African talent. Through the scholarship, we aim to create a network of African leaders who will influence and champion Africa’s development and sustainability – and exercise global influence through visionary leadership.

Our scholarship gives scholars the opportunity to pursue a postgraduate Master’s degree in one of the UK’s top universities: Oxford, Cambridge or the LSE. And on completion of your studies, you’ll become a member of the Standard Bank Africa Chairman's Scholarship Alumni Network, which brings together professionals, activists and thinkers who share their passion for Africa's wellbeing and success. Future leaders to be proud of.

How does it work?

We offer nine scholarships, which are awarded annually. To be considered for the scholarship, you must first apply for your Maters at University of Cambridge, LSE or University of Oxford through their online process and indicate that you require funding. Once you have been accepted for your Masters, you’ll then go through the scholarship section process. If you’re eligible for the Standard Bank Africa Chairman’s Scholarship, you’ll be considered.

Developing young leaders to build a future for Africa, led by Africans

Thulani Gcabashe, Chairman of Standard Bank Group

There are numerous challenges facing Africa’s growth story, key amongst which is equitable access to education. Africa lacks universally accessible, high-quality education across the continent. Unless we address the educational needs of the many in a way that is sustainable, we will not be able to drive inclusive growth in a manner that’s builds a prosperous future for Africa.

To leverage the youth of this continent to contribute meaningfully to Africa’s future, we must ensure a fit for purpose education. In addition to education, training and mentoring becomes a very important part of nurturing Africa’s future leaders. The Standard Bank Africa Chairman’s Scholarship is designed to provide African graduates with an opportunity to expand their education and invest in themselves through international exposure that will give them a rounded and broader education.

We are committed to enabling and empowering students to become effective leaders in Africa. Through the Chairman’s Scholarship we support people who will be actively involved in building a future for Africa. We look for young Africans who are prepared to engage in finding solutions that will be implemented and led by Africans on this continent.

A key skill required from Africa’s future leaders is that of problem solving. The skill of understanding problems and identifying sustainable solutions. We need people who can identify opportunities and convert those opportunities into real life experiences. Ultimately, the kind of skills we aim to impart through the Chairman’s Scholarship are true leadership skills that are fit for developing societies.

Who can qualify?

The Chairman’s Scholarship is available to students who demonstrate exceptional academic merit, and a passion towards developing Africa.

To apply, you must the following criteria:

  • Be a graduate student who lives in and is a national of one of Standard Bank’s African operating countries
  • Demonstrate an exceptional academic track record
  • Have successfully qualified on your own merit in your application for a one-year Master’s programme at either the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge or the LSE
  • Be intellectually outstanding, entrepreneurial and demonstrate a natural capacity for business and leadership across disciplines relevant to growing and sustaining Africa.

Our scholarships apply to students studying in the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge or the LSE. The Chairman’s Scholarship covers a one-year Master’s course in the Social Sciences, Humanities or Mathematical or Physical or Life Sciences, at the University of Cambridge, LSE or Oxford University in the United Kingdom. Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) and Master’s in Public Policy (MPP) are excluded.

Preference will be given to students starting a course in any of the following:

University of Oxford
  • MSc African Studies
  • MSc Education (Digital and Social Change)
  • MSc Energy Systems
  • MSc Environmental Change and Management
  • MSc Financial Economics
  • MSc Mathematical and Computational Finance
  • MSc Sustainable Urban Development
London School of Economics and Political Science
  • MSc Environmental Economics and Climate Change
  • MSc Public Management and Governance
  • MSc Finance
  • MSc Risk and Finance
  • MSc Finance and Private Equity
  • MSc Real Estate Economics and Finance
  • MSc Law and Accounting
  • MSc Economics and Management
  • MSc Management Information Systems and Digital Innovation
  • MSc Management and Strategy
  • MSc Financial Mathematics
  • MSc Economics and Philosophy
  • MSc Environment and Development
  • MSc Behavioural Science
  • MSc Data Science
  • MSc Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • MSc Local Economic Development
  • MSc Urbanisation and Development
  • MSc Accounting and Finance
  • MSc Global Health Policy
  • MSc Health Policy, Planning and Financing
University of Cambridge
  • MPhil in Economics
  • MPhil in Education
  • MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development
  • MPhil in Finance
  • MPhil in Management
  • MPhil in Machine Learning and Machine Intelligence
  • MPhil African Studies
  • MPhil Development Studies
  • MPhil Sociology (Political & Economic)
  • MPhil Technology Policy

How to apply

It’s important to note that you’ll be required to apply for your Masters and indicate you require funding. There is no separate application form for the Chairman’s Scholarship. Application dates vary for each institution. Please refer to your university of choice for application dates.

Applications should be channelled directly through each University website, as follows:

If you’re applying for Cambridge, it’s important that you list Magdalene College as your first preference in order to be considered for the Scholarship.

You can contact the application offices of the above universities directly for help in completing the required documentation. All the forms and contact details you need can be found on their respective websites.

What’s the application criteria for the Standard Bank Africa Chairman’s Scholarship?
The Chairman's Scholarship is open to graduate students who can demonstrate exceptional academic merit, entrepreneurship and excellence in business and leadership, from any of our 20 Standard Bank Group African operating countries: Angola, Botswana, Cote d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, South Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

You'll also need to desire to embark on a one-year Master's in Social Sciences, Humanities, or Mathematical, Physical or Life Sciences, at the University of Cambridge, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) or University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.
What does the scholarship cover?
The scholarship covers full tuition fees, and also provides a stipend to cover your living costs, accommodation, travel, and visa costs.
How long is the Master’s qualification?
The scholarship is for a full-time Master’s degree, however the timeframe of the various Master’s courses can differ (e.g. some are nine months, others are 12 months) so please refer to the relevant websites for more details. The Standard Bank Africa Chairman’s Scholarship is 12 months (October of the entry year to September of the following year).
How many students are selected for the Chairman’s Scholarship each year?
We award nine scholarships annually, shared equally across our partner universities (University of Cambridge, LSE, and Oxford University).
Is there a payback or work back structure to Standard Bank Group?
No, the Chairman's Scholarship is an award with no payback or work back structure.
What is the application process?
To be considered for the scholarship, you must first apply to your chosen university through their online process and indicate that you require funding. Once accepted, you'll then be given the chance to go through the scholarship section process. If you're eligible for the Standard Bank Africa Chairman's Scholarship, you'll be considered and then informed if you've been awarded a scholarship place. As there are often more applicants than places available, we can’t guarantee every eligible applicant will be successful.
What Master’s qualification does the Scholarship cover?
The Scholarship covers a one-year Master’s course in Social Sciences, Humanities, or Mathematical, Physical or Life Sciences, at the University of Cambridge, LSE or Oxford University in the United Kingdom. Unfortunately, the Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) and Master’s in Public Policy (MPP) are excluded from the Standard Bank Africa Chairman’s Scholarship. 
What’s the application timeline for each university?
  • University of Cambridge: applications must be submitted between 1 September 2021 and most courses have a deadline of 2 December 2021, to be considered for the 2022/2023 academic year which starts 1 October 2022. Each course has its own funding and application deadlines which need to be considered.
  • LSE: applications must be submitted between 1 September 2021 and 30 April 2022 to be considered for the 2022/2023 academic year which starts 1 October 2022.
  • University of Oxford: applications must be submitted between 1 September 2021 and 31 January 2022 to be considered for the 2022/2023 academic year which starts 1 October 2022.
  • Each university has its own funding and application deadlines which need to be considered. Please see the online information for each University.
  • We strongly recommend you submit your application and all your supporting documents at least a week before your chosen deadline. 
When are the successful applicants notified?
The nine successful candidates will be notified by 30 June 2022 to start 1 October 2022.
Where can I find the application forms?
You can find the required application form for each university here:
Who do I contact to get more information on the application process?