The Solution Space Scholarships 2016, Graduate School of Business, South Africa

Publish Date: Aug 22, 2016

Deadline: Oct 31, 2016

About the scholarship

The Solution Space Scholarships were created to nurture a new generation of leaders that move beyond “business as usual” to envision, develop and test new models that will shape our future. The scholarships were created to support bold and visionary African mid-career professionals and entrepreneurs who are committed to local innovation and for whom a postgraduate qualification is an essential step in their journey of shaping the future of our continent.

The overarching mission of the MTN Scholarship programme is to build exceptional leadership capacity in the technology, media and telecom sector, by providing excellent educational and training opportunities to individual Africans with leadership potential,
as well as creating over time a network of next generation TMT leaders across the continent.

"We believe in bright ideas, combined with passion, resources and a strong network, to create profound solutions. We believe in the potential of individuals to boldy envision and pioneer solutions for Africa, by Africa, in Africa. We believe in committed agents of change to shape the future of our continent”

– Paul Norman (Chief Human Resources and Corporate Affairs Officer, MTN Group)


To be considered for a MTN Scholarship you must:

  1. Applicants must be a citizen from an African country and a Permanent Resident for at least 1 year.
  2. Apply to pursue either the MBA or the MPhil in Inclusive Innovation programme at the UCT GSB. Applicants will only be able to take up the MTN Scholarship if successfully admitted to the UCT GSB programme. For full details about the MBA programme or MPhil programme, criteria and how to apply to the business school click here
  3. Financial Need Criteria
    Financial Need must be illustrated as follows:
    • Full declaration of all details required must be recorded in the space provided on the Affidavit for the MTN Scholars Program at the University of Cape Town
    • Details fo all property and assets of any nature must be declared on the Affidavit provided.
    • UCT reserves the right to request that applicants furnish evidence of answers/statements on the application form. If it is found that the provided information is false or untrue, the University further reserves the right to disqualify an application and/or to cancel and recover any scholarship funds that may have been paid out to an awardee.

Area of focus

For the academic year 2016-2017 we will be offering scholarships to those passionate about: 

  • Education: How might we use digital technologies, adaptive learning tools and analytics to enable personalised learning that leads to improved learning outcomes for the majority in Africa? How can digital technologies, devices and blended learning pedagogy be used for impact in school environments?
  • Health and Wellbeing: How might we use digital technologies to address challenges in Africa across healthcare, nutrition, mental health or safety and violence for the majority? How might data deliver more advanced tools for health prevention, participation, diagnosis and treatment?
  • Smart Cities: How might we use the Internet of Things (IoT), civic tech and open data to address the challenges of urbanization in African cities, such as traffic congestion, waste disposal and rising energy usage?
  • Open Imagination: We are open to outside-of-the-box technology-enabled ideas. So if you believe you have an idea and project that we will want to hear about, submit your application under the category Open Imagination.

Scholar characteristics 

MTN Scholars are known for their professional integrity, bold and visionary leadership, a spirit of innovation and inquisitiveness, active collaboration, entrepreneurial drive and track record of action.  

What this means to us is

  • Integrity • Be honest • Deliver on promises • Do what is right • Be truthful to others and yourself • Be trustworthy and reliable
  • Leadership • Lead by example • Be an inspiration • Provide vision • Be accountable, take ownership • Be dependable
  • Innovation • Be creative, create new ideas • Do things differently • Be original • Focus on solutions • Think outside the box
  • Relationships • Work together, cooperate • Share ideas through teamwork • 
    Be caring and friendly • Show respect • Communicate
  • Can do • Be positive • Believe in yourself • Show willingness • Endure and have courage  • Believe it can be done
  • Entrepreneurial spirit • Create value • Deliver excellence • Exploit opportunities • 
    Be adaptable • Plan for growth

How we select

A three stage process is used to ensure Scholars meet our selection criteria to the highest degree.

1. Departmental Ranking - The Selection Committee asks the MBA or MPhil Admissions boards at UCT GSB to rank eligible applicants on their application to their selected academic programme.

2. Shortlisting - Once the Selection Committee has a list of all ranked applicants, these are divded into the focus areas and passed to our Selection Committees. Applicants who are invited for interview will show evidence of meeting the Scholar Characteristics.

3. Interview - All shortlisted applicants are invited for a 20-minute interview, and depending on where you are, you can either attend in person or choose to be interviewed by Skype or by telephone. The panel usually consists of a representative of the Solution Space, an academic and may include a representative of MTN. Scholars are selected after interview.

Feedback - Please note that UCT GSB and MTN are not able to provide feedback to applicants.


An MTN Scholarship is awarded for one or maximum of two years and covers the full cost of tuition and registration fees at UCT GSB, as set by the business school.

The Scholars can also apply for several types of funding on a discretionary basis. For example an economy-class travel allowance for Scholars travelling from their home country to the business school at the beginning and back home at the end of their degree programme, a stipend, or to attend additional conferences or workshops, or conduct fieldwork and pilots.


We advise that you begin your application as early as possible and do not wait until the deadline. Applications should be submitted by midnight on the evening of 31 October 2016.

Once your application has been received, a shortlisting committee will evaluate your application using our selection criteria for the Scholarship, to produce a final interview list.

We hold interviews in late November. If you are unable to attend in person we will interview you.

How to apply

It is not possible to apply for a MTN Scholarship without applying to the business school.

Applicants must first be eligible and apply for the academic programme at the UCT GSB (via the Admissions Office). For full details about the MBA programme or MPhil Inclusive Innovation programme, criteria and how to apply to the business school click here.

Applicants must submit the MTN Scholarship Application online form together with their UCT application number received from the UCT GSB Admissions Office. Required supporting documents include a CV and completed Affidavit.
Applicants are then notified if they are selected for an interview.
The final decision and award of the MTN Scholarship will be made by a Scholarship selection panel, following which applicants will be informed by mid December 2015. Applicants will only be able to take up the MTN Scholarship if successfully admitted to the UCT GSB programme.
It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure they submit all documents required so they can be considered for both admission and a MTN Scholarship.

How we select

The following criteria apply in the selection of MTN Scholars.

  1. Applicant has started or worked in an entrepreneurial venture, or demonstrated entrepreneurial and innovative strategies within an organisation for at least one year. Applicants should be able to demonstrate experience or strong interest in their chosen focus area (education, health, smart cities). A track record of exploring or initiating innovative approaches in these sectors is preferable.
  2. Applicants must demonstrate professional integrity, bold and visionary leadership, a spirit of innovation and inquisitiveness, active collaboration, entrepreneurial drive and a track record of action.
  3. Applicants must demonstrate some need for the scholarship, through either previous work experience, personal background or demonstrated commitment to start a venture, which make self-funding the programme a significant burden.

The University of Cape Town reserves the right to disqualify ineligible, incomplete and/or inappropriate applications.

The University of Cape Town reserves the right to change the conditions of award or to make no awards at all.

The succesful candidate will be required to: 

  • be registered for full or part-time study on the MBA/MPhil at the UCT Graduate School of Business;
  • comply with the University's approved policies, procedures and practices for the postgraduate sector; and
  • take an entrepreneurial route in their studies (via research and elective choices) and contribute to the GSB's Entrepreneurship or Technology Club.

For more information click "Further official information" below.

This opportunity has expired. It was originally published here:

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Opportunity Types


Eligible Countries


Host Countries

South Africa