Careers Portal

MTN Solution Space



A space to make your mark and build a better future

The goal of the scholarships offered at the Solution Space is to nurture a new generation of leaders, teaching them to see past “business as usual”.  Through testing new models, these bold and visionary leaders will be equipped to shape Africa’s future for the better. The scholarships are aimed at supporting mid-career professionals and entrepreneurs who have shown a commitment to local development. These scholarships were created for African leaders for whom a post-graduate qualification is an integral part of their continued journey toward building a better world.

Our 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.  While scholars are distinct in their professional goals and ambitions and hail from all over Africa, they are united in their common goal: to have a significant impact in the world.

Scholarships are open to candidates appylying to either the Masters in Business Administration or Masters of Philosophy in Inclusive Innovation at the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business.

Our scholarships are made possible through the generous support of our industry partner, MTN Group.

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 of 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.
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

Key dates for the application process are given below.

Applications open
May 2017
Application deadline
31 October 2017
Scholarship shortlisting
November 2017
Shortlisted applicants invited for interview
Mid November 2017
Late November 2017
Scholarships offered
Early December 2017


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 2017.

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 by Skype or phone. We aim to tell you within a week of the interview whether you have been successful.

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Applicants are then notified if they are selected for an interview.
  3. 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

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.

Selection criteria

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.


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.


Have further questions? Here’s where to look for the answer.

  1. Does the scholarship apply to international students not having lived in an African country?
    Applicants must be South African or African citizens and must have been a permanent resident in South Africa or an African country for at least one year prior to applying.
  2. Does the scholarship apply to programmes at any other university?
    The scholarship only applies to the MBA or MPhil studies at the University of Cape Town’s, Graduate School of Business.
  3. Would the scholarship be available to Modular students as well?
    Yes, it will be.
  4. I have completed the online scholarship application; do you need anything else from me?
    You will need to complete the UCT GSB application to be accepted onto the program, this is a separate application to the MTN Scholarship application process. Please see UCT GSB application processes here.
  5. What supporting documents do I need to send with my application?
    We require applicants to supply the following documents in support of their application:
    • Your UCT GSB student registration number.
    • A copy of your CV.
    • A completed Affidivit.
  6. Will I have any obligations to work for MTN after graduation?
    No, the MTN Scholarships’ overarching mission is to build exceptional leadership capacity in Africa as well as creating over time a network of next generation TMT leaders across the continent.