Study and Research Opportunities in South Africa

Long and short-term academic programs are available in South Africa across many universities and educational centers. International students and researchers may apply to BA, MA, Ph.D., and postdoctoral research programs in South Africa. Moreover, summer schools and conferences are other excellent academic activities that make South Africa an attractive destination for scholars and scientists. Many programs also come with fully-funded scholarships and fellowships as well as travel grants and financial aid, thus every student, researcher, and professor can always find a suitable program in South Africa and apply.

Scholarships in South Africa

Fellowships in South Africa

Grants & Awards in South Africa

Summer programs in South Africa

South Africa as an academic destination

One of the first things you will hear about South Africa, both as a student or as a traveler, is that it's doing significant steps toward becoming a safer and more tolerant country. There are objective achievements in this process, as the picture for the country's paramount issues such as poverty, crime, and HIV/AIDS infections is becoming milder. However, the country is still in the process, which means the mentioned issues are not completely eliminated. Therefore, keep in mind that South Africa might not be one of the countries you can choose to wander at nonfamous streets in the late evenings. However, if you visit the crowded sites and the popular tourist attractions, the country will welcome you into a safe and highly engaging journey.

Among more than a million students admitted to South African universities every year, around 45,000 are international students. Many choose the country as it has the most comprehensive and popular academic culture in the region of Africa. 

International students from some countries, especially those from E.U. or U.S., might meet an interesting graduation system at South Africa's undergraduate education system that they are not accustomed to. In South Africa, in the 3rd year of the bachelor's studies, students either have an opportunity to stop the program and receive a bachelor's certificate or take one more additional year of studies and receive an honor's certificate. To obtain the honor's certificate, students should write and defend the thesis within the scope of their bachelor's studies program. 

Universities in South Africa

The breakdown of higher educational institutions in the country is as follows. There are universities, technikons (universities of technology), and comprehensive universities. Universities in South Africa have the same structure and academic activities as in the majority of other countries. Universities of technology are more vocational. Comprehensive universities combine features and approaches of the universities and technikons

South Africa is one of the countries which provide affordable education corresponding to the international quality levels. The best proof for that is the country's internationally ranked universities. Shortly after, see the list of the top 10 internationally ranked universities in S.A. according to the U.S. News classification. Before that, introduce yourself to the university of Cape Town, a key player in the country's academic infrastructure. 

The University of Cape Town is the highest-ranked S.A. university, not only according to the US News but Q.S. ranking and many other local and international university ranking platforms. It's also the oldest university in the country, with 1829 as a date of birth. The university hospital performed the first heart transplant surgery in the world. It's the top option for all students pursuing a career in South Africa and symbolizes the country's academic innovation. 

The other universities you can choose from include:

International student expenses in South Africa

University tuitions vary for domestic students and international students. However, there are exceptions for international students from certain countries. For example, if a student is from the Southern Africa Development Community, their tuition fees will be no different from that for domestic students. 

International students outside of SADC have higher prices for education; particularly, the undergraduate program costs might vary at a range of 3,500-4,700$. Graduate degree fees vary around 1,500-5,000$, and specialized programs like MBA can reach up to 29,500$ per program. 

In terms of accommodation, S.A. is one of the universities that provide students with living space. You might be offered to live in a university-shared dormitory, corridor apartment, or even private rooms based on a specific university. You might also receive meals-included offers from the universities. Otherwise, if you wish to stay in private housing, notify yourself about the top, and therefore the most expensive cities. 

The first among the popular student cities in South Africa is Cape Town. Cape Town is also the oldest city in the country, a must-visit place if one wants to fully explore the country's cultural diversity, architecture, and lifestyle. As you see below, it's also the home for the top universities of South Africa; that's why as a student, your choice might stop at this magnificent city. Q.S. The ranking identifies more university cities of South Africa, which include Johannesburg, Durban, and Pretoria. 

So, in the mentioned cities you can expect to spend up to 8,800$ on your living expenses per year. In smaller and more affordable cities, around 7,500$ budget per year is usually enough.

Research opportunities in South Africa

Through the adopted policies and creation of research-supporting institutions, you can shape the picture of the South African government's approach to scientific development in the country. Since 2002, there is a National Research and Development Strategy, which among other supporting acts and documents, supports the research initiative in the country. 

In 2003, the country also approved the National Biotechnology strategy, which hints about the national priority of this field of research. Therefore, if you pursue an education in this field, South Africa will provide you with all the support to continue research in the country. 

Generally, considering the country's all the scientific publications for the previous years, there is a list of the most popular research fields you might consider in South Africa. The list includes:

  • Clinical Medicine
  • Plant and Animal Sciences
  • Chemistry
  • Geosciences
  • Environmental/Ecology
  • Chemistry
  • Engineering
  • Materials Science
  • Physics
  • Space Science
  • Immunology
  • Agricultural Sciences
  • Materials Science
  • Mathematics, etc. 

Students have the opportunity to pursue a research career in their hosting universities, where they can take Ph.D. studies or get engaged in the university's research projects. Otherwise, there is an opportunity to apply directly to the research institutions, the complete list presented in the South African Government's list.

Another website you should save for your research career in South Africa includes that of the National Research Foundation, which is responsible for coordinating the whole research infrastructure. With the main responsibility to support and promote South African research potential in various fields, NRF can become your starting point for the researcher career in the country.