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Scholarships for International Students in South Africa 2023-2024

by mayor seun
Scholarships for International Students in South Africa

South Africa is an attractive destination for international students seeking quality education in a diverse and vibrant environment. However, pursuing higher education can be financially challenging for many students.

To address this, various organizations, universities, and government bodies in South Africa offer scholarships specifically designed to support international students.

This article aims to provide an overview of scholarships available for international students in South Africa for the academic year 2023-2024. By highlighting these opportunities, we hope to assist students in finding suitable funding options to pursue their academic dreams in South Africa.

Government Scholarships in South Africa

Scholarships for International Students in South Africa

1. Department of Higher Education and Training Scholarships

The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) in South Africa offers scholarships to international students through its various programs. These scholarships cover a wide range of disciplines and academic levels, including undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctoral studies.

Some of the prominent scholarships under DHET include the National Research Foundation (NRF) Free-standing Scholarships, the South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARChI), and the South Africa-India Science and Technology Cooperation Program. Interested students can visit the DHET website or contact the department directly for detailed information on eligibility criteria, application procedures, and deadlines.

2. African Union Commission Scholarships

The African Union Commission provides scholarships to international students from African countries, including South Africa. These scholarships are awarded under the African Union’s Pan African University initiative, which aims to promote higher education and research in Africa.

The scholarships cover various fields of study, including science, technology, engineering, mathematics, agriculture, and health sciences. Eligibility criteria and application processes may vary depending on the specific scholarship program. Interested students can visit the African Union Commission’s official website for further details.

University Scholarships in South Africa

Scholarships for International Students in South Africa

1. University of Cape Town (UCT) Scholarships

As one of South Africa’s leading universities, the University of Cape Town offers several scholarships for international students. These scholarships aim to attract top talent and foster a diverse academic community.

The UCT Scholarships Office provides information on a range of funding opportunities, including the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program, the Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarships, and the UCT Postgraduate Funding Office scholarships. Prospective students can visit the UCT website or contact the Scholarships Office for specific eligibility criteria, application procedures, and deadlines.

2. University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) Scholarships

The University of the Witwatersrand, commonly known as Wits, also offers scholarships to international students. These scholarships are available at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels and cover various fields of study. Wits provides funding opportunities such as the Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarships, the Wits-TUB Urban Lab Scholarships, and the Beit Trust Scholarships for students from specific African countries.

Detailed information about these scholarships can be found on the Wits University website or by contacting the Wits Student Financial Aid and Scholarships Office.

Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Scholarships

Apart from government and university scholarships, several non-governmental organizations in South Africa offer financial assistance to international students. These organizations are dedicated to promoting education and fostering cultural exchange.

One such organization is the Canon Collins Trust, which provides scholarships to students from Southern Africa for postgraduate studies in various disciplines. Another notable organization is the Mandela Rhodes Foundation, which offers scholarships for postgraduate studies to young African leaders who exhibit academic excellence and leadership potential.

How to Apply for Scholarships in South Africa

  • Research and Identify Eligible Scholarship

To apply for scholarships in South Africa, it is crucial for students to research and identify scholarships that align with their academic goals and eligibility criteria. Students should carefully review the requirements, application deadlines, and supporting documents needed for each scholarship opportunity.

  • Prepare Application Documents

Once suitable scholarships have been identified, students should gather the necessary application documents. These typically include academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and proof of English language proficiency.

  • Submit Applications

Students should ensure that they submit their scholarship applications well before the specified deadlines. It is essential to follow all instructions provided by the scholarship providers and submit all required documents accurately and on time.


South Africa offers a wealth of scholarship opportunities for international students seeking to pursue their education in this dynamic country. From government scholarships to those offered by universities and non-governmental organizations, there are numerous avenues for financial support.

Students should thoroughly research and identify scholarships that best suit their academic aspirations. By taking advantage of these scholarships, international students can access quality education and contribute to South Africa’s academic landscape.

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