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The South African higher education is considered the best of the entire African continent. With more than 800,000 students in the country, Schools are recognized worldwide and have also set up many exchange programs with other countries, even other continents.

The academic year is divided into two sessions: from late January to June and from July to November . (Reminder : the seasons are reversed compared to the northern hemisphere, the summer from mid -October to mid-February, the winter from May to July )

There are two types of universities: State Universities and Universities of Technology or Technikons .

The universities:

They offer lessons from 1 to 3rd cycle in areas as diverse and varied : information technology , medicine, administration, social sciences , law, agriculture, civil engineering, architecture , natural sciences, etc …

Admission is almost always on the entrance examination. We will have to learn about the practical arrangements with your future host university !


These are technical schools or Universities of Technology in which three years of study leading to a national diploma, or 4 years of study (Bachelor’s degree of Technology) , preparing for insertion into professional life in the technology sector or the Trade.

The admission requirements are less stringent for state universities: just hold the Senior Certificate , the equivalent of Bac .

Undergraduate : 1st cycle
Courses with a duration of 3 to 4 years leading to a Bachelor’s degree .
The Honour ‘s degree is obtained him a year after the Bachelor’s degree but is the study of a single domain of deepening .

Graduate : 2nd and 3rd cycle
These cycles are open to holders of a Bachelor’s degree . It is sanctioned by :
– The Master ‘s degree : one to three years of study after the graduate level
– The Doctoral Degree : 4 years and more after the graduate level . Applicants for this degree will perform research work and produce a dissertation.

Admission to the University is almost always on the entrance examination. We will have to learn about the practical arrangements with your future college.

Visit the websites of universities. You will find the registration forms to download. Registration deadlines are not always identical to those of local students and may vary depending on subjects chosen .

Warning ! It is therefore advisable to start your efforts six months before departure.

To check your equivalences:
If you are in the first cycle, you need a ” Certificate of Exemption from the Matriculation Board ,” which is under the Ministry of the South African education.

If you are students graduate , go to the website of ” South African Qualifications Authority “

Admission requirements in Technikons are less stringent , simply hold the equivalent of Bac .


It’s in English that classes are conducted . You will be asked a TOEFL score of 550

This test evaluates ” the ability of non-English speaking candidates to use and understand English as it is spoken and written in an academic setting This is an assessment tool recognized level of academic English. at the International scale.”

To pass the test on the spot:

55 Empire Road
Empire Park building
Block C Floor -ground
Johannesburg, South Africa

Medical visit

The procedure for obtaining a student license requires passing a medical. Educate yourself well on arrangements with the South African Embassy , when you make your application package .

Health Insurance

You ‘ll have to take out student health insurance , as in many other countries. The average price is generally about 10 euros per month.

The International Education Association of South Africa ( IEASA ) offers health insurance plans specifically dedicated to students. Feel free to contact them for some advice before subscribing to any offer .

International Education Association of South Africa
P.O.Box : 65099
Reservoir Hills
Durban 4090
South Africa

The temporary permit allows you to stay in South Africa for a limited period: from 30 days to three years depending on the type of license.
You must apply for a tourist visa from the Embassy of South Africa in your country before leaving.

The following will be checked:
– The validity of the passport with an expiration date must not be less than 30 days after the end of the visit
– One of the pages marked “visa” on the passport must be white, that is to say completely unused
– A vaccination certificate is required if the journey starts or includes going through the countries of Africa or South America affected by yellow fever
– Proof of sufficient funds
– The return ticket or onward travel
– Documentation confirming the purpose and duration of the visit.

For citizens of visa-free countries, the temporary residence permit will be affixed to the passport on arrival without prior approach.

Study permits

To obtain a study permit, you can apply at the Embassy of South Africa in your country. This license will give you more opportunities to work 20 hours per week during the school year and full time during holidays.
If you need a permit extension or an internship you must contact the Home Affairs of the Government.

In addition to the documents required to obtain a visa, you must provide proof of registration with a letter from your prospective institution. The letter must clearly indicate: courses taken, the duration of the course, payment of registration fees.

Cost: $ 200 (100,000 CFA francs)

Several local and international scholarships are awarded annually to South African students and researchers and foreign students. A list is available on the website of the Department of Education.
Other grants are also available on the National Research Foundation site.

Gauteng Province - Johannesburg

University of Johannesburg : This university is one of the largest in South Africa . It has about 45,000 students. It has four campuses: Auckland Park Kingsway, Auckland Park Bunting Road, Doornfontein and Soweto. The campuses differ in size and each with its own character and its own culture, contributing to the institution’s rich diversity.

The University of the Witwatersrand is based in Johannesburg. It is one of the leading research institutions in South Africa , attracting students from across the continent. The University of Witwatersrand offer courses in the faculties of engineering , civil engineering , environment, humanities ( social sciences) , health sciences , sciences and commerce.

The Tshwane University of Technology : This university has about 60,000 students and is in number of students, the largest in South Africa. It has six well equipped respondents to the needs of different communities in South Africa campus. The six campuses are located in the following cities : Pretoria West, Soshanguve , Ga- Rankuwa , Witbank , Nelspruit and Polokwane .

Gauteng Province - Pretoria

The University of South Africa , (UNISA) is one of the biggest universities offering distance education in the world. It is based in Pretoria. The distance courses are open to students worldwide.

The University of Pretoria was founded in 1930. It is one of the largest in South Africa with about 40 000 students, including 2000 international students from 60 countries. The Gordon Institute of the University , specializing in business sciences, was founded in 2000 in Johannesburg. He already has an international reputation. In addition, the University of Pretoria has a faculty of veterinary science at Onderstepoort which is the only of its kind in South Africa.

Tshwane University of Technology : This university has about 60,000 students and is in number of students, the largest in South Africa. It has six well equipped campuses respondents to the needs of different communities in South Africa . The six campuses are located in the following cities : Pretoria West, Soshanguve , Ga- Rankuwa , Witbank , Nelspruit and Polokwane .

Province of Eastern Cape

Cape Peninsula University of Technology : with more than 32,000 students on two main campuses : Bellville and Cape Town, and three satellite campuses : Mowbray , Granger Bay and Wellington , this university is the largest in the province of the Western Cape .

The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University : This university has more than 20,000 students on eight campuses in Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape and George Province of the Western Cape . It opened its doors on 1 January 2005. This is a new generation university that focuses on innovation , creativity and technology. She wants her students to meet the challenges of tomorrow.

Rhodes University: This university is based in Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape province. Its name is a tribute to Cecil Rhodes , businessman , former Prime Minister of the Cape Colony and founder of Rhodesia . She has more than a century and is known for its journalism department . It has about 7000 students./p>

The university Walter Sisulu receives about 20,000 students on campuses in East London, Butterworth, Mthatha and Queenstown . It offers many courses in eleven faculties.

The University of Cape Town is the oldest university in South Africa. It was founded in 1829. It has one of the world’s most scenic campus , located on the slopes of Devil summit of the mounting table overlooking Rondebosch in Cape Town. The university is considered one of the very best research institutions on the continent . The university is home to Groote Schuur Hospital where the first heart transplant in the world was held in 1967.

The University of Fort Hare founded in 1916, is historically the oldest black university in South Africa. It has hosted many South African leaders such as Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo , Govan Mbeki or Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi . The University of Fort Hare has three campuses in the Eastern Cape province ( Eastern Cape ) to Alice, Bhisho and East London . It offers a range of courses in its faculties of education , science and agriculture, social sciences , management and commerce. It also has the Nelson Mandela School of Law.