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I have been accepted to study at a university overseas. Can the department of higher education and training fund my studies?
Unfortunately we are not able to fund students who are not part of our existing scholarship partnerships, which are advertised through calls for applications, and are made available on our website. Even some of the scholarships advertised here are not fully funded and may require students to self-fund some aspects of their studies or living expenses.
I have been offered a full scholarship from a foreign university or government. How do I know if it is legitimate?
If you are offered a scholarship or you are planning to study overseas and would like to check if it is legitimate, there are a number of things you should check before accepting the offer:
- Check that the institution is recognized by emailing email@example.com
- Contact the embassy/ consulate of the country concerned to see if the scholarship is recognized by that government.
- Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to ask if the DHET is aware of the scholarship programme.
If you are planning to study towards a professional degree (eg medicine, engineering, law, accountancy etc), first find out from the relevant professional council if your foreign degree will be recognized to practice in South Africa, or what you will have to do upon completion to have it recognised. A list of recognized professional bodies is available on the SAQA website www.saqa.org.za.
Even if the scholarship offer is legitimate, a "full" scholarship can mean different things. Make sure you know exactly what is going to be covered for you, and most importantly what is not going to be covered. If you are offered a living allowance, find out what the cost of living is where you will be and if the amount will be enough or if you will need your own funds to top it up. This may also depend on the standard of living you would like (eg sharing a room, distance from university, etc)
Anyone who takes up an international scholarship is doing so at their own risk. Should they encounter challenges while they are abroad, the DHET will be unable to ensure their safety and/or take care of their expenses.
What should I do if I have been accepted to study at a foreign university and can pay for my own studies?
Studying abroad is expensive, and you want to make sure that your investment is going to be worthwhile. We have some tips for you, before you decide to spend a lot of money and time on your studies in a foreign country.
Check that the institution is recognized and legitimate by emailing a query with its name and your proposed course to email@example.com
If you are planning to study towards a professional degree (eg medicine, engineering, law, accountancy etc) check with the relevant professional council if your foreign degree will be recognized to practice in South Africa or what you will have to do upon completion to be registered to practise (it is best to check this BEFORE you start your studies to avoid disappointment).
Ensure that you understand all costs involved in funding your studies and living expenses overseas. Your costs may include registration and tuition, accommodation, international travel, transport, meals, textbooks, visas and permits, medical costs and medical or emergency insurance, personal expenses, amongst other things. The exchange rate may also fluctuate during your studies. Regardless of your situation, the DHET is not able to take over your funding part way through you studies if you run out of funds.
Register your name and contact details in the foreign country with the nearest South African Embassy / High Commission / Consulate. They are there to assist you in case of an emergency, or to assist you with Home Affairs (Consular) matters. Please note that they are not able to assist you with any form of funding.
Understand the laws and the political and cultural context of the country you are going to. Adjust your behaviour and decisions accordingly.
What do scholarships cover?
All scholarship offers are different and may cover only some or all of the following: Registration and tuition, accommodation, international travel, transport, meals, textbooks, visas and permits, a monthly allowance and/or medical insurance. Scholarship recipients must make sure that they know and understand what the offer made to them includes and what it does not include. If you are offered a living allowance, find out what the cost of living is where you will be and if the amount will be enough or if you will need your own funds to top it up. This may also depend on the standard of living you would like (eg are you happy to share a room and bathroom facilities, will you be comfortable with the local food etc).
Can I apply for international scholarships if I am already a scholarship holder?
Some scholarship funders prefer candidates who already have a scholarship and other funders do not consider existing scholarship awards. Please check each scholarship requirements and ensure that you comply with it.
Can I bring along my family members to the country of study?
It is not advisable that you bring along your family members to your country of study. Some scholarship funders allow scholarship holders to bring along their family members at their own costs, and others do not allow scholarship holders to bring their family along during the course of study. Please check what is acceptable in each scholarship that you apply for.
How do I get information on available international scholarships?
The DHET promotes international scholarships on our website www.internationalscholarships.dhet.gov.za and here you can also register to receive e-mails when new offers become available. There are many other funding opportunities available directly from institutions or online, but make sure your information is coming from a legitimate source.
Can my parent(s) get involved / how do i get information on my child's scholarship application?
We do not offer international scholarships to minors and therefore all applicants must be at least 18 years old. All applicants are therefore legally adults. It does not reflect positively on an applicant's status as an independent student if we receive communication from parents or guardians regarding the application process or status. Applicants should deal with us directly at all times regarding all aspects of their scholarship application. This continues to apply should an applicant be successful and receive a scholarship. All queries and correspondence should be handled by the applicant / student. We cannot deal with others acting on their behalf. We can however provide general information about a scholarship offer for parents who have queries and / concerns.
Are DHET-supported scholarships open to non-South African students?
All DHET-supported scholarships are open to South Africans only. In some cases, they may be open to permanent residents, depending on the scholarship. Evidence of permanent residency may be required. If you are not a South African citizen or permanent resident, we recommend that you contact the relevant government department in your country for information about opportunities for which you may be eligible to apply.
I am a scholarship agent and have a scholarship offer that I want to promote. How can I submit my scholarship offer?
We prefer scholarship offers to be sent to us via diplomatic channels, however, please send us a request to promote your scholarship with as much detail as possible for us to consider. You can send your request to: firstname.lastname@example.org Even if your scholarship offers tuition fees, please note that most South Africans are not in a position to cover the costs of accommodation, international travel and living in a foreign country.
Can South Africans who are already studying abroad apply for a DHET scholarship to complete their studies?
Generally, the DHET-supported scholarships are provided for the full duration of a degree. If you have already started your studies overseas but think that you meet all the minimum criteria of a scholarship offer, you may submit an application. You are not guaranteed to be offered the scholarship and if you are, it may have different language requirements or be at a different institution.
Do I have to be accepted to or apply for the university that I want to go to overseas before I can apply for a scholarship?
This depends on the scholarship that you want to apply for. You will have to read the call for applications carefully as some scholarships do require you to submit a university application separately from your scholarship application, while others do not.
I want to study in South Africa, how do I get funding?
For bursaries or scholarships to study at a South African institution, we advise that you contact your university/institution's Financial Aid Office, and enquire about the funding that may be available to you.
Postgraduate funding for studies in South Africa is available through the National Research Foundation (NRF). Please visit www.nrf.org.za for more details.
The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is a government entity under the Department of Higher Education and Training established to provide financial support to disadvantaged students who wish to further their studies at public universities or TVET colleges. Further information can be accessed on their website: www.nsfas.org.za
I have done some of my studies overseas, but cannot continue due to financial reasons / political upheaval / natural disaster / health or other reasons, can you help me to transfer to a South African university?
Unfortunately, regardless of the circumstances, the DHET is not able to facilitate your application to a South African university. You will have to approach the university directly to submit an application.
I have a degree from abroad, how do I get it verified in South Africa?
I am currently working, what will happen to my position if I take up a scholarship?
If you are employed when you apply for a scholarship, you are advised to discuss your application with your employer. It is your responsibility to ensure that you will be granted leave from work or will otherwise be released in time to take up your studies, in case you are selected for a scholarship. The DHET will not intervene with your employer in this regard, whether you are in the public or private sector.
Will the DHET find me a job or internship when I complete my studies overseas?
If you are awarded a scholarship to study overseas by the DHET, it will be your responsibility to find work placement or employment upon completion. Scholarships are not linked to any company or government employment, unless otherwise stated in the Call for Applications or in a contract that you will sign before departure. Selection of candidates for scholarships may include an assessment of how well you have demonstrated your own ability to link the international study opportunity with your personal career goals and aspirations.
Can I apply for an international scholarship if I have a disability?
Scholarships that are specifically intended for people with disabilities will state this clearly in the call for applications. There are also some scholarships that will actively encourage applicants with disabilities to apply and therefore appropriate support for you is likely to be available. However, it is always a good idea to discuss your particular needs with the scholarship agency.
As different institutions and countries have varying levels of support and resources available for students with disabilities, it is recommended that prior research be done by the applicant before or during the application process. It is also recommended that you discuss your requirements with the scholarship agency to find out whether they would be able to fund your requirements or ensure that you are catered for during your studies, and to avoid a situation where you are unable to access your studies or a support system whilst in a foreign country.