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Below is a list of scholarships that are normally available for South Africans annually, along with links to more information so that you can plan for and prepare your applications.
The call for applications for some scholarships may not be open right now but it’s a good idea to plan your scholarship applications well in advance. Some of the things you could do include:
- Gather and scan all your documents such as official academic records and certificates, and passport;
- Identify possible academic references;
- Prepare a research proposal;
- Discuss your application plans with your family;
- Discuss your plans with an academic supervisor;
- Start learning the language of the country you want to go to;
- Research institutions and courses in the country;
- Plan for any financial resources you may require;
- Research the countries you are interested in.
All scholarships receive a large number of applications, meaning that only the strongest candidates will be awarded the scholarships. Meeting the minimum requirements does not mean that you will get the award. You are competing with all other applicants for a limited number of spaces, therefore you should submit your best application possible to increase your chances of being shortlisted. Plan your application well in advance and before submitting, read it, re-read it, and get someone else to read it to ensure that it makes sense and you avoid spelling or grammar mistakes that can cost you the opportunity.
Applicants must meet similar or even higher entry criteria as required to get into a similar programme at a South African university. A strong academic record is important, but so is a clear motivation for your application, goals for your future career and a commitment to social and economic development in South Africa.
Each scholarship has different application dates, criteria and eligibility. Be sure to read the information documents carefully when they do become available!
No applications for medical degrees are accepted at present for any international scholarship programmes offered in partnership with the DHET.
We have developed a calendar of scholarship application dates to assist you in estimating when calls for applications are likely to be opened. These dates are based on previous calls and may change from year-to-year. Click on the button below to download the calendar, otherwise click on the countries listed below for more information about the scholarships available in those countries.
AUSTRALIA: Master's, short courses
The Australia Awards is the cornerstone of the Australian Government's development assistance program for Africa. It provides access to postgfion, training and professional development opportunities for suitably qualified Africans from eligible countries. On their return to the workplace, Australia Awards alumni are expected to contribute to the development of their home countries. More information is availalbe at https://www.australiaawardsafrica.org/
CHINA: Language, Bachelor's, Master's, PhD
The Chinese Government Scholarship for South African students is offered annually and is implemented jointly by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) and the China Scholarship Council (CSC). Scholarships are available in any field of study, but priority fields will be identified in the call for applications and postgraduate applicants will be given preference.
Applications can be submitted for non-degree Chinese language studies, Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD studies. Scholarship recipients at Bachelor’s level are ONLY taught in Chinese and applicants must have the required level of Chinese (minimum of HSK4). This applies even where English language programmes are available. If you want to do a Bachelor’s degree in China, you can apply to do non-degree Chinese language training, but you will have to apply for the scholarship again once you are ready to start your Bachelor’s degree.
The academic year starts in September and the application period is normally from the previous December until February each year. Scholarship applicants are required to apply to a Chinese university directly, in addition to submitting a scholarship application. Postgraduate applicants, particularly at PhD level are encouraged to establish contact with their chosen institution.
This scholarship is expected to be offered annually. Closing dates are subject to change each year. The full details on how to apply, eligibility and criteria will be available when the call is open for applications. Please sign up to our contact list to be alerted when new opportunities become available.
For information on other scholarship in China visit our External Links page.
CHINA: Semester Scholarships
Scholarships to spend one semester in China are also available annually for South African students studying at South African universities. Contact your international office to see if your university is participating and if you are eligible.
FRANCE: Master's, PhD
The French Embassy scholarship programme offers an opportunity to South African students to acquire skills and develop a personal project in a unique and attractive environment. The call for applications is launched every year and is open for all disciplines.
The differences between the Southern and Northern hemisphere academic calendars are taken into account and a specific track will be proposed to laureates.
To be eligible for the Scholarship Programme, applicants must be:
- Under the age of 35 years old at the time of the application
- A South African National
- Eligible to enroll in a Master’s or PhD programme in France.
- For Master’s degree, the scholarship will be granted for a duration of between 10 and 22 months;
- For PhDs, the scholarship will be granted for a maximum duration of 3 years. It can be under a "cotutelle" or joint doctorate scheme.
Follow CampusFrance South Africa on social media or alternatively contact firstname.lastname@example.org
GERMANY: Master's, PhD, Post doc
The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) awards a variety of postgraduate scholarships to South Africans for study and research in Germany as well as in other Sub-Saharan African countries. Its main scholarships are written out with fixed deadlines every year. One often must plan sufficient time to prepare an application running up to a particular deadline. For the scholarship application for a full PhD in Germany, for instance, one would ideally identify a supervisor in Germany one year before the deadline and work on the research proposal for several months running up to the deadline. The scholarships are highly competitive.
For an overview of scholarships awarded annually by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the website of the DAAD Information Centre Johannesburg may be consulted: www.daad.org.za/scholarships
The DAAD Information Centre Johannesburg provides information and advice on study and research in Germany as well as funding opportunities in Germany and Sub-Saharan Africa. The centre can assist with scholarship queries from other German funders as well, such as the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, which mainly awards postdoctoral funding opportunities in Germany.
DAAD Information Centre Johannesburg
HUNGARY: Bachelor's, Master's, PhD
An agreement has been signed between the Governments of South Africa and Hungary, offering 100 scholarships per year to South African students for study at participating public universities in Hungary.
Scholarships are offered for:
- Bachelors: natural sciences and sustainable environment, engineering and information technology, agricultural science and food science.
- Masters: Natural Sciences (especially Biotechnology, Bioenergetics and Renewable Energy); Engineering (especially Mining Engineering, Information Technology); Economics, Business and Management Studies and Tourism; Agricultural Science and Food Science; Physical Education and Coaching, Adult Education, and Human Resources Development; International Relations and European Studies; and Hungarian Language Studies.
- PhD: All fields of study.
Applicants are not required to apply separately to a Hungarian university, as this will be done as part of the selection process.
The academic year starts in September and the application period is normally from the previous December until February each year. Closing dates are subject to change each year. The full details on how to apply, eligibility and criteria will be available when the call is open for applications. Please sign up to our contact list to be alerted when new opportunities become available.
For links to more information about studying in Hungary, programmes and institutions visit our External Links page.
The Kader Asmal Fellowship Programme offers about 15 scholarships annually for a one-year Master’s degree in Ireland.
"This fellowship was set up in 2012 in honour of the late Professor Kader Asmal, who taught law at Trinity College Dublin for 27 years, specialising in Human Rights, Labour, and International Law. He co-founded the Irish Anti-Apartheid Movement in 1963 and served as Chair until his return to South Africa in 1990. He was part of the ANC team that negotiated the transition to democracy. In 1994, he became Minister for Water Affairs and Forestry in the first ANC Government after the advent of democracy and served as Minister for Education from 1999 to 2004. He died in June 2011."
Scholarships are normally available for studies in the following fields:
- Agriculture, Environmental Science, Conservation and Rural Development
- Food Science and Food Engineering
- Pharmacy, Biotechnology and Bioengineering
- Health, Medicine and Health Economics
- Development Studies, Peace Studies, Conflict Resolution and Humanitarian Action
- Social Policy, Social Research, Community Development and Sociology
- Women’s Studies, Gender Studies, Equality Studies
- Law and Human Rights
- International Relations, Politics, Government and Ethics
- Engineering, Hydrology, Sustainable Technology
- Economics, Finance and Accounting
- Management and Business
- Information Systems and Communications Technology
Applications normally open in August each year for the academic year beginning in the September of the following year. Closing dates are subject to change each year, so we recommend that you sign up to our contact list to receive information when the call opens.
After the scholarship selection process, successful candidates will be assisted with an application to an Irish university.
For more information visit the CanonCollins website
ITALY: Master's, PhD, Research
The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI) offers grants to South Africans annually to pursue study, training and/or research programmes at Italian higher education institutions. Applications normally closed in April for studies beginning the following September.
We anticipate that the offer will continue to be available in future and will be promoted on this website.
General information about the grant can be accessed on the website of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation here.
South African applications are processed by the Italian Institute of Culture in Pretoria.
MAURITIUS: Diploma, Bachelor's, Master's, PhD
The Government of Mauritius offers scholarships to South Africans under the Mauritius–Africa Scholarship Scheme. The Department of Higher Education and Training is the nominating agency for this scholarship. Applications normally close during March. Details on the process and deadlines will be published on this website when the call is opened.
Please note that applications for medical degrees are NOT considered.
The Swedish Government is offering ten scholarships per year until 2021 to talented and ambitious South African students who wish to pursue their Master’s degree at a university in Sweden. The Swedish Institute Scholarship for South Africa (SISSA) is open to highly qualified students who are citizens of South Africa.
The programme offers an opportunity for aspiring future leaders to develop professionally and academically, to experience the culture in Sweden, and build a long-lasting relationship with Sweden.
Priority will be given to students who have chosen programmes that focus on: Environmental Technology / Sustainable development; Nanotechnology; Engineering; Design (industrial Design, architecture, urban / regional planning); Computer Science and IT; Gender Studies and Public Health.
Scholarship applicants must first apply for admission to a Swedish institution (this does involve an application fee). For general guidelines on studies in Sweden, please visit www.studyinsweden.se. Limited support for the application fee might be available from the Department, more information will be published in the Call.
SWITZERLAND: PhD, Post doc, Research
Each year, the Swiss Confederation awards Government Excellence Scholarships for international post-graduate researchers in any discipline. This is done with the intention of promoting international exchange and research cooperation between Switzerland and 180 other countries. Applications from South Africans normally close in December each year, and can only be submitted by fulfilling all the application requirements published in the annual call. More information on this scholarship is available at www.sbfi.admin.ch/scholarships_eng.
TURKEY: Language, Bachelor, Master's, PhD and Research
Türkiye Scholarships is a government-funded scholarship programme designed for outstanding international students and researchers from all around the World, to provide fulltime and short-term scholarship opportunities for all levels of higher education in the most prestigious Turkish universities.
The programme awards 5 000 scholarships annually.
For more information on the scholarships, read the programme outline.
UNITED KINGDOM: Master's, PhD
Chevening Scholarship (Master’s)
The process of selecting Chevening Scholars takes a minimum of eight months from the application deadline to when scholars are conditionally selected for an award. Keep a look out for application information on http://www.chevening.org/
Commonwealth Scholarship (Master’s)
For full time Master’s studies at a UK institution under the following themes: 1) Science and technology for development; 2) Strengthening health systems and capacity 3) Promoting global prosperity 4) Strengthening global peace, security and governance 5) Strengthening resilience and response to crises 6) Access, inclusion and opportunity.
The Department of Higher Education and Training is the nominating agency for the Commonwealth Scholarship. Applicants must only submit an application through the Commonwealth website and do not have to apply separately to the DHET. Information on the scholarship can be accessed here or visit the British Council: South Africa website. The call will also be published on this website when it is opened.
The Rhodes Scholarships (Master's and PhD)
The Rhodes Scholarships, the preeminent and oldest global scholarships programme in the world, are for post-graduate, full-time studies at Oxford University in the UK. Online applications are invited from outstanding young graduates who excel academically; demonstrate leadership skills and are committed to making a difference in the broader community, both locally and internationally.
Ten Rhodes Scholarships are awarded annually to graduates in the Southern African constituency (comprising South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia and eSwatini), wishing to pursue Masters or doctoral studies at Oxford University in most disciplines/fields of study.
Annually applications for the academic year ahead open on 01 June. Applications for 2022 open on 01 June 2021 and close on 15 August 2021.
For detailed information on selection criteria and the region/selection committee to which you should apply, kindly visit www.rhodeshouse.ox.ac.uk.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Master's, PhD
The Fulbright Program offers candidates an opportunity to complete Master's/PhD in the United States.
Fulbright scholarships are also available to PhD students, who are enrolled at a South African university or tertiary institute, and who intend to conduct one year’s research at a tertiary institute in the United States.
More information for potential South African applicants is availalbe on the website of the US Embassy in South Africa: Fulbright Scholarship
Applications for Fulbright close more than a year ahead of the start of the proposed studies, so planning well ahead is advised.
We may also advertise other scholarships that are offered during the course of the year.
Keep an eye out for opportunities in Algeria, the Pan-African University, Sri Lanka, Serbia, Azerbaijan, New Zealand, Chile, and Japan. Actual offers may vary from year-to-year.