Programme outline

The scholarship may be awarded for undergraduate (Bachelors) in the identified scarce skills or postgraduate (Masters or PhD). Most programmes are taught in the Russian language and applicants with no command of Russian are required to take the language preparatory course for one year before pursuing major studies. Only after passing the examinations of the college preparatory course can they start their degree studies.

The Department of Higher Education and Training is responsible for nominations for this scholarship.

Who can apply?

South African citizens in good health (medical test will be required for successful applicants);
Have a strong academic record with a minimum 65% average in previous studies;
Be available to study in Russia from September 2018;
Demonstrate interest in Russia and commitment to the development of South Africa;
Applications in all fields of study expect medicine will be considered;
Preference will be given to postgraduate applicants, previously disadvantaged applicants and applicants in the following fields;

Environment and Climate change
Engineering sciences
Maritime Studies
Natural and physical sciences
Nuclear and renewable energy
Space science and technology

All students must meet the minimum academic requirements for entry into a similar programme at a South African university.

Language of Instruction

MOST programmes are taught through the Russian language medium.

Applicants with no command of Russian are required to take the college preparatory courses for one year before pursuing major studies.

Only after passing the examinations of the college preparatory course can they start their university studies.

Some Russian higher education institutions may conduct programmes in English.

Institutions and Programmes

Applicants are required to do their own research into available programmes, institutions and programme-specific entrance criteria.

Details on available programs can be found on  

Applicants are also encouraged to apply to their university of choice in Russia.

Studies must be completed within the duration of the scholarship.

Scholarship Conditions

The Russian Government provides the following:

Registration and tuition fees
Accommodation subsidy (shared accommodation only)
Limited monthly stipend (depending on academic performance)

The South African Government provides the following (subject to the availability of funds):

One return economy airfare
Monthly stipend equivalent to R7,000
Once-off settlement allowance equivalent to R2,500


Successful scholarship applicants will be required to sign a contract and return to South Africa upon completion of studies.

Only students who are not receiving a salary or funding from an employer during their studies will be eligible to receive a stipend from the Department.


How to apply

Complete the DHET application form and email it with all supporting documents to  by 28 February 2018.

Applicants must indicate one academic programme and three preferred institutions, based on the list provided at 


Supporting Documents Checklist



  • DHET application form
  • DHET application form
  • Copy of passport or passport application receipt.
  • Copy of passport or passport application receipt.
  • National Senior Certificate or equivalent.
  • Copy of Bachelor’s, Honour’s and Master’s degree certificates (as applicable).
  • One letter of recommendation from a teacher or employer. Letter must be signed and on a letterhead.
  • Two letters of recommendation from professors or senior lecturers. Letters must be signed and on a letterhead.
  • Copy of academic transcripts from university studies with a minimum of 65% average.
  • A maximum 1 page study or research plan.


Do not submit CVs, ID documents or any other documents not requested.
Incomplete applications will not be considered.

DEADLINE: 28 February 2018

Applications can only be submitted by email on and must reach the DHET by the deadline of 28 February 2018.

Use the subject line: Russian Scholarship Application, [Your surname]


All applications received by the DHET will be acknowledged by email within 2 working days. Please follow up if you do not receive an email acknowledgement.

The DHET is unable to consider any applications that are not received by 28 February 2018 or are incomplete.

Review process

Applicants are required to complete the DHET application form and email it with all supporting documents to  by 28 February 2018.

All PhD applicants must identify and make contact with a supervisor at their university of choice and submit proof of this engagement with application form. 

Stage one:          All applications will be screened based on meeting the minimum requirements for eligibility for the scholarship.

Stage two:          Applications that pass Stage 1 will be submitted to independent reviewers from 1 to 9 March 2018 for shortlisting.

Stage three:       Applicants who pass Stage 2 will be invited to attend an interview from 14 March to 23 March 2018.

Stage four:          Nominated candidates will be informed that they have been nominated for the scholarship and will be requested to complete an online application.

Nominated candidates may be given a limited amount of time to submit further documents. These documents include medical tests, and/or academic assessments. Institutions in the host country may also require online or telephone interviews. You will be advised accordingly.

Unsuccessful applicants will be notified by email. Unfortunately individual explanations cannot be provided to unsuccessful applicants.

Successful candidates will be be required to attend an orientation in Pretoria from 13 – 16 August 2018. Orientation is meant to assist successful candidates with preparation for departure and provide necessary information. 

Documents and links

DHET application form UNDERGRADUATE applicants
DHET application form POSTGRADUTE applications

Institutions and programmes