SWEDEN: Swedish Institute Scholarship for South Africa

The Swedish Institute Scholarships for South Africa (SISSA) programme is part of the Swedish government’s international awards scheme aimed at developing global leaders who will contribute to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It is funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Sweden and administered by the Swedish Institute (SI). The programme offers a unique opportunity for future leaders to develop professionally and academically, to experience Swedish society and culture, and to build a long-lasting relationship with Sweden and with each other. SISSA is a special initiative in connection with the Binational Commission agreement between Sweden and South Africa.

The goal is to enable the scholarship holders to play an active role in the positive development of the societies in which they live. Ideal candidates are ambitious young professionals with academic qualifications, demonstrated leadership experience, ambition to make a difference by working with issues which contribute to a just and sustainable development in their country in a long term perspective, and a clear idea of how a study programme in Sweden would benefit their country.


In order to apply for the scholarship, applicants must have applied to a Swedish university through the central application system at: https://www.universityadmissions.se/intl/start, where an application fee is charged.


Application for university admissions in Sweden is now open and will close on 15 January 2021. For more information visit: www.studyinsweden.se and www.universityadmissions.se


The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) is offering support, including advice and payment of the Swedish university application fee, to up to 15 potential scholarship applicants. Only those who have applied for admittance to a Swedish university AND commit to applying for the Swedish Institute Scholarship for South Africa are eligible. Selection will be done based on meeting the university entrance requirements, academic excellence, the criteria of the Swedish Institute Study Scholarship, individual need, and alignment with South African government priorities.





Degree level




Who can apply for the Swedish scholarship?


  • South African citizens in good health with a strong academic record;
  • Must have Bachelor’s with Honours or equivalent, and should have performed well in his/her previous studies with minimum 65% average mark achieved;
  • Available and eligible to study in Sweden from September 2021;
  • Have applied for a Master’s degree programme at a Swedish university on a full-time basis;
  • Intend to return to South Africa at the end of your studies;
  • Priority will be given to applicants with demonstrated work and leadership experience.


Fields of Study


Priority will be given to applicants who choose a study programmes with an emphasis on one of the following subject areas (listed in alphabetical order, no priority or ranking is implied):

  • Computer science and IT
  • Design (industrial design, architecture, urban/regional planning)
  • Engineering
  • Environmental technology/Sustainable development
  • Gender studies
  • Nanotechnology
  • Public health

We recommend that you also look for other scholarship opportunities from your government, from organisations in your country, or from Swedish universities.


What the scholarship offers


The Swedish Institute scholarship offers:



*The travel grant is meant to cover flight costs and is a one-time payment for the entire scholarship period. It is only is only paid upon arrival in Sweden, which means successful scholarship recipients will have to cover the upfront cost of travel. The travel grant is not applicable to students already living in Sweden.


University application fee support

The Department of Higher Education and Training is offering support in the form of payment of the SEK900 for the Swedish university application fee to a maximum of 15 individuals. Applications for this must be submitted to DHET on the requisite form. If approved, this fee will be paid directly to University Admissions Sweden.


No additional funding is available from the Department of Higher Education and Training.


Application process


Step ONE: Apply for university admission            

Submit an application to identified Swedish universities through the central application system online by 15 January 2021. You do not need to make a payment at this time if you are going to apply for application fee support from DHET. It is recommended that you apply for more than one programme and university to increase your chances of gaining admission.


Step TWO: Pay university application fee

If you are able to pay the Swedish university application fee, or are not selected for support from the DHET, you will need to pay the university application fee yourself by 01 February 2021.


Should you wish to apply for support to pay the university application fee, complete the DHET application for support form  and attach the following documents:


  • Transcripts of four-year Bachelor’s or Bachelor’s and Honour’s degrees;
  • Copy of ID;
  • Proof of Swedish university application.


Email all the documents to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 15 January 2021


Step THREE: Apply for the scholarship  

Submit a Swedish Institute Scholarship application between 08 and 18 February 2021


No applications after the above deadlines will be considered.



Last day for Swedish university applications to be submitted.


15 January 2021

Last day to submit a DHET application form for payment of Swedish university application fee.


15 January 2021

DHET to inform applicants of the outcome of their request for support.


22 January 2021

15 selected applicants to submit remaining documents and information to DHET including:

-          a signed commitment to submit a scholarship application to the Swedish Institute,

-          Swedish University Admissions login details, and

-          authorisation for DHET to login on their behalf in order to pay the application fee.


25 January 2021

Last day to pay application fee/supporting documents  

DHET will make the payment on behalf of 15 applicants only, who will be notified of this by 22 January 2021. Applicants not supported by DHET should pay for their university application and apply for the Swedish Institute scholarship on their own.


01 February 2021

Application for the Swedish Institute Scholarships for South Africa


08-18 February 2021

University admission results


09 April 2021




The DHET is responsible for university application fee support only, for queries about this, send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


For inquiries about the universities and/or course of study in Sweden, contact University Admissions in Sweden or your preferred university(ies) directly at: https://www.universityadmissions.se/intl/start


Documents and links


Swedish university application link

Swedish Institute scholarship application link




Please note this scholarship is not offered by the Department of Higher Education and Training. Applicants are required to undertake their own research into programmes and institutions and are responsible for ensuring that the qualifications will be recognised in South Africa. If there are any discrepancies in the details provided regarding the scholarship, the information given by the sponsor supersedes the details provided above. No additional financial support will be provided by the Department of Higher Education and Training other than stated above.