Study in South Africa: Top Universities, Courses, Scholarships, Course Fees and Job Opportunities

Study Abroad Team 29/05/2024

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Study in South Africa – Highlights

South Africa hosts approximately 120,000 international students across its 26 public universities, including 12 traditional academic institutions, 8 technical and vocational universities, and 6 comprehensive institutions. The country attracts over 40,000 international students annually, offering a diverse range of courses taught in English and opportunities to learn local languages like Afrikaans, Zulu, and Swazi.

International students can work up to 20 hours per week during term time and full-time during holidays with a student visa, which requires a valid passport, university acceptance letter, criminal background check, proof of finances, and health insurance.

The visa application process typically takes 6-8 weeks. To study in South Africa, International students need an overall IELTS score of 7.0 or above or equivalent proficiency in academic literacy components. With a relatively affordable cost of living, South Africa provides a rich cultural experience and quality education for international students seeking a study abroad destination in Africa.

Core Facts About South Africa

Education in South Africa

Universities and Colleges 40+
Indian Students in South Africa (2022) 335+
Post-Study Work Permit Yes
Permanent Residence Yes

University / College Stats

Students Placed High
Primary Language English
Popular Course Engineering, Business, Medicine, and Social Sciences
Scholarships 77+

Why Study in South Africa?

Various reasons justify why International students opt to study in South Africa. Some of that states why South Africa is the better choice are listed,

  • Education Quality: South Africa offers high-quality education with globally recognised institutions.
  • Diverse Range of Programs: Universities in South Africa provide a wide selection of academic programs across various subjects.
  • Cultural Diversity: South Africa is culturally diverse, offering an international atmosphere for students to immerse themselves in different cultures and viewpoints.
  • Affordable Tuition Fees: Compared to other study-abroad destinations, South Africa has reasonable tuition costs and a lower cost of living.
  • Networking and Career Opportunities: Studying in South Africa can provide valuable networking opportunities and potential job prospects, especially in growing sectors like banking, mining, tourism, and technology.

Universities and Courses

Top Universities in South Africa for Indian Students



QS World Ranking


University of Cape Town



University of the Witwatersrand



University of Pretoria



Stellenbosch University



University of Johannesburg



University of KwaZulu-Natal



Rhodes University



University of the Western Cape



North-West University



University of the Free State


Popular Courses in South Africa for Indian Students

With its diverse academic landscape, South Africa offers a wide array of courses for students. Whether you are interested in business, engineering, health sciences, or the arts, you’ll find programs that cater to your passions. The country’s universities emphasise practical learning, research opportunities, and exposure to real-world challenges.

  • Business and Management
  • Engineering
  • Health Sciences
  • Computer Science and Information Technology
  • Environmental Studies
  • Tourism and Hospitality
  • Social Sciences and Humanities
  • Creative Arts and Design
  • Education and Teaching
  • Agriculture and Agribusiness

South Africa – Intakes

Primary Intake – Fall Intake (January)

Other Intakes:

  • Spring Intake (September)
  • Summer Intake (May)

Cost of Studying in South Africa

Tuition Fees - Bachelors

Private University

Varies significantly

Public University (Out of State)

ZAR 40,000 - ZAR 102,470

Public University (In-State)

Lower than out-of-state fees

Tuition Fees - Masters and Doctorate

ZAR 25,000 - ZAR 70,000

Living Expenses

~ ZAR 15,000

Scholarships for Indian Students to Study in South Africa

Scholarship Name

Maximum Amount (Approximate)

Education Future International Scholarship

Varies (Partial Funding)

BeArt Presets Academic Scholarships

Varies (Partial Funding)

Wahlgrenska Foundation Scholarships

Varies (Partial Funding)

Abel Visiting Scholar Program

Varies (Partial Funding)

Leakey Foundation Research Grants

Varies (Partial Funding)

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Postdoctoral Fellowships

Varies (Partial Funding)

Howard G. Buffett Fund for Women Journalists (FWJ)

Varies (Training & Short courses)

Student Visa in South Africa

Cost of Visa Application

R425 (~ USD 24)

When to apply?

~ 8 or even 10 weeks to be processed.

Visa Processing Time

between 4 and 8 weeks

Documents Required

  • Student Visa Application Form
  • Valid Passport
  • Letter of Acceptance from the educational institution
  • Proof of Financial Means
  • Proof of Medical Insurance
  • Cash Deposit (equivalent to the value of your return ticket)
  • Medical and Radiology Reports
  • Proof of Payment for the visa fee
  • Certificate of Vaccination (if required)
  • Arranged Accommodation Details
  • Police Clearance Certificate (for applicants aged 18 and older)

Required Entrance Exams:

National Senior Certificate (NSC)

The NSC examination is the standard high school exit exam in South Africa, administered at the end of Grade 12. It serves as the qualification for university admission.

Language Proficiency Tests

  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System): Many universities require IELTS scores as proof of English language proficiency.
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): Some institutions also accept TOEFL scores for English language proficiency.

Program-Specific Entrance Exams:

For medical programs like MBBS, Indian students must have qualified the NEET (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test) to be eligible for admission in South Africa (especially if they plan to practice back in India).

Other specialized programs may have additional requirements or specific entrance exams. It’s essential to check the admission criteria for your chosen field of study.

Work Opportunities in South Africa for Indian Students 

After graduating from South Africa, Indian students have diverse work opportunities awaiting them. With South Africa's growing economy and numerous multinational corporations, Indian graduates can explore job prospects in various sectors such as banking, mining, tourism, and technology. The country's emphasis on education and the quality of academic programs can equip Indian students with the skills and knowledge employers seek. 

Additionally, South Africa's culturally diverse environment provides a unique setting for Indian graduates to network and build connections that can enhance their local and international career prospects. Overall, studying in South Africa can open doors to a range of employment opportunities for Indian students’ post-graduation.

Job Roles:

Job Roles (Top 10 Jobs)

Maximum Salary

Software Developer

R 550,000

Sales Representative

R 237,000

Data Scientist

Varies (high monthly salary)

Health and Safety Manager




HR Director/Executive

R 3.2 million

Group CFO

R 2.6 million

Network Administrator


Financial/Project Accountant


Group Treasury Manager


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I want to study mba in usa?. What is the procedure?
Study Abroad
Manivannan Posted on 09/04/2024
  • Neha Answered on 09/04/2024

    To study MBA in the USA, you need to follow these steps: 1. Research and select the universities you want to apply to based on your preferences and eligibility. 2. Take the required exams such as GMAT or GRE, and TOEFL or IELTS if you are an international student. 3. Prepare a strong application package including transcripts, essays, letters of recommendation, and resume. 4. Apply to the universities of your choice following their application deadlines and instructions. 5. Upon acceptance, apply for a student visa and make necessary travel arrangements. Please note that the specific requirements and procedures may vary by university, so it is important to carefully review the information provided by each institution.

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