Why to study in South Africa?

If you wish to experience life in one of the most complex but sundry countries in the world, you can choose to study in the beautiful country of South Africa. Since the early 90s, post the legislation modifications to knock over decades of forced racial segregation; South Africa has made momentous growth in developing into a more democratic society, in which diversity is celebrated as a core part of national identity. Therefore, the country is nicknamed the “rainbow nation” – a mark of its distinctive multicultural character. Not just this, the country excels in several areas, both social and natural – and higher education is definitely emerging as one of its strong points.

South Africa is fast emerging as one of the world’s most exhilarating study destinations which is further confirmed by the fast increasing number of global students thronging to the country. Because of international exchange rates, South Africa’s educational system offers complete value for money.This is why it is among the world’s most thrilling places to study.

The education system in South Africa:

Many Universities in South Africa are brilliant institutions of research in different spheres. Collectively, the 23 higher education institutes in the country offer a variety of learning and research alternatives for both local and global students.The country began streamlining its higher education in the year 2003 to broaden access to education and rearrange the priorities of the dated apartheid-based system. Relatively smaller universities were integrated into larger institutes to form wide-ranging universities, which are now six of them, offer a mix of scholarly and vocational degrees and diplomas, while the 6 universities of technology offer vocational education.

Type of Universities in South Africa:

There are 23 publicly owned universities in South Africa which are further split into:

  • Traditional universities;
  • Comprehensive universities
  • Universities of technology

The University of Cape Town is the highest ranking university in South Africa and ranks 113th in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2013. The other popular universities are:

  • University of Witwatersrand
  • University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • Stellenbosch University

How to Apply for a Study Permit in South Africa:

International candidates can apply for a Study Permit at the Consulate, the South African High Commission, Embassy, or Trade Mission in their own country. Students should ideally wait for the result of their application for the study permit in their own country.Study permit are given for a program at a definite institution so international students have to get a new permit only if they yearn to change institutes.

Once students get official confirmation of acceptance from the university, they can apply for a student visa.  They can get in touch with the South African Consulate for complete details of the application. Prospective students are recommended to give in their study permit documents as early as feasible. It usually takes 6 to 8 weeks for the application to get processed.  Institutions in South Africa cannot register students until an official study permit is made available. Passports with official study permit have to be submitted to the host institute at the time of registration.

South African Universities and Colleges:

South Africa is also world famous for its production of wine. Areas like the famous Stellenbosch, near the city of Cape Town, produce extremely cherished wines that are loved across the world. And like most wine districts, Stellenbosch is perfect for relaxing vacations that most people find irresistible. Every day wine tasting, cellar visits and sales are available in most cellars, some of which also have restaurants and picnic facilities. So whether you’re simply visiting, holidaying or studying in South Africa this part of the country is sure to appeal and astound you.

Talking of education, South Africa literally has dozens of universities and colleges for every vocation you wish to study. The country boasts of a great education system. One just has to ensure to enroll in a college or university where classes are held in English because South Africa has 11 official languages which include English, Afrikaans, Ndebeleand Zulu, among the many others. In fact, it is highly recommended that one becomes an expert in one or two of these local languages to make the most of the South African experience.

Some of the leading institutes in South Africa are:

Rhodes University

Rhodes University images
Rhodes University images

Rhodes University is located in the Eastern Cape town of Grahamstown and ismore than 100 years old. It has approximately 5000 students, out of which a huge section are students from 56 different countries. It is residential in nature so almost half of the student population resides on the campus. The vision of the University is to be an exceptionally respected academic institute internationally-which proudly asserts its African identity and resonates its independent ethics, academic free will, great moral values, and social accountability. The campus has a rich and pulsating life where students get the opportunity to take part in a variety of sports and social clubs, which brings students into contact with the local and other international students.

University of Cape Town

University of Cape Town images

University of Cape Town images

The oldest university in South Africa, founded in the year 1829, University of Cape Town has one of the most striking campuses in the world. It is regarded as the leading research institute of the continent, with more “A” rated members than any other African university. It ranks the highest in both the Times Higher Education World and the QS World university rankings and has 5 Nobel Laureates amongst its alumni.

University of Fort HareUniversity of Fort Hare images

The University of Fort Hare, founded in the year 1916, is the oldest traditionally black university in the country. It boasts of several prominent leaders of South Africa, including Nelson Mandela, Govan Mbeki,Oliver Tambo and Mangosuthu Buthelezi who have been a part of its legendary lineage.Fort Hare has two campuses and offers an array of degrees and diplomas in science and agriculture, humanities and social sciences, commerce and management.

All told, South Africa has so much to offer that it is unfeasible to enumerate it all!


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