Applying to a South African University for 2024: A Comprehensive Guide

Applying to South African universities for 2024 is an exciting journey, but navigating the application process as an international student can be challenging. 

Applying to a South African university for 2024 can be an exciting and life-changing decision. South Africa has a rich and diverse cultural heritage, and its universities are known for offering high-quality education that is recognized globally. However, the application process can be daunting, especially for an international student. This article will provide the information to help you navigate the application process for South African universities for the 2024 academic year.

Applications for study at South African universities for the 2024 academic year are now open. The application process for South African universities is primarily online, and applicants must submit their applications through the university’s website. The application process for South African universities varies from one university to another, and it is essential to familiarize yourself with the application requirements of the university you intend to apply. South African universities have different application deadlines, and submitting your application before the deadline is crucial to avoid missing out on the opportunity to study at your desired university.

Application Process

Application Deadlines

The application for admission to undergraduate study programmes for both South African and international citizens closes on specific dates in the year preceding the year of study. Applications for 2024 will open on 1 April 2023. It is essential to check the list of closing dates below to ensure you submit your application on time.

Application Fees

Most universities require an application fee to be paid when submitting your application. The fee amount may vary depending on the university and the programme you are applying for. It is essential to check the university website for the correct application fee amount and payment method. Late applications may incur an additional fee, so submit your application before the deadline.

Required Documents

When applying to a South African university, you must submit several documents along with your application. These documents may include the following:

  • Completed application form
  • Certified copy of ID document or passport
  • Certified copy of matric certificate or equivalent qualification
  • Academic transcripts from previous tertiary institutions (if applicable)

It is essential to check the university website for the complete list of required documents and any additional requirements specific to your programme of study.

Submitting Your Application

Applications are usually submitted online through the university’s website. Make sure to follow the instructions provided and fill out all required fields accurately. You may be required to upload your supporting documents during the application process, so ensure they are ready in digital format. Once you have submitted your application, you should receive a confirmation email. Keep this email for your records and follow up if you do not receive it within a few days.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Available Scholarships

If you are looking for financial assistance to fund your studies in South Africa, several scholarship options are available for both local and international students. The Mandela Rhodes Foundation offers scholarships for African students to study at South African universities. The scholarship combines financial support for postgraduate studies and a high-quality leadership development programme. Other scholarship options include the DAAD and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, which offer virtual information sessions to help students find the best fit for their funding needs. The deadline for the Mandela Rhodes Scholarship application is 21 April 2023.

Application Process for Scholarships

To apply for scholarships in South Africa, you need to follow the specific application process for each scholarship. Most scholarships require you to fill out an application form and submit it with other required documents, such as academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. The application deadlines and requirements vary depending on the scholarship, so it is essential to check the scholarship’s website for detailed information.

Financial Aid Options

Apart from scholarships, other financial aid options are available for students studying in South Africa. The government offers financial assistance through bursaries and loans to eligible students. Some universities also provide financial aid programmes, including grants and work-study programmes. Researching all available options and applying for financial aid early is important to increase your chances of receiving assistance. In summary, various scholarship and financial aid options are available for students studying in South Africa. Researching and applying for these options early ensures you have the best chance of receiving assistance.

Choosing the Right University

Researching Universities

Before applying to a South African university, it’s essential to research the universities to find the one that best suits your needs. Start by considering the courses offered, admission requirements, location, and campus life. You can also check the university’s reputation, rankings, and student satisfaction rates.

List of South African Universities

Several universities in South Africa are open for 2024 applications. Some of the top universities include:

  • University of Cape Town
  • University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
  • University of Pretoria
  • Stellenbosch University
  • University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • University of Johannesburg
  • North-West University
  • University of South Africa

Factors to Consider

When choosing a university, consider the following factors:

  • Location: Do you want to study in a big city or a smaller town?
  • Course offerings: Does the university offer the course you want to study?
  • Admission requirements: Do you meet the admission requirements for the university?
  • Cost: Can you afford the tuition fees and living expenses?
  • Campus life: What is the campus culture like? Are there extracurricular activities that interest you?

Campus Life

Campus life is an essential aspect of university. You should consider the social and cultural aspects of the university. Check out the student clubs and societies, sports teams, and events. It’s also important to look at accommodation options, dining facilities, and transportation options.


As you embark on your journey to study at a South African university, being well-informed and prepared for the application process will make all the difference. Research each university’s requirements, submit your applications early, and stay organized to ensure a successful application experience. By following these guidelines, you’ll be well on your way to embarking on an enriching educational adventure in South Africa.