2016 List of Scholarships in South Africa for Foreign Students

Apart from the opportunity to study in English within a familiar and inclusive environment, South Africa is home to many awards and scholarships on the continent. These awards, range from quality Graduate and Postgraduate programs to state-of-the-art research.

As the country embraces an attractive, new education system away from the apartheid-designed arrangement, foreign students now comprise more than 17% of enrolments at all the major  public universities – a proportion in line with other leading destination countries.

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Scholarship opportunities in South Africa are open to learners entering high school, universities, grants and fellowships. Below is a list of scholarships and fellowships available for foreign students to study in South Africa.

Take note that while some of these scholarship applications are still open, some deadlines have passed. But since most of these scholarships are awarded annually, application deadlines very often fall around the same periods. Click on the headlines for more information.


Find the awards written in this order:

  1. Scholarships/Fellowships/Grants Exclusively for Women
  2. Scholarships/Fellowships for Honors and Masters
  3. Scholarships/Fellowships for Masters, Doctoral and Postdoctoral researches

Scholarships/Fellowships/Grants for Women

Graça Machel Scholarships in South Africa for Masters and PhD for Select African Countries 2016-2018 (For Women)

The Graça Machel Scholarship is offered only to female citizens ONLY from the SADCs – Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The award is granted to Honors, Masters and PhD applicants and it covers full tuition, stipend and other support for study at a South African university of applicant’s choice.

Offered annually? Yes

Previous Application Deadline: 27th of July

MMMF Grants for Women from Developing Countries in South Africa

The Margaret McNamara Memorial Fund (MMMF) is granted to female students from developing countries who are currently studying at the following universities in South Africa

  1. The University of Pretoria,
  2. The University of Cape Town
  3. The University of Stellenbosch and
  4. The University of Witwatersrand

The MMMF award of approximately US$4,000 to each applicant is given if the applicant has a record of service to women and/or children in her country or other developing country and plans to return to her home country within about two years after completing use of the grant.

Offered annually? Yes

Previous Application Deadline: 30th of August

Scholarships/Fellowships for Honors and Masters

African Leadership Academy South Africa MasterCard Foundation Scholarship

The African Leadership Academy South Africa MasterCard Foundation Scholarship is aimed at supporting the entrepreneurial dreams of Pre-university African students aged 16-19. The brightest and most entrepreneurial are often chosen for the award annually. The African Leadership Academy is a school that offers two-year courses on Entrepreneurial Leadership and African Studies before the students gain admissions into various universities.

ALA scholarship in collaboration with South Africa MasterCard Foundation, will not only award young people who are smart and excel in the academic environment, but will also award those with the potential to lead and impact the world around them through their courage, initiative and innovation. Full and complete financial support throughout their stay in the academy will be given to applicants who will be expected to give back to their communities through volunteer service.

Offered Annually? Yes

Previous Application Date: 12th of December

MTN Solution Space Scholarships

The MTN Solution Space Scholarships was created to assist bright minds in the technology, media and telecom sector by providing excellent educational and training opportunities to individual Africans with leadership potential and innovative capabilities. Applicants are offered the MTN scholarship only if the apply to the Graduate School of Business in University of Cape Town  to study MBA or MPhil in Inclusive Innovation programme.

This year,  focus on funding will be for the following  areas

  1. Education
  2. Health and Wellbeing
  3. Smart Cities
  4. Open Imagination

Offered annually? Yes

Application Deadline: 31st of October, 2016

Mandela Rhodes Scholarships for African citizens at South African Universities

Applicants of The Mandela Rhodes scholarship undergo a top-level leadership program and are given sound financial support for one or two years of the tenure of their study. The Scholarship award is conditional on the applicant being offered a place at the relevant institution of his/her choice. The scholarship is open to both First Degree and Masters Applicants.

Offered Annually? Yes

Previous Application Deadline: 2nd of May,

Commonwealth International Scholarship in South Africa.

The highly competitive Commonwealth International Scholarship in South Africa is sponsored by the funds allocated to the Scholarship and Fellowship Plan for Commonwealth countries (except South Africa in this case). It covers majorly the academic expenses of successful applicants for the duration of their program. There are no special considerations for applicants save their previous academic results. If found eligible, an applicant is awarded grants to study for their Masters in any of the following universities in South Africa

  1. Central University of Technology
  2. Durban University of Technology
  3. Tshwane University of Technology
  4. University of Johannesburg
  5. University of Pretoria
  6. University of Stellenbosch

Offered annually? Yes

Previous Application Date: 30th of June

Bertha Scholarships for Social Innovators in Africa

The Bertha Scholarships were created to nurture a new generation of social innovators, and to explore entrepreneurial solutions to help solve some of the urgent social, economic, environmental and humanitarian challenges in Africa. Five  full or partial MBA and MPhil scholarships will be awarded to students that have met the requirements in the following areas

  1. Innovative Finance – social finance and impact investing
  2. Inclusive Healthcare Innovation – innovations in healthcare delivery
  3. Education Innovations – innovations that improve quality and access to education

Offered Annually? Yes

Application Deadline: Not yet set

Allan Gray Entrepreneurship Fellowship for South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Swaziland Students 2016

The fellowship recognises four of the eleven Southern African countries comprising of Botswana, Swaziland, South Africa and Namibia. Every year, the Allan Gray Foundation selects the best and most ambitious Grade 12 and first year university students from these selected countries to become part of The Allan Gray Candidate Fellows.

The Fellowship includes comprehensive tertiary education financial support alongside exposure to thought leaders, mentorship and entrepreneurial mindset development. Access to postgraduate funding is available to those who have excelled in their tertiary studies and the Fellowship Programme.

Offered annually: Yes

Previous Application Deadline: Deadline for the submission of applications for Grade 12 is done by countries. For South African students, application closes on the 29th of April, 2016, 31st of May 2016 for Swaziland & Botswana and 1st of July 2016 for Namibia

For 1st Year University: 31st of August 2016 for all four countries

Scholarships/Fellowships for Masters, Doctoral and Postdoctoral Researches

Rhodes University Postdoctoral Fellowship in South Africa 2016

The scholarship is offered by Rhodes University in South Africa to nationals and foreign students who desire to carry out further research after their PhD thesis has been completed. Ideally a Fellow’s proposed work will closely complement existing programmes in the host department which means that the Fellowships are intended to foster existing research and scholarly or creative activities within Rhodes University departments and institutes. Value of the fellowship is a regular R160 000 each year with an additional R10 000 which is allocated at the discretion of the Head of Department and the Fellow.

Offered annually? Yes

Previous Application Deadline: 31st of July 2016

African Humanities Fellowship Program in Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda

Proposed area of funding for applicants of this award is in the humanities. The list of humanities disciplines includes anthropology, archaeology, studies of the fine and performing arts, history, linguistics, literature studies, studies of religion, and philosophy. Projects in social sciences such as economics, sociology, or political science, as well as in law or international relations, are not eligible unless they are clearly humanistic in content and focus.

The award is designed to revive the humanities in Africa through fellowship competitions and related activities in select countries. Applicants are encouraged to apply in the final year of writing the dissertation at a university in Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, or Uganda.

Offered annually? Yes

Previous Application Deadline: 2nd of November

AREF Research Development Fellowship

The African Research Excellence Fund is an annual scheme designed to fund a post-doctoral scientist with PhD or an active clinician with a relevant Master’s degree and adequate active research experience in Sub-Saharan Africa(excluding South Africa). The Fellowship is intended to assist talented, early-career African researchers to develop their own research ideas and specialist skills, to grow their research relationships through collaboration and mentorship, and to work towards a major funding proposal.

Each AREF Fellowship will support a placement of three-to-nine months in a leading research organisation in Europe or South Africa.

Offered Annually? Yes

Application Deadline: 3rd of July, 2016.

SA-GER CDR Master and PhD Scholarships in South Africa

South African-German Centre for Development Research (SA-GER CDR) awards Master and PhD scholarships in the field of Development Studies, Public Administration, Public Policy. Applicants from Sub-Sahara Africa are encouraged to apply for these scholarships.

The scholarships are awarded to applicants  pursuing Masters and PhD programmes in Development Studies, Public Administration and Public Policy. They will be given monthly allowances of 650 Euro plus travel allowances for Master candidates and 900 Euro plus travel allowances for PhD candidates; while they complete studies at The University of the Western Cape (UWC), Cape Town, South Africa.

Offered Annually? Yes

Application Deadline: 15th of July 2016