7 Reasons Why Students are
Choosing to Study in South Africa

See also: Online Education and Learning

Besides the wonderful natural landscapes, exotic national parks and rich wildlife, South Africa has a lot to offer. Many of the universities in South Africa rank high in the list of the best universities the world over. Since the end of the apartheid, South Africa has focused a lot on the education of its people and has made huge investments in its education sector. The country is home to more than a hundred universities offering a multinational culture to students. From degrees and diplomas in technology, engineering and humanities, through to industry internships and learnerships, you can find nearly all courses are being offered by universities here.

Though, it is natural to first think of the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom when it comes to choosing a location for studying abroad, South Africa is slowly building a strong place among these countries in terms of offering world-class education.

International Recognition

The certifications offered by the universities of South Africa are recognized the world over. Due to a large number of students showing interest in getting higher education in the country, the universities of South Africa have undergone major transformations. The student rush has not at all affected the quality of education and discipline maintained in these universities. South Africa also offers a diverse range of educational opportunities across its higher education system. There are a wide variety of programs available from world-renowned universities such as the University of Cape Town, University of Witwatersrand, and Stellenbosch University.

Student-Friendly Fee Structure

Due to great initiatives taken by the government and the private educational institutions, the tuition fees and the cost of living here are relatively less as compared to other countries which are popular among students. So for students aspiring to study abroad for higher certifications, the country is an affordable option. Most of the bachelor’s degree programmes take three years to complete and the postgraduate Master's programmes can be completed in only one year as the South African educational structure follows the British system. Compared to many western countries, the cost of living and tuition fees in South Africa are generally more affordable. As well as the student friendly fee structure, the lower costs of living makes South Africa even more attractive.

Skill Development Based Programs

Though there is a scarcity of jobs and episodes of economic recession have become frequent lately, there are always new opportunities waiting for people who possess special skills and qualities. To make their place in the increasing competition in the global world, their skills and creativity need to be polished. In South African institutes, the educational system is focused on developing and polishing the skills of students. May it be primary schools, secondary schools or institutes providing higher education, an outcomes-based approach is followed to set up a link between education and the world.

Crossing the Language Barrier

The language used here in South Africa is majorly English offering students from other parts of the world to learn this global language. Proficiency in English language skills opens numerous doors for the students for future and personal development. Learning the English language here is a transformative experience for the students letting them enjoy unique experiences in life and get involved in local events in the country. Apart from English, the country has 11 official languages. The predominant local languages used here are Afrikaans and Zulu, so students have an opportunity to learn these too.

Experiencing Diverse Culture

The society in South Africa is multicultural and diverse, rendering a unique experience for visitors. This diversity of people and their values makes the country a unique study destination. Here you can find an extremely interesting blend of cultures from all over the world including Asian, African, and European traditions. So for students from these continents, it is easier to adjust as they find the environment familiar. This cultural diversity, sometimes known as “rainbow nation” is another one of the factors which makes studying here so great, providing a real range of cultural, racial and ethnic backgrounds to help broaden students' worldview.

Student Loans and Scholarship Programmes Are Available

The government in the country is highly supportive of students aspiring to study here. Thus various scholarship programmes have been introduced by government institutions as well as private institutes offering higher education. Furthermore, the regulations for student loans and grants, such as the sassa grant, to local as well as international students have been eased.

Earn While You Study Programmes

Earn-while-you-study programmes are plans that allow students to study in a university and earn along with it. This enhances their practical skills and soft skills and exposes them to various new industry environments. Various such programmes such as internships, part-time jobs and apprenticeships are also available here in South Africa for students aspiring to self-support their education. South African universities have strong alumni networks, which can be beneficial for job placement and networking after graduation. Many South African universities encourage students to participate in community projects and outreach programs. This offers a unique opportunity for students to apply their knowledge practically and contribute to society.

Further Reading from Skills You Need

The Skills You Need Guide for Students

The Skills You Need Guide for Students

Skills You Need

Develop the skills you need to make the most of your time as a student.

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South Africa's attractiveness as a destination for international study comes not only from its diverse and high-quality education system but also its cultural richness, affordability, and the convenience of English as a primary language of instruction. The country's beautiful landscapes and outdoor activities also enhance the student experience, offering a perfect mixture of both academia and leisure. Students are drawn to the nation's focus on innovative research opportunities and societal engagement, which provide practical application of knowledge and a chance to make a positive impact. With a friendly, welcoming environment, strong alumni networks, and a deep immersion into the country’s rich political history, students gain not just an education, but life experiences that contribute to their holistic development. Therefore, choosing to study in South Africa is about more than earning a degree; it's about embracing a unique and transformative learning journey that extends far beyond the classroom.

About the Author

Steve Hudson is a talent specialist and helps young adults and college graduates with their career choices and career development. He has a keen interest in further training and specialisation in trade and vocational education.