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Apply for an overseas scholarship

Written by More Matshediso

Applications are already open for various international scholarships for 2021.

If you have been thinking about furthering your studies overseas, your dream could come true, thanks to the Department of Higher Education, Science and Innovation’s invitation to South African students to apply for scholarships in other countries.

The scholarships are being facilitated by the department, which has partnerships with international institutions of higher learning that are offering scholarships to South African students.

Nhlanhla Ngulube (30) from Johannesburg was awarded the Chinese Government Scholarship in 2015 to pursue a Master’s Degree in International Relations at Jilin University in China.

“My studies were for two years. This opportunity further developed my interest in China-Africa relations, which I believe must be carefully studied and understood for the ultimate benefit and development of Africa. This has also become my area of passion and inspiration and has changed my life for the better,” he says.

Before receiving the scholarship, Ngulube held a Business Science Degree in Finance and Accounting from the University of Cape Town.

He returned to South Africa in 2017 and worked for a global consulting firm as a consultant. He recently joined a Japanese multinational organisation and will be travelling to Japan soon to start his new job.

A career in academia or scarce skills

The Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Blade Nzimande, says his department tries to prioritise post-graduate studies, particularly for students intending to pursue a career in academia or a scarce skill.

According to Minister Nzimande, various scholarships have different deadlines, priorities and offerings and the department’s international scholarships website maintains an up-to-date list of open scholarships, information for applicants and annual opportunities.

Scholarship opportunities

The following opportunities are currently available:

  • Opportunities to study in Hungary are available through the 2021 Stipendium Hungaricum. The Hungarian government is offering 100 scholarships to South Africans to study at participating public universities in Hungary. There are bachelor, master’s and PhD scholarships available. All courses are taught in English. Application deadline: 15 January 2021. For more information, email Wendy Adams at adams.w@dhet.gov.za.
  • The Embassy of France is offering scholarships to South Africans to pursue master’s or doctoral studies at French higher education institutions in 2021. Application deadline: 20 January 2021. For more information, visit www.southafrica-france-scholarships.com.
  •  The Swedish Institute Scholarships for South Africa programme is part of the Swedish government’s international awards scheme to develop global leaders who will contribute to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
  •    Applications open in February 2021. To apply for a scholarship, applicants must have applied to a Swedish university by 15 January via the central application system at  www.universityadmissions.se/intl/start.
  • Each year the Swiss Confederation awards Government Excellence Scholarships to promote international exchange and research cooperation between Switzerland and over 180 other countries. The Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships are aimed at young researchers who have completed a master’s degree or PhD. For more information, email pretoria.science@eda.admin.ch.
  • The German Academic Exchange Service is offering funding to South Africans for full-time master’s or PhD degrees in another sub-Saharan African country as part of its In-Country/In-Region Scholarship Programme. Opportunities are available in a range of fields in Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Malawi. For more information, visit www2.daad.de/deutschland/stipendium/datenbank/en/21148-scholarship.
  • The Embassy of Ireland in South Africa, in partnership with the Department of Higher Education and Training and Canon Collins Trust, offers scholarships for a one-year master’s degree in Ireland. The Kader Asmal Fellowship honours the late Professor Kader Asmal, who taught law at Trinity College in Dublin for 27 years. Applications for 2021 are closed, but applications for 2022 will open next year. For more information, email Ruth Roberts at Roberts.r@dhet.gov.za.

For general information about opportunities to study abroad and to view information about other scholarships open for application, visit the International Scholarships website www.internationalscholarships.dhet.gov.za.