If you reside in South Africa or consider this country your preferred study destination, there is a scholarship for you. While education is better than ignorance, it can sometimes be expensive. But with a fully funded scholarship in South Africa, you should cover the tuition 100% and not feel the impact.
There are even some scholarships that cover all the costs for citizens and international students in South Africa. I have just 6 of them that will interest you as long as you are eligible to apply.
Fully Funded Scholarship in South Africa
As I’ve mentioned earlier, both citizens and international students can qualify for the scholarship I will recommend in this post.
1. University of Cape Town (UCT) Scholarships 2024
A limited number of scholarships are offered each year to international and refugee students for postgraduate study in any field at UCT. There is only one application period annually, so follow the application procedure carefully. These competitive scholarships generally favor more experienced candidates.
All scholarships for UCT’s international and refugee students are intended to partially cover the Cost of Attendance. Applicants should have other financial means to support their studies.
The scholarship amounts are:
- Honours: R25,000
- Master’s: R30,000
- Doctoral: R35,000
These scholarships can be renewed each year if the student is making satisfactory progress. This is possible for 1 year at the honours level, 2 years at the master’s level, and 3 years at the doctoral level. Students who are eligible for renewal should complete Form 10F to apply.
Applicants must apply for full-time admission either through the UCT admissions office or the faculty office. Please note, late applications are not accepted.
The deadline for applications is 31 August for the following year of study. The applicant’s country of origin does not influence the scholarship decision. However, refugees must provide proof of their status.
2. MINDS Scholarship Programme for Leadership Development
Let’s begin with the MINDS Scholarship Programme for Leadership Development in Africa. So, MINDS fully funded scholarship in South Africa for postgraduate studies cut across Africa. The scholarships offered by this organization are for full-time one or two-year Honors or Master’s degrees at MINDS-preferred institutions. MINDS doesn’t restrict the field of study.
Scholarships are both fully funded and partially funded for:
- Accommodation and meals
- One round-trip ticket for the duration of the study
- A fixed stipend
Eligibility for a MINDS fully funded scholarship in South Africa requires gaining admission into any of these two universities:
- University of Cape Town, South Africa
- University of Witwatersrand, South Africa
To qualify for a MINDS Scholarship, you must:
- Be a citizen of any African country and live in Africa.
- Have received formal acceptance from one or more MINDS preferred institutions outside your country of citizenship or residency.
- Be accepted to start postgraduate studies at a MINDS-preferred institution within the next year.
- Have achieved at least 70% in every subject/course in the last two years of your studies.
- Show evidence of leadership abilities or potential, as outlined in the application form.
- Complete and submit the online application form with all necessary supporting documents.
If you meet the above eligibility criteria, prepare the following documents, scanned and saved for uploading. All documents should be in PDF format and each file should not be larger than 2MB.
- A copy of the data/bio page of your passport.
- A certified academic transcript/results slip for the last two years of study.
- A copy of the official acceptance letter from the university.
- A copy of a valid study permit or visa, or proof of application for one. (This is optional)
- A detailed CV/Resume, not exceeding four single-sided pages.
- Two reference letters
3. Nelson Mandela University Postgraduate Research Scholarships 2024
Nelson Mandela University’s Vision 2030 Strategy was put in place to attract, develop, and retain a diverse group of research-active postgraduate students. It’s 2024, and Nelson Mandela University is introducing a new postgraduate funding policy.
The PGRS funding is available to South African citizens, permanent residents, and international students planning to pursue full-time honours, masters, and doctoral studies at Nelson Mandela University in 2024.
The application process is simple. First, apply for your desired honours, masters, or doctoral program at Nelson Mandela University. After your admission, apply for PGRS funding through the online submission system at apps.mandela.ac.za pgrs. The deadline for 2024 scholarship applications is 31 October 2024.
4. MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program at the University of Pretoria
Since January 2014, the University of Pretoria (UP) has been partnering with the Mastercard Foundation to provide scholarships for high-performing African students at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Starting January 2024, the program will enter a new phase, focusing on academically talented yet economically disadvantaged young people in Africa, including those living with disabilities and internally displaced/refugees.
MasterCard Foundation offers a fully funded scholarship in South Africa to selected students admitted for postgraduate studies at UP. After completing their studies, graduates are expected to return to their home countries.
5. Margaret Mcnamara Education Grants (MMEG) 2024
The MMEG program offers competitive grants to outstanding women who will be studying in the next academic term at a South African university. Applications are open from May 15 to September 14 each year. For any questions, you can email email@example.com. The grant recipients are usually announced on the website in mid-December.
To be eligible for this grant, applicants must:
- Identify as a woman and be at least 25 years old by the application deadline.
- Be a citizen of a country on the MMEG Country Eligibility List, except for those applying for the Trinity Washington University program.
- Be enrolled (not just accepted) at an accredited institution when applying, and plan to continue studying for a full term after receiving the MMEG grant.
- Not have a family connection to staff, spouses, retirees, or board members of the World Bank Group, International Monetary Fund, or Inter-American Development Bank.
As an applicant for this fully funded scholarship in South Africa, you must also meet the following:
- Be already studying part-time (at least 2 courses per semester or term) or full-time at one of the listed universities.
- Be enrolled for at least one more academic term (from January to July 2024).
- If applying from outside South Africa, hold a study permit for South Africa.
6. MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program at the University of Cape Town
The University of Cape Town (UCT) collaborates with the Mastercard Foundation on the Scholars’ Program, an educational project aimed at providing academically talented, economically disadvantaged young Africans with access to quality university education.
At UCT, the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program offers full-cost scholarships for first-time undergraduate or postgraduate (honours and master’s) students from Africa. These scholarships ensure recipients receive a high-quality education, resulting in internationally recognized and locally relevant qualifications.
The scholarship covers the entire duration of the study program and is renewed yearly based on satisfactory academic performance and involvement in the program’s activities and opportunities. Selected candidates must commit to returning to their home countries and using their new skills and education to contribute to their country’s social and economic development.
- Academic talent: Valuing learning and being committed to completing education.
- Economic disadvantage: Facing significant financial challenges in accessing education.
- Commitment to giving back: A dedication to improving their communities with their skills and knowledge.
- Potential future leaders: Committed to ethical leadership and making a positive impact in their home communities.
General Steps to Apply
So, having seen the fully funded scholarship in South Africa you can apply for, here is the general application process.
1. Research and Select Scholarships
Identify scholarships that meet your academic interests and career goals. Make a list of scholarships you are eligible for, like the MINDS Scholarship, Nelson Mandela University Scholarships, UCT Scholarships, UJ Scholarships, and MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program at UCT and UP.
2. Check Eligibility Criteria
Carefully read the eligibility requirements for each scholarship and ensure you meet criteria such as nationality, academic achievements, and field of study.
You will also need to gather the required documents for the specific fully funded scholarship in South Africa. They generally include:
- Academic transcripts and certificates.
- Letters of recommendation from educators or professionals.
- Personal statement or essay if required.
- A copy of your passport and any other identification documents.
- A detailed CV or resume.
3. Apply for University Admission
Most scholarships require you to be accepted into a university program before applying for the scholarship. Make sure you apply to the universities associated with the scholarships you’re interested in.
4. Fill Out Scholarship Application Forms
Complete the application forms for each scholarship. Provide accurate and detailed information and attach all required documents.
Some scholarships require you to write a compelling essay or Personal Statements (if required). Make sure that you tailor your essay to reflect the objectives and values of the scholarship.
You will also have to submit letters of recommendation. So, choose appropriate referees and request recommendation letters. Ensure the letters are relevant to the scholarship.
5. Prepare for the Interviews (if required)
Some scholarships may require an interview. So, practice common interview questions and articulate your goals and aspirations. Make sure to keep track of application deadlines for each scholarship. Submit your applications well in advance to avoid last-minute issues.
Meanwhile, I made a simple guide that explains the tips to get a scholarship in South Africa. Make sure to check out the article—it promises to be really helpful in your research and hunt for a South African scholarship.
So, that’s it guys. You have here the best fully funded scholarship in South Africa. As I have mentioned throughout this article, you can apply for any of them as a South African or an international student.