Admission Requirements International Students in SA Universities: South African universities and Higher Education (HE) institutions in general are popular study destinations for school leavers and post-graduate students from many parts of the World, especially from the African continent.
In addition exponential growth in the number of countries with diplomatic representation since 1994 has also had an effect on South African universities as school-leavers from more than 150 countries could theoretically apply for admission to South African universities and HE institutions.
In view of different international school leaving benchmarks, the Matriculation Board as advisory body to Higher Education South Africa (HESA) updates the list of qualifications that are acceptable on face value for admission to first degree studies at South African universities on an ongoing basis.
Registrars of universities are required to apply on behalf of candidates for foreign exemption certificates (regulation 28) or mature age exemption (regulation 30) whilst other candidates may apply directly to the Board. As result of practical problems experienced by institutions in handling foreign qualifications and the legal implications thereof, institutions requested the Matriculation Board to compile a guideline document for the handling of applications of exemption.
As already indicated above the list of qualifications to follow can by no means be regarded as comprehensive and qualifications that are not listed will have to be checked with Matriculation Board officials.
NB: It should also be noted that whereas there is regular consultation and cooperation between the Matriculation Board and the SA Qualifications Authority’s Directorate: Foreign Qualifications Evaluation and Advisory Services (DFQEAS), such evaluations are aimed at job placement and the determining of school leaving requirements and not at university degree admission.
In as much as most holders of senior certificates in South Africa do not qualify to study for degree purposes at South African universities, many candidates from foreign countries who are in possession of foreign school-leaving certificates are also not eligible for university admission in their own countries of origin, or in South Africa due to benchmark differences. Universities should therefore only refer foreign school leavers who want to study for diploma purposes at their institutions to the DFQEAS for evaluations.
Admission Requirements International Students in SA Universities
Requirements for Admission to Undergraduate & Postgraduate Programmes for International Students in SA Universities
Some programmes offered by the University are not available for International Students.
- Applicants can be directly admitted if they meet the minimum criteria prescribed by the Joint Matriculation Board of Universities SA (HESA) https://mb.usaf.ac.za/qualification-by-country/ and the School Points Score (SPS) as indicated below.
- Important to note not all subjects are recognized for exemption purposes and this information is regularly updated on the JMB website.
- SPS system allocates point values to the six best school leaving symbols in order to:
- Identify whether the applicant meets the minimum criteria prescribed by the JMB;
– Identify whether the applicant meets the grade requirements (see notes below);
– Identify whether the applicant meets the compulsory school leaving subjects;
– Identify whether the applicant meets the English language requirement;
- Limitations to programmes are annually set by the enrolment planning process;
- International students are only accepted for full-time studies;
- All international students are tested before registration using CAAR (Centre for Accelerated Application Readiness) assessment for research purposes, where applicable developmental recommendations are provided to the appropriate persons in Faculties;
- The foreign school qualification is benchmarked against the South African school-leaving certificate as the standard. The University may add additional requirements for specific programmes.
- Applicants from SADC countries only offering GCSE or O level need to have a 1 year in their home country university in order to qualify for the entry in the SA university
- For postgraduate students, it is required that you submit your SAQA certificate when submitting your application
- For the final selection and scoring the following conversion table of International School systems apply:
Notes (Admission Requirements International Students in SA Universities)
- Applicants completing Cambridge administered examinations will be accepted with the following grades:
– A-level: Grades A, B, C and D
– O-level: Grades a, b and c
- Students completing non-Cambridge administered examinations will be accepted with the following grades:
– A-level: Grades A, B and C
– O level: Grades a, b and c
- In addition to the above applicants must meet the minimum SPS score and programme related requirements;
- Programmes where compulsory school leaving subjects are indicated candidates must meet the following minimum requirements:
– O- level: minimum B grade
– A-level: minimum D grade OR the equivalent grade from other school-leaving systems as indicated in the conversion table
- International Baccalaureate Diploma: At least 27 points required.
- International Baccalaureate Certificate: Pass marks in two Higher Level, and three Subsidiary Level subjects, including English. Pass marks = symbols 5 to 7.