Cheapest Universities in South Africa
Are you interested in studying in any of the African countries like South Africa? Do you know that there are some cheapest universities in South Africa that you can really study? These low tuition universities in south Africa offers quality education.
It’s no wonder that Johannesburg is quite populated; it’s the largest city in South Africa. It was only natural for people to want to move to areas that are open for the sake of business, education and life generally.
In recent years, South Africa has stood as a place of educational excellence that expatriate easily seeks admission in their institutions.
Its schools could stand in comparison to schools in developed countries even though they haven’t marched exactly to their standard.
In this respect, people are in constant research of schools in South Africa and most Johannesburg to ascertain one that will be pocket-friendly and at the same time fulfill their academic desires which are excellence. This search has necessitated the listing of 15 schools in Johannesburg that are pocket-friendly with a touch of excellence not left behind.
This listing will also aid you to find out the school fees attached to your school of interest, courses, it’s website and ranking.
- Cheapest Universities in South Africa
- Know about South Africa
- Education in South Africa
- Tertiary Education in South Africa
- University of Free State
- Rhodes University
- University of Kwazulu Natal
- University of Cape Town
- University of Fort Hare
- Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
- University of Witwatersrand
- Stellenbosch University
- University of Johannesburg
- University of Limpopo
- University of Venda
- University of Pretoria
- University of Venda
- University of Zululand
- Benefits of studying in South Africa as an International Students
- Cost of living in South Africa
- General Application procedures into South African Universities
- Requirements for International Students
- How to Obtain Student Visa for South Africa
Know about South Africa
South Africa with a population of 50.58 million people has a rich mix of culture, languages and religious beliefs. The country is a nice place to be and has people from several nations, races and religion. Majority of the people living there are Africans who make up 75.5 of the population. The following are universities considered to be the best for international students both because of their low tuition fees and quality of education.
If you want to experience life in one of the most diverse and complex countries in the world, you may choose to study in South Africa. The country excels in many areas, offering some of the world’s most striking natural scenery and wildlife, diverse and dynamic cities and towns – and a strong selection of leading universities with an international outlook.
Education in South Africa
Education in South Africa is under the authority of two national departments, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) and the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), which is responsible for tertiary education and vocational training. Prior to 2009, these two departments were represented in a single Department of Education.
The DBE department deals with public schools, private schools (also referred to by the department as independent schools), early childhood development (ECD) center, and special needs schools. The public schools and private schools are collectively known as ordinary school and it’s the most dominant kind of schools in South Africa
The department of higher education and training has the responsibility of seeing after further education and training colleges, adult basic education and training centers, and higher education institutions.
There are nine provinces in South Africa, these provinces have their own education departments that are responsible for implementing the policies of the national department, as well as dealing with local issues, and they had a level of autonomy.
According to a research study, in the year 2010, the basic education system comprised 12 644 208 learners, 30 586 schools, and 439 394 teachers.
In 2009, the higher education and training system comprised 837 779 students in Higher Education institutions, 420 475 students in state-controlled FET institutions and 297 900 in state-controlled ABET centers.
The South African government is known to give upper quota to education when it comes to budget as research showed they spent 21% of the national budget on education, paying more attention to higher education by allocating some ten percent of the education budget is.
These departments receive its funding entirely from the central government taxes. The department of Basic Education pays a portion of teachers’ salaries in government schools, whereas independent schools are funded privately. Government schools at extreme cases may need to support its funding through parent contributions.
Tertiary Education in South Africa
Tertiary education in South Africa in the post-apartheid era has never been more volatile than it is currently, some two decades into democracy, yet it is, contradictorily, perhaps the part of the entire education sector that has advanced most in terms of achieving national goals of quality, equity, and transformation.
With low tuition universities in South Africa, Higher education in South Africa had gained some heights: there is integration of its system which was hitherto divided; an established quality assurance and advisory body; a one bodied national department which is dedicated to duties; a fundamentally altered institutional landscape; greater access and a tremendous diversification of the radical demography of its students, research showed 80% increase in African students; higher research output and international recognition through large research projects, more attention paid to teaching and learning, to curriculum and to student support; the implementation of a governing framework for its educational offerings; the allocation of financial aid to many more students than twenty years ago; and having nationally coordinated projects and grants to address some of the identified areas for improvement.
Despite the many advances and achievements of higher education outlined in this review, however, the student protests of 2015 and early 2016 have given expression to underlying faultiness in quite a dramatic way.
The pressures of worsening underfunding in the context of enrolment growth, and increasing student expectations and frustrations with respect to access and financial aid, have led to widening fissures in the system.
This review has identified, in addition to under-funding, the limits of academic staff capacity as a further crack in the foundations that threatens to widen and have a detrimental impact on the quality of provision. Immediate solutions to the particular crisis that higher education finds itself in need to be found, but it is important that any future courses of action are informed both by rational analysis of empirical data, and reflection on and understanding of the directions, trends and trajectories of the system in the past.
The successes and limitations of policy in steering the system, the responses of the system to global trends to which it is vulnerable, and the agency of institutions in shaping the system, are all aspects which lend themselves to careful unpacking from various perspectives, in order that the past may inform the future.
Here is a list of Cheapest Universities in South Africa
University of Kwazulu Natal
It is a university with five campuses in the province of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. It was formed on 1 January 2004 after the merger between the University of Natal and the University of Durban-Westville. It parades the Motto Inspiring Greatness.
It has its as Chancellor as Mogoeng Mogoeng and the Vice-Chancellor as Dr. Albert van Jaarsveln. It is located at Durban, Westville, Pinetown and Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
Agriculture, Engineering, Science, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Chemistry, Physics, Life Sciences, Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science, Medicine, Laboratory Medicine, Nursing, Public Health, Religion, Philosophy and Classics, Social Sciences, Applied Human Sciences, Built Environment and Development Studies, Education, Law and Management Studies, Accounting, Economics and Finance.
R39, 770-R44, 000 for a masters program
R30, 680-R40, 000 for a doctorate program
University of Free State
The University of the Free State is a multi-campus public university in Bloemfontein, the capital of the Free State and the judicial capital of South Africa. It is one of the low tuition universities in South Africa.
It was Established 1904, its Chancellor is Dr Khotso Mokhele and Vice-Chancellor Francis Petersen Its Location is in Bloemfontein, Free State, South Africa.
In 1910, the Parliament of the Orange River Colony passed legislation declaring the GUC an official educational institution in the fields of the Arts and Sciences.
The University was declared a full-fledged, independent university in 1950, and the name was again changed to the University of the Orange Free State. In February 2001, the University’s name changed to the University of the Free State, which was adopted to reflect the real character of the institution and its environment.
Economic and Management Sciences, Education, Health Sciences, Law, Natural and Agricultural Sciences, Humanities, and Theology
R19,910 for international students
Rhodes University is a public research university located in Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. It is one of the low tuition universities in South Africa and province. Established in 1904, Rhodes University is the province’s oldest university, and it is the fifth or sixth oldest South African university in continuous operation, being preceded by the University of the Free State (1904), University of Witwatersrand (1896), Stellenbosch University (1866) and the University of Cape Town (1829).
Rhodes was founded in 1904 as Rhodes University College, named after Cecil Rhodes, through a grant from the Rhodes Trust. It became a constituent college of the University of South Africa in 1918 before becoming an independent university in 1951.
R35, 700-R37, 600 for international students
University of Kwazulu Natal
The North-West University is a South African university with three campuses at Potchefstroom, Mahikeng (Previously Mafikeng) and Vanderbijlpark, South Africa. In Potchefstroom is the head office of the University. With its merged status, the North-West University became one of the largest universities in South Africa and has 64 081 students (full-time and distance education).
The low tuition universities in south africa that merged to form this institution are the Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education and the University of North-West (formerly the University of Bophuthatswana). Potchefstroom University already had a Vanderbijlpark branch.
The NWU officially came into being in on 1 January 2004 as part of the South African government’s attempt to transform higher education.
University of Cape Town
Founded in 1829, the University of Cape Town (UCT) is a public research university located in Cape Town in the Western Cape province of South Africa. UCT was founded as the South African College making it the oldest higher education institute and among the low tuition universities in South Africa.
It is jointly the oldest university in South Africa and the oldest extant university in Sub-Saharan Africa alongside Stellenbosch University which received full university status on the same day in 1918.
The University of Cape Town was established as the South African College, a high school for boys. The College had a small tertiary-education facility that grew substantially after 1880, when the discovery of gold and diamonds in the north – and the resulting demand for skills in mining – gave it the financial boost it needed to grow.
The College developed into a fully fledged university during the period 1880 to 1900, thanks to increased funding from private sources and the government.
R75, 000 for international students
R60, 000 for postgraduate program with additional R3, 750 for PhD program.
University of Fort Hare
The University of Fort Hare is known as one of the low tuition universities in South Africa.
It was a key institution of higher education for black Africans from 1916 to 1959. It offered a Western-style academic education to students from across sub-Saharan Africa, creating black African elite. Fort Hare alumni were part of many subsequent independence movements and governments of newly independent African countries.
In 1959, the university was subsumed by the apartheid system, but it is now part of South Africa’s post-apartheid public higher education system. It is known for its notable alumni, which include several African heads of state and Nobel Prize, winners.
R26, 000-R45, 000 for international students
R12, 470-R21, 600 for postgraduate program
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
Formed in 2005, Nelson Mandela University (formerly Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, NMMU, formerly the University of Port Elizabeth (UPE)) is among the low tuition universities in south Africa with its main administration in the coastal city of Port Elizabeth.
Nelson Mandela University was founded through a merger of institutions which are Port Elizabeth Technikon, and the University of Port Elizabeth in January 2005, but its history dates back to 1882, with the foundation of the Port Elizabeth Art School. The University draws international students from all over the world.
There are over 3,000 international students, including students from the United States, France, China, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom and many African countries.
In 2004, prior to the merger, UPE had taken control of the Port Elizabeth Campus of Vista University. The name of the University was formally changed from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University to Nelson Mandela University on 20 July 2017.
Nelson Mandela University (NMU) is a new generation university, distinguished by the wide range of study options and access routes open to students. NMU nurtures innovation, fosters creativity, embraces technology and develops people to meet the challenges of tomorrow.
R17, 940-R22, 460 for masters program
R18, 280-R20, 110 for PhD program
University of Witwatersrand
Established in 1896, the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, is a multi-campus South African public research university situated in the northern areas of central Johannesburg. It is more commonly known as Wits University or Wits. It is one of the low tuition universities in south Africa.
In 1959, the Extension of University Education Act forced restricted registrations of black students for most of the apartheid era; despite this, several notable black leaders graduated from the university. It was desegregated once again, prior to the abolition of apartheid, in 1990. Several of apartheid’s most provocative critics, of either European or African descent, were one-time students and graduates of the university.
The university was founded in Kimberley in 1896 as the South African School of Mines. Eight years later, in 1904, the school was moved to Johannesburg and in 1920, the school was renamed the University College, Johannesburg.
R65, 300-R151, 970 for masters program
R204, 100 for MBA program
R20, 670 for PhD program
Stellenbosch University is a public research university situated in Stellenbosch, a town in the Western Cape province of South Africa. Stellenbosch is jointly the oldest university in South Africa and the oldest extant university in Sub-Saharan Africa alongside the University of Cape Town which received full university status on the same day in 1918. Stellenbosch University designed and manufactured Africa’s first microsatellite, SUNSAT, launched in 1999.
Stellenbosch University was the first African university to sign the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities.
The students of Stellenbosch University are nicknamed “Maties”. The term probably arises from the Afrikaans word “tamatie” (meaning tomato, and referring to the maroon sports uniforms and blazer colour).
R43, 380 for undergraduate and postgraduate diploma program for international non-African students
University of Johannesburg
Established in 2005, the University of Johannesburg is a public university located in Johannesburg, South Africa. It is founded as the result of a merger between the Rand Afrikaans University (RAU), the Technikon Witwatersrand (TWR) and the Soweto and East Rand campuses of Vista University.
Prior to the merger, the Daveyton and Soweto campuses of the former Vista University had been incorporated into RAU. As a result of the merger of Rand Afrikaans University (RAU), it is common for alumni to refer to the university as RAU.
Its vision of the UJ is to be “an international University of choice, anchored in Africa, dynamically shaping the future. The mission can be described as follows: inspiring its community to transform and serve humanity through innovation and the collaborative pursuit of knowledge”. These are underpinned by four values, namely: imagination, conversation, regeneration and ethical foundation.
R14, 634-R171, 158 for postgraduate program
University of Limpopo
Since 2005, the University of Limpopo has being existing as an institution in the Limpopo Province, South Africa. It was formed by the merger of the University of the North and the Medical University of South Africa (MEDUNSA). These previous institutions formed the Turfloop and MEDUNSA campuses of the university, respectively. In 2015 the MEDUNSA campus split and became the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University.
R30, 716-R41, 686 for Masters Program
R43, 600 for PhD program
International students are expected to pay about 50% increment of the tuition fee
University of Venda
The University of Venda (UNIVEN) is a South African Comprehensive rural based university, located in Thohoyandou in Limpopo province. It was established in 1982 under the then Republic of Venda government.
It was established in 1982 to serve the inhabitants of the Venda bantustan, however, the student body at Univen never consisted of Venda students only, a student from all over the Northern Transvaal attended the Institution.
With the South African government’s programme of tertiary education reform in the new millennium, Univen became a “comprehensive university”, offering both theoretically oriented and practically oriented courses.
R12, 000-R24, 000 for masters studies
R13, 000-R26, 640 for PhD studies
University of Pretoria
The University of Pretoria is a multi-campus public research university in Pretoria, the administrative and de facto capital of South Africa. The university was established in 1908 as the Pretoria campus of the Johannesburg-based Transvaal University College and is the fourth South African institution in continuous operation to be awarded university status.
It has the vision to be a leading research‐intensive university in Africa, recognized internationally for its quality, relevance, and impact, as also for developing people, creating knowledge and making a difference locally and globally.
It is among the low tuition universities in South Africa.
University of Venda
The University of the Western Cape is a public university located in the Bellville suburb of Cape Town, South Africa. It has a history of creative struggle against oppression, discrimination, and disadvantage. It is known as one of the low tuition universities in South Africa.
Among academic institutions it has been in the vanguard of South Africa’s historic change, playing a distinctive academic role in helping to build an equitable and dynamic nation. UWC’s key concerns with access, equity and quality in higher education arise from extensive practical engagement in helping the historically marginalized participate fully in the life of the nation.
The university was established in 1960 by the South African government as a university for Coloured people only. Other universities near Cape Town are the University of Cape Town, (UCT, originally for English speaking whites) and the Stellenbosch University (originally for Afrikaans speaking whites).
R36, 595 for undergraduate studies for international students
R33, 070 for postgraduate studies
University of Zululand
Established in 1960, the University of Zululand is the only comprehensive tertiary educational institution north of the Tugela River in KwaZulu-Natal and among the low tuition universities in South Africa. Its new status is in accordance with South Africa’s National Plan for Higher Education aimed at eradicating inequity and costly duplication.
As a result, Unizulu offers career-focused programs as well as a limited number of relevant university degree courses that have been structured with potential employees and employers in mind.
The university has extended its existing links with a wide array of tertiary educational institutions in the United States and in Europe through partnerships. The University strives to produce graduates with high-level knowledge and skills and who have been educated for citizenship and for active participation in society.
Benefits of studying in South Africa as an International Students
There are several reasons why people should study in the lovely country of South Africa. They include the following:
South Africa is one of the leading countries in Africa by education. It also offers a great variety of languages. You can choose one out of ten languages to study in South Africa. South Africa also has great teachers who can ensure your knowledge.
Cost of living in South Africa
The cost of living in South Africa is also relatively cheap. You can survive in South Africa even if you have as much as $400 in your pocket. It will be enough to cover expenses for food, traveling, accommodation and utility bills. According to the Low Tuition Universities, the undergraduate programs in South Africa will cost you $2,500-$4,500. At the same time, the postgraduate programs will cost you about $2,700-$3000. The price is for one academic year.
South Africa has great colleges and universities that are doing their best to obtain the higher education requirements of students worldwide who want to study in English.
South Africa has about 10 languages from which students can decide to enroll in the academic program they want. Apart from a conducive environment for learning, South Africa universities have highly-rated teachers. Cost of living and education in South Africa is affordable courtesy of the low exchange rate.
General Tuition Fee in South Africa
Although there are free and low tuition universities in south Africa, Tuition fee for undergraduate programs in South Africa is about $2500-$4500 while for postgraduate programs it could cost about $2700-$3000.
How is the Academic Calendar of South African Universities?
Usually, the academic calendar in South Africa consists of two semesters. The first semester starts at the beginning of February and the second semester starts at the end of July.
General Application procedures into South African Universities
Applicants or candidates have the choice of either applying through the internet or through admission agencies. For those interested in applying through the internet, the following steps should be adhered to:
- Applicants should visit the web portal of the university they have chosen and make a request for an online application form.
- Applicants should fill the form with the right the information and upload the necessary documents
- Once done with the form, applicants should send it to the admission department of the university or send it to the address stated on the form
- Once the applicants’ form has been considered he or she will be sent an offer by airmail or Email
After applicants have received the offer they should ask for a visa pack from the school so they can start processing their visa
At this point, you are ready for your enrolment
Requirements for International Students
The requirement to make entry into a school is peculiar to the school and all the program you intend to run is also put into consideration.
How to Obtain Student Visa for South Africa
Before one is qualified to get student visa to study in any institution in South Africa, such person must have been accepted in a registered school, college or university in South Africa and must have also received a letter of acceptance from the said institution ensuring the letter is written on the institution’s letterhead and duly signed.
Then such person is expected to complete a temporary residence permit application which should be done in your home country, then submit it in person in the southern Africa country in your home country either to the consulate or high commission.
You are expected to submit the following documents;
- A passport valid for at least 30 days after the end of your course, with two consecutive, clear pages left for entry and departure stamps.
- Payment for the South African student visa application.
- Two colour passport-sized photographs.
- An official letter from the South African educational institution confirming the duration of your course, plus confirmation that it will inform the authorities if you fail to register, you are de-registered or expelled or when the course is completed or extended.
- Proof of necessary finances to cover tuition fees and living costs for the duration of your stay, around ZAR 3,000 per month (bank statements, travelers’ cheques etc.) and a cash deposit to cover the cost of a return ticket.
- Certificate of medical aid cover or health insurance recognized by the South African authorities, plus a letter confirming that it will be renewed every year for the duration of your stay. You may need to be sure your medical scheme is recognized by the South African Department of Home Affairs. If you are a student and the dependent child of a parent holding a South African visa and medical insurance, you may be covered by your parent’s scheme. Occasionally, South African high commissions accept foreign medical aid and international insurance policies.
- A yellow fever vaccination certificate.
- Medical and radiological reports from within last six month.
- Information about where you will be living in South Africa.
- A police clearance certificate for every country you’ve lived in for more than 12 months since the age of 18.
- Birth certificates of dependent children.
- Relevant certificates if married, widowed, divorced.
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Looking for university of south africa fee? Here are cheapest/affordable universities in South Africa (SA) for international students.