3 Universities in South Africa With No Application Fee

Universities in South Africa have gone through a very difficult evolution from the 1950s and even earlier, when most were established during apartheid rule in the country. This led to a majority of black students not being able to attend university, and the trend of gradually allowing non-white students access to higher education has slowly led to the growth of some notable universities as well. From Pretoria to Cape Town, today’s South African universities are multiracial, inclusive and diverse. They are also well-ranked internationally and have rich campus lives, with cultural and sports activities to roud out the student experience.

The majority of universities in South Africa require applicants to pay a non-refundable fee upon submitting their application. However, the following three do not require application fees in most cases (with one exception for the University of Pretoria, but only for families whose incomes are above R150,000 per annum).

Here is some essential information on the South African universities that do not have an application fee.

South Africa Universities With No Application Fee

1. University of Pretoria

No application fee for: students whose household income is lower than or equal to R150,000 per annum.
The University of Pretoria is a public research university situated in the capital of South Africa, Pretoria. It traces its origins back to 1908, when it was established as the Pretoria campus of Transvaal University College, from Johannesburg. The University of Pretoria does not have an application fee for those from a low income family.

Over 50,000 students enroll at the University of Pretoria, in one of its nine faculties or the business school. The latter boasts the first MBA program outside North America, set up in 1949, and it has been ranked consistently as the best business school in Africa. The Gordon Institute of Business Science is also in the top 50 business schools worldwide.

Some additional measures of the popularity of the University of Pretoria include the fact that it is the origin of c. 16% of all higher education degrees in South Africa, higher than any other in the country. It also has an impressive research output at global level.

The main campus of the University of Pretoria is in the suburb of Hatfield, where six of its nine faculties are headquartered.

2. University of the Free State

No application fee for: all students
Next on our list of South African universities with no application fee is the University of the Free State. This public university is located in Bloemfontein, the capital of the Free State in South Africa. It was an independent Afrikaans-language since 1950 and it became fully desegregated in 1996 (after being open to whites only until then). The university switched to English as the primary tuition language in 2016.

UFS actively promotes the fact that they embrace transformation, diversity and inclusivity.

You can study here for a number of different specialties, beginning with undergraduate degrees and including postgraduate studies and short learning courses. There are seven faculties to choose from: Economic and Management Sciences, Education, Health Sciences, Humanities, Law, Natural and Agricultural Sciences, Open Distance Learning, Theology and Religion, and the Business School.

The university library is extensive, offering 700,000 titles and a growing electronic collection, while students can engage in 22 different sports on campus, too.

3. University of the Western Cape

No application fee for: all students
The University of the Western Cape is another university in South Africa that does not charge an application fee. It can be found in Bellville, close to Cape Town. It has been at the forefront of the struggle for equal rights in South Africa and of the fight against oppression since its inception. When it was created in 1960, the UWC was a direct product of the Extension of the University Education Act of 1959, which allowed more students of color access to university education. Although black students were allowed in very few institutions, the UWC always welcomed all races, since well before the end of apartheid in 1994.

Today, the university is very focused on research and offers a broad range of study programs up to postgraduate degrees. It is also part of a major network of international partner schools enabling exchanges both at student and professor levels.

The UWC ranks as 6th university in South Africa and 7th on the continent. Faculties include arts, community and health sciences, dentistry, economic and management sciences, education, law, and natural sciences, for undergraduate or postgraduate study.


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