The decision of where and what to study is one of the most important decisions you will have to make. Hundreds of pamphlets, advertisements and representatives from Universities in South Africa will try to make the decision for you however at the end of the day, armed with an overload of information that has been handed to you; you alone can make the move towards what you want.
South Africa is home to the top three universities in Africa. In 2010 the University of Cape Town ranked number one – if you choose this university as your tertiary education institution not only will you leave with a sought after qualification but you would have studied underneath the guidance of some of the top lecturers and resources on the continent. The University of Pretoria and the University of Stellenbosch rank second and third, and without a doubt will give an education and tertiary education experience to be proud of.
The decision of what to study can often lead to where to study. There are many Universities in South Africa that are renowned for being the best at giving certain degrees. For example, Rhodes University in Grahamstown is notorious for their excellent journalism faculty and degree, and the best place to study veterinary science is at the University of Pretoria. Another factor involved is language. Although it is compulsory to learn two languages at school level, most students would prefer to attend a University that teaches in their mother tongue. The University of Stellenbosch mostly lectures in Afrikaans, however some of the courses are also taught in English. The Mangosuthu University of Technology is accommodating towards Zulu speaking students, as the institution is in Kwa-Zulu Natal, the province which is home to the largest population of South African Zulu speakers.
Unfortunately one of the factors that must be considered when applying to a University are its fees. Many bursaries are offered to previously disadvantaged students, and those who wish to pay back their university fees can often take out student loans. Unfortunately student loans are not available to foreign students but many scholarships can be won by students from African countries wishing to study in South Africa. Foreigners who otherwise wish to study at one of the Universities in South Africa will find that they may have to pay higher fees than their fellow students who are South African citizens.
South Africans have a wide choice of tertiary education institutions to choose from, ranging from collages, schools, and universities. Although the decision of where to go is a big one which must not be taken lightly, a University degree will nudge you a step above the rest and may even anchor you a career in a shaky economy. Not only will you receive a good education but you’ll make new friends and contacts to later network with, and will have the opportunity to become involved in University events, outings, and committees. Lastly, a University degree can never be taken away from you and an education is never worthless. By attending a University, not only will you be one of the elite to be fortunate enough to get this education and experience, but you will be able to make a valuable contribution to your society and work towards your dream career.