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International applicants


The International Academic Programmes Office (IAPO) at the University of Cape Town (UCT) welcomes international students to UCT every year.

International students at UCT

IAPO welcomes all international students to UCT, Cape Town and South Africa. UCT is home to some 4 300 international students from 104 countries. With international students representing 20% of the population, the campus represents a diverse mix of people, cultures, religions, values and expectations.

International Full Degree Students

The University of Cape Town is host to over 4,500 international students from 104 different countries. The majority of these students are registered for full degree studies across UCT's faculties. The University values the contribution that international students make to the academic, social and cultural life of the institution.

Semester Study Abroad

UCT runs an exciting, varied and successful semester study abroad (SSA) programme. The Faculties of Commerce, Engineering & the Built Environment, Humanities, Law and Science all offer courses to study abroad students.

Customised Short-Term International Programmes

UCT welcomes you to engage in an invaluable opportunity to study, research and explore South Africa whilst participating in a short term international programme. Short Term International Programmes (STIP) at the University of Cape Town’s International Office (IAPO) provides customised short courses to international delegates. The programmes are designed in accordance with specialised topics to cover a broad range of strategic academic areas that are innovative, relevant and educative incorporating a multidisciplinary or discipline-focussed approach within the African and global context.

International exchanges

IAPO facilitates and manages a large number of inter-institutional agreements, many of which provide for the mobility of UCT students and staff to partner campuses abroad.

International student applications

There are slightly different application processes depending on what kind of programme you are interested in applying for. If you want to apply for a complete degree, and if you do not already have a degree, please look under Undergraduate Application Procedures. If you already have a degree but would like to enrol for a full post graduate degree, please see Postgraduate Application Procedures. If you would like to study for one or two semesters only, please see the information under Semester Study Abroad Application Procedures.

International student fees

As of 2013 citizens and permanent residents from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) are charged a SADC Administration Fee in addition to UCT fees. The SADC member countries are: Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Students from the rest of the world are liable for international fees.

Funding for International students

International scholarships: International honours, master’s & PhD students/applicants are advised that the university offers scholarships to deserving international applicants. There are also bursaries available for honours, postgraduate diploma and coursework master's students.

Study permits

All international students who are resident in the country for the duration of their studies are required to have a study visa to study in the Republic of South Africa. UCT is not permitted to register you unless you have a valid temporary resident permit (i.e. a study visa). This includes International Full Degree students (students pursuing a Bachelors, Masters or Doctoral Degree) and students participating in the Semester Study Abroad programme for one or two semesters.

Read more on the IAPO website...