France is the ideal country to pursue tertiary education from undergraduate to doctorate level.

With English as instruction language of over 1 300 courses in various educational domains, South Africans and Basotho do not need to be proficient in French to study at postgraduate level in France.

The financial investment of the French government in the French higher education system, additionally attracts international students because of the reduced public university tuition fees (only R4000 – R10 000 per academic year).

France therefore ranks as the leading, non-English, host country for international students, accommodating around 310 000 foreign students every year of which 42 000 originate from sub-Saharan Africa.

The French Embassy in South Africa especially encourages South African and Basotho graduates to continue with postgraduate degrees in France, offering finance opportunities through a competitive scholarship programme. Until 20 March 2018, candidates from all academic disciplines, especially science and technology, are encouraged apply to the Campus France office in South Africa. Once approved, the academic year starts in September 2018 in France.

Since 2011, the French Embassy has invested over 2 million euros in South African and Basotho student mobility and has sent around 170 South African and Basotho students to complete their tertiary degrees in France.

The French government, through the French Embassy scholarship programme, has supported 30 students during the 2016/2017 academic year to pursue their masters and doctorate degrees. Some scholarship holders will continue their studies in French Higher Education institutions next year while others will return as France Alumni ambassadors to invest their acquired skills in South Africa.

France further finance higher education opportunities through participation in European exchange programmes, namely ERASMUS Mundus, as well as the elite Eiffel Excellence programme that offer scholarships to excellent academic achievers.

Apart from the 74 public universities, students can register at any one of the 227 engineering schools, 150 business schools, 120 art schools, 20 architecture schools and 270 doctorate schools.

In addition to the French Embassy scholarship holders, around 180 South African students chose France to continue with their higher education in 2016.

The France Alumni network of highly educated South African and Basotho professionals are therefore increasing every year, forming part of the international France Alumni network consisting of over 55 000 members.

France is highly committed to strengthening the collaboration between South African and French academic institutions and therefore encourages the public to consult their website for the study and financing opportunities in France.


For more information:

Mrs. Narine van den Berg

University Cooperation Officer

Embassy of France in South Africa – Campus France South Africa