Advice Column, Education, Mainstream Education, Recently, Tween & Teen, Tween & Teen Advice


  • Global Village College
  • Category Advice Column, Education, Mainstream Education, Recently, Tween & Teen, Tween & Teen Advice

This is an exciting time for South African matriculants as they complete the final stage of their school career and prepare to enter the next phase of their academic life.  We are delighted to see how our students have excelled academically and are now submitting their applications for a place at university next year.


We share here some guidelines to help students and parents with the process of applying for university entrance.

1. Choose a course of study

The first step is to select your preferred course of study, and to have a second or third option to include in your application.

2. Choose your university 

You will need to check which universities offer your preferred undergraduate degree.  It is a good idea to apply to more than one university to keep your options open and to improve your chances for a successful application.

3. Check the admission requirements

3.1  Check the conditions and requirements to gain exemption for entry to South African public universities and make sure that you meet the requirements.  The Cambridge University Recognition South Africa document provides a summary of the Universities South Africa (USAf) minimum admission requirements for exemption for Bachelor Degree purposes. 

You can download this document from:

The exemption requirements are also generally stated in the university’s undergraduate prospectus or undergraduate admissions requirements document.

3.2 You also need to check the minimum requirements for your specific degree and make sure that you will meet these minimum requirements.  Each university faculty has different subject and grade requirements.  Cambridge students should check the university’s faculty requirements for international schools/applicants with non-South African school-leaving qualifications.  

Contact the university Admissions Office or search the university’s website for admission requirements for undergraduate international curricula/admission criteria for applicants with non-South African school-leaving qualifications.  These requirements are set out in the Undergraduate Prospectus by some universities.  

You can view available university faculty requirements for 2023 at:

3.3 Certain universities require that students write the National Benchmark Tests (NBT).   Check the requirements of your selected university and faculty to see what is required for your application.  

For more information about the National Benchmark Tests:


Call 021 650 3523

4.  Apply for admission

Applications for admissions have opened.  It is important that you check the application closing dates and that you apply as early as possible.  

The closing dates for applications vary for each university and for different courses.  You should consult your university of choice to find out the closing date for applications.  Applications for some courses and universities close as early as 30th June, so we suggest that you complete your application as soon as possible.

Admission to non selection programmes in some university faculties is based on the availability of places and when the available number of places for a specific programme have been filled, the programme is closed for further applications.

You will need to submit your GCSE certificates (and AS certificates if already completed) in the application process and should have these available to scan and upload according to the university’s requirements.

You will also be required to give the university an indication of the subjects for which you are still expecting results, by uploading some form of official proof of these subjects. Each university has their own requirements, but this can generally be a report, a letter from the school or a Statement of Entry, with the level (GCSE, AS or A-level) on which each subject is taken, clearly indicated. 

Once your application has been registered, the university will advise you of the next steps.

5. Apply for financial assistance, scholarships and bursaries

You can search your preferred university’s website for funding/financial assistance/aid or call them to find out about available financial assistance, scholarships and bursaries.  Check the application opening and closing dates and the documents required, to allow enough time to get all the documents ready to submit your application in time.


Students who wish to study or are already studying at a public university or TVET college and come from a family with an income of R350 000 or less, qualify for a government bursary offered via the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).

The bursary covers amounts for accommodation, living allowance, transport and learning materials, aligned with the approved latest DHET guidelines.

All South African citizens, SASSA grant recipients, applicants whose combined household income is R350 000 or less per annum, persons with disabilities whose household income is R600 000 or less per annum and students who started studying before 2018 whose household income is R122 000 or less per annum, qualify.

Applications for 2023 are open 1 September to 30 November 2022.  

For more information:


Call the toll free number:0860 0067 327

You can also search the university’s website for funding/financial assistance for more information.

University Financial Assistance, Scholarships and Bursaries

Each university has additional funding programmes to assist students.  Merit, sport and other bursaries are administered by each university.

Search the university’s website for university managed student funding/financial assistance and university administered bursaries or scholarships or contact the university to find out more. 

External Funding

Funding is also available from companies and organisations outside of the university.  Information can be obtained through a google search.  

Try these websites:

6. Find accommodation

Each university offers a variety of housing options such as university residences, rooms, apartments, etc.  Contact the university’s Student Accommodation Office to find out more.

Private accommodation is another option.  Students can consider staying in a privately run student housing centre, a student house, an apartment or in a room in a private residence.

Most universities assist students to find private accommodation.  Students should contact the university’s Student Accommodation Office for assistance.  Students can also search the internet for private accommodation options or contact local student accommodation agents or estate agents.


Students who intend to register at a South African University, need to apply for exemption for degree studies upon receiving their final results.

For more information:


Call:  +27 87 138 3001/2 or +27 105914401/27 138 3001 / 2 or +27 10 591 4401 / 2


For a list of universities in South Africa and their website addresses, visit:

We wish all our matriculants well as they embark on the last stage of their school journey.  We look forward to seeing your Cambridge International qualifications opening doors to the next stage of your academic journey and we believe you will be future ready to start forging your own independent paths in the world. 


Tracey Howard is the founder and director of Global Village College.  She has experience and expertise in education and organisation development consultancy, which equips her to understand the human capital requirements of organisations and to facilitate solutions for today’s students who are eager to learn the skills they require to thrive in our rapidly changing and competitive global world.

Tracey holds a MSc in Organisation Development and Consulting from Sheffield Hallam University (UK) and a BComm and a Higher Diploma in Education from Stellenbosch University. Her continuing professional development includes Philosophy for Children (P4C), All Brains Don’t Think Alike and The Education of Highly Able Learners.

For more information:

About the author

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  • Maryke Kok June 8, 2022 at 2:46 pm

    This is fantastic information for first time students! Definitely sharing it! Thank you!

  • Tracey June 8, 2022 at 3:24 pm

    Thank you for the feedback, Maryke. I am so pleased it is helpful.

  • Tracey June 8, 2022 at 3:27 pm

    Thank you for the feedback, Maryke. I am so pleased it is helpful. You are most welcome to share with anyone who will benefit.


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