Masters Degrees, Graduate Studies and Professional Programs in South Africa
List of Masters Degrees, Graduate Studies and Professional Programs in South Africa
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About Masters Degrees, Graduate Studies and Professional Programs in South Africa
The distance one must travel to arrive in South Africa is well worth it, as the country is a literal treasure trove of culture and natural beauty. Despite a somewhat tumultuous history and the tragic legacy of Apartheid, today South Africa has transformed itself into one of the leading economic, political and cultural centers on the African continent. The country is, by far, one of the most democratic countries in Africa, and its growing economy is frequently likened to other emerging middle economies, such as those in Nigeria, Brazil, and India. South Africa is home to some of the most stunning and iconic natural landscapes in the world and its cities, particularly Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town, are now incredibly modern and cosmopolitan, particularly in comparison to much of the rest of the continent.
South Africa is home to an enviable system of national parks, nature reserves and stunning wildlife. One such treasure, Kruger National Park, is one of the largest game reserves in Africa, covering an area of approximately 7,400 square miles. Kruger, along with many of the other parks that make up this marvelous network, is considered a national treasure, and a park where much emphasis is placed on sustainable tourism and preserving the country’s natural landscapes and wildlife.
A very multicultural and multiethnic country, South Africa is home to many different languages, religions, customs and traditions, all of which are constitutionally protected by the South African government. Eleven languages are considered official in the country, including the Dutch-based language known as Afrikaans and English. This diversity makes it much more comfortable for visiting students and will help them adapt more rapidly to their new surroundings. Many sports are played in South Africa, the most popular being rugby and soccer, the latter of which put South Africa in the international spotlight a few years back when the country hosted the 2010 World Cup Tournament. Music is very popular in the country, with styles as diverse as the population, and the people are some of the friendliest in the world.
Higher Education and Graduate Studies in South Africa
The higher education and professional training system in South Africa, otherwise known as tertiary education, includes programs for undergraduate students as well as for those seeking graduate and postgraduate degrees, certificates and diplomas, with the highest achievement being the doctoral or PhD degree.
In South Africa, a matric endorsement is required for those who wish to pursue a university degree, with a minimum of three subjects passed at the higher, rather than the standard, grade, although some universities also set additional academic requirements. A standard school-leaving South African senior certificate, the equivalent of a high school diploma in the United States, is sufficient for those planning to pursue technical qualifications and diplomas.
South Africa has an excellent and vibrant higher education sector, boasting 23 state-funded tertiary institutions: 11 universities, six universities of technology, and six comprehensive institutions. There are also a couple of recently opened public facilities, namely the Northern Cape National Institute for Higher Education, and the Mpumalanga National Institute for Higher Education. Many of South Africa's universities are internationally ranked, with facilities that provide cutting edge research in a variety of spheres. Although subsidized by the state, the universities are autonomous, reporting to their own councils rather than the government.
According to figures from the Council of Higher Education, the main oversight body for South Africa’s higher education system, approximately 895,000 students were enrolled in South Africa's public higher-education institutions in 2013, a number that includes international or foreign-born students from around the world.
In addition to the public institutes of higher learning, South Africa is also home to 115 private institutions of higher learning, 88 of which are registered and 27 provisionally registered with the Department of Higher Education to confer specific degrees (Bachelor, Master’s and Doctorate degrees), certificates and diplomas.
Since 2009, the Department of Higher Education and Training has also been responsible for Further Education and Training (FET), which covers training provided from Grades 10 to 12, including career-oriented education and training offered in technical colleges, community colleges and private colleges. There are currently around 450 registered FET colleges in South Africa.
Why Study Abroad in South AfricaSouth Africa is a wonderful choice for anyone thinking of studying abroad. Not only does the country offer a wide range of degree and diploma options, there are also scores of professional programs available for those who want to focus their studies in a specific career field. South Africa is a melting pot of different ethnicities, cultures, languages, and religions, and its universities welcome the presence of international students. This amazing diversity provides students with the unique opportunity to gain many different academic, national and cultural perspectives.
Outside of the classroom, South Africa offers a bounty of activities and sightseeing attractions to behold. From a natural standpoint, the country is both diverse and beautiful, and its world-famous system of National Parks is filled with unforgettable landscapes and some of the most exotic wildlife on the planet. South Africa’s Eastern Cape, known as the “Wild Coast,” is also incredibly scenic, featuring waterfalls, pristine forests and white sand beaches that are rarely touched by humankind. These and other natural settings provide the backdrop for some of the fun and exciting activities pursued here, including bungee jumping from 710 feet up off the world’s highest bungee jump platform; swimming with the penguins at beautiful Boulders Beach; and diving with Great White Sharks (from the safety of a cage, of course) off South Africa’s extensive coast.The cities in South Africa, most notably Cape Town and Johannesburg, provide countless opportunities for shopping, dining and sightseeing, and by nightfall the bars and nightclubs come alive as university students come together to unwind and party after a long week of studying.. It is in these cities that you will also find the greatest concentration of museums, galleries and theaters, as well as some of the country’s most prized landmarks that together tell the story of this proud nation. Finally, for students who are interested in giving back as part of their study abroad experience, South Africa offers a variety of programs that will afford them the opportunity to become active in their local community and work with people and groups that are struggling.