Project Atlas | South Africa | IEASA

About South Africa

Since 2007, there has been an 8 percent increase of international students studying in South Africa. Most of these students come from other African countries, with the top 10 sending places of origin all African countries, making up 69.4 percent of the international student cohort.

The United States, United Kingdom, and Australia, all English speaking countries, remain the top three destinations of South African students studying abroad.

Fast Facts: South Africa

  • The number of international students studying in South Africa has grown dramatically since 1994, from 12,000 to over 60,000 international public university students in 2009, which represents nearly eight percent of the total 800,000 students in South Africa's 23 public universities.
  • The top five places of origin in 2009 were Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland.
  • South Africa has become the most popular place to study in Africa and is one of the world's top 20 host destinations for students from the U.S.
  • According to the OECD, South Africa ranks 11th in the world as a destination for international students.

Sources: IEASA, OECD


International Student in South Africa: Non South African. In cases of dual citizenship, if first country recorded by student is not South Africa.

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