Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) Master’s Scholarships 2018/2019 in South Africa

Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) is now accepting applications from citizens of Commonwealth countries other than South Africa for its 2018/2019 Master’s Scholarships. Deadline for submission of application for the Commonwealth Master’s Scholarships in South Africa is 13 July 2018 at 17:00 South Africa Standard Time.

Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) Master’s Scholarships


These Commonwealth Master’s Scholarships allow successful applicants to benefit from the expertise provided by member universities in low and middle income countries around the Commonwealth.

The scheme, which will be expanded from 2019 and become known as the Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholarships, is majority funded through the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP) endowment fund.

The scholarships give talented students – who can be from any Commonwealth country other than the host country – the opportunity to gain a Master’s degree while developing new skills and experiencing life in another country.


Why study in South Africa.

The Department of Higher Education and Training in South Africa says:

South Africa’s universities present a wide variety of academic and research opportunities at well-resourced, multi-cultural campuses, as well as numerous opportunities for extra-curricular activities. South African university qualifications are internationally recognised. South Africa is a preferred destination for international students; international students make up about 10% of students at public universities. All of South Africa’s universities welcome international students, and institutions have a dedicated international office to support this.


Scholarships are tenable at:


Please see this document for a list of applicable subjects. The scholarships are only tenable in the subjects listed for each university.


The scholarships.

  • Four scholarships are available, starting in January/February 2019
  • The scholarships provide full tuition fees, a return economy flight, an arrival allowance and a regular stipend (living allowance)
  • The scholarships are for Master’s study only and are not applicable to distance learning courses
  • The scholarships are for new students only and cannot be used to fund a course you have already started
  • No additional funding will be provided for applicants with families
  • Scholarships are for a maximum of two years

Support for Commonwealth Scholars.

All Commonwealth Scholars have a dedicated contact person at the ACU who can be contacted by email and phone.

Commonwealth Master’s Scholarships Eligibility.

  • Applicants must be a citizen of a Commonwealth country other than South Africa and must not be currently resident in South Africa
  • Applicants must hold an Honours degree or a four-year degree, equivalent to NQF 8 on the South African National Qualifications Framework, and with an average mark of at least 70%, and meet the minimum entry criteria of the proposed course of study
  • Applicants must not be a current DHET-supported scholarship recipient
  • Applicants must have applied for the identified study programme at the chosen university in South Africa on a full-time basis
  • Applicants’ academic background should be aligned to the proposed field of study

How to apply for Commonwealth Master’s Scholarships.

First, you must apply for your chosen course directly with the university. Applicants are advised to arrange for their qualifications to be validated by the South African Qualifications Authority before applying to a university.

Separately, download this scholarship application form, and complete it in as much detail as possible.

As well as the application form, applicants must submit the following:

  • A 500-word research proposal summary, containing:
    • Scientific elements of the proposal: research rationale, problem identification, aims and objectives of research, theoretical framework and research methodology
    • Social relevance of proposed study
  • High school certificates
  • Undergraduate transcripts and graduation certificate
  • At least one academic reference
  • Scan of passport or national ID card
  • Proof of English language ability if English is not your first language
  • Proof that you have applied for the relevant course at your university of choice

Please submit all the required documents above by email to [email protected]



Applications close on 13 July 2018 at 17:00 South Africa Standard Time.

Further information: For any enquiries, please contact [email protected]


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