Project Atlas | South Africa | IEASA

About South Africa

South Africa has become a hub of higher education for many students in Africa. The top 10 countries of origin account for 64 percent of international students in South Africa. Within the top ten, the United States is the only non-African place of origin.

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 to over 42,000 international university students.
  • The top five places of origin in 2014 were Zimbabwe, Namibia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, and Nigeria. Accounting for 50 percent of international students.
  • South Africa is ranked 11th in Open Doors top destinations for U.S. Study Abroad participants.

Source: UNESCO Institute for Statistics. (2016). Global Flow of Tertiary- Level Students 2014.


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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