The Chinese Government is offering scholarships for South African students to study at Chinese institutions starting in the 2023/24 academic year. The Department of Higher Education and Training (the Department) is responsible for nominations. For more information about the Chinese Government scholarship please visit the China Scholarship Council website. 

289 Chinese universities are eligible to host scholarship recipients. The Department has identified possible universities for you to apply to, click here to get universities. Applicants are also allowed to apply to other eligible universities outside this list.

Degree level

The scholarship is offered for undergraduate (Bachelor) studies in the identified fields skills, postgraduate (Master’s or Ph.D.), or non-degree Chinese language studies. Bachelor’s degree scholarships are taught in Chinese and will only be awarded to applicants who already have the required level of Chinese proficiency (HSK 4 or above).

Who can apply?    

  • South African citizens in good health (medical check will be required for successful applicants);
  • Strong academic record with a minimum 65% average in previous studies;
  • Availability to study in China from September 2023;
  • Demonstrated interest in China and commitment to the development of South Africa;
  • Applications in all fields of study except medicine will be considered;
  • Applicants must meet the minimum academic requirements for entry into a similar program at a South African university.
  • Bachelor’s applicants must have HSK 4 level language certificate and be willing to study in Chinese, applications without an HSK level 4 language certificate will be automatically disqualified.

Education requirements and age limits:





  Chinese language studies (non-degree)

National Senior Certificate (or equivalent) with a university entrance pass (a minimum of 70% average is recommended). Applicants with a post-school qualifications will be given priority.

Under 35


  Bachelor’s degree

National Senior Certificate (or equivalent) with a university entrance pass (a minimum of 70% average is recommended)

HSK 4 (or higher ) certificate

Under 25


  Master’s degree

Bachelor’s degree (honors) or NQF 8 qualification (a minimum of 65% average is recommended)

Under 35


  Doctoral Degree

Master’s degree (a minimum of 65% average is recommended)

Under 40


   Important: The scholarship does not support any medical degrees and preference will be given to applications for postgraduate studies.

Fields of Study 

Preference will be given to postgraduate applicants, previously disadvantaged applicants, and applications in the following fields:

  • Agriculture
  • Biotechnology
  • Chinese language studies
  • Computer Science
  • Environment and Climate change
  • Engineering Sciences
  • Food Science
  • Hydrogeological Engineering
  • Maritime Studies
  • Natural and Physical Sciences
  • Nuclear and Renewable Energy
  • Space Science and Technology
  • Telecommunication

Language of Instruction

According to the regulations of the Chinese Ministry of Education, all undergraduate programs for scholarship students are taught in the Chinese language. Bachelor’s degree applicants interested in pursuing a Bachelor’s degree must have at least an HSK Level 4 or higher.

At the Master’s and Ph.D. levels, programs taught in both English and Chinese are eligible for the scholarship. Check the language of instruction available for the identified program, as not all courses are available in English. 

Institutions and Programmes

Scholarship applicants are required to apply directly to the institution of their choice before applying for the scholarship. Evidence of the submitted application must be provided. 

NB: Applicants are advised to submit applications for admission to at least three universities to increase their chances of admissionthe scholarship will not be awarded without proof of a university application having been submitted.

It is the responsibility of each candidate to do research into available programs, institutions, the language of instruction, and program-specific entrance criteria. Ph.D. applicants must engage with the university of choice and secure potential supervisors.

Please refer to the list of programs and participating universities.

Approximate duration (years) of scholarships






  Chinese language studies



Up to 2


  Bachelor’s degree





  Master’s degree





  Doctoral Degree





  Studies must be completed within the duration of the scholarship, as specified in the Admission Notice.

What the scholarship offers 

The Chinese Government provides the following:


 Tuition (RMB per year)*

 Accommodation (RMB per year)

 Stipend (RMB per year)

 Medical Insurance (RMB per year)


  Chinese language studies






  Bachelor’s degree






  Master’s degree






  Doctoral Degree






 Should tuition fees for the identified program exceed the above-stated amounts, the Scholarship Recipient will be responsible for paying the difference.

The South African Government provides the following (subject to the availability of funds):

  • One return economy airfare;
  • Monthly stipend;
  • Once-off settlement allowance;
  • Visa costs;
  • Compulsory orientation program before departure.

Successful scholarship applicants will be required to sign a contract and return to South Africa upon completion of their studies.

Note: Travel to China will be subject to imposed travel restrictions and the Department will only book flights for students when the safety and seamless travel of students can be assured.

How to apply

  • Complete both the DHET application form and start the Chinese Government online application on
  • Submit the DHET application form with supporting documents to by 23 January 2023.

Use the subject line: Chinese Scholarship Application, [Your surname]

All applications received by the DHET will be acknowledged by email within 2 working days except for applications received between 15 December 2022 and 2 January 2023. Please follow up if you do not receive an email acknowledgment. Applications received on or after 15 December will be acknowledged after 5 January 2020 due closure of the Department. The DHET is unable to consider any applications that are not received by 23 January 2023 or are incomplete.


All queries should be forwarded to alternatively refer to Frequently Asked Questions.

Download and Links 

China Scholarship Council website 

List of programs and participating universities

DHET Application form

Instructions for Chinese Government Scholarship Information System (CGSIS)

Supporting Documents Checklist

Review process

Recommended Universities


Please note this scholarship is not offered by the Department of Higher Education and Training. Applicants are required to undertake their own research into programs and institutions and are responsible for ensuring that the qualifications will be recognized in South Africa. If there are any discrepancies in the details provided regarding the scholarship, the information given by the sponsor supersedes the details provided above. No additional financial support will be provided by the Department of Higher Education and Training other than stated above.

Click here to apply


30 January 2023 

By admin