Enrolling for PhD in South African Universites

Dear Friends,

Myself Mayur a young Indian Postgraduate ( M.Eng)  in Construction management currently working in Muscat as Planning Engineer. I am looking forward to pursue a PhD in Civil Engineering from Any of the universities in South Africa. I have gone through the websites of the universities and discussed with their delegates too.
Due to similarities in economy of India and South Africa is too a developing Country. I find it better rather than to go for European and other universities. I can formulate a better and realistic problem in south Africa as the country is also facing the same problems in Infrastructure as India is facing these days :sosad:

Following are my few doubts. it will be really very great full if I will get a guidance for the same.
1. Where the south African Universities stand in World Rankings. & Which university is much better
2. The rough educational/ Academic expense is around R 20000 per year. I am concerned about a living cost. ( I understand it will vary per cities still I need a rough number.what will be the annual living expense for a average spending student.
3. Most Important IF i come on Study visa, will I be able to work part time so as to cover my expenses.
4. As PhD is 3 years course. Suggest me the best possible way to cover my expenses while my stay.
5. I have checked for scholarships also but 80 % of those are reserved for south Africans.  :(

Hope so I will get a good guidance for the same.

P.S my area of interest is Urban Infrastructure and its facilities management and its impact on society if any one who is interested to help me on this will be a great pleasure for me.

Universities I have shortlisted.
1. University of Cape town
2. University of Johannesburg
3. Stellonbosch University
4. University of the Witwatersrand

Current savings I have with me is 6,00,000 INR. kindly suggest me the best way.

Thank you very much :)

Hi Mayur,

in accordance with current SA legislation, the holder of a valid SA Study Visa may conduct part-time work for a period not exceeding 20 hours per week.

To work for more than the prescribed period, you will need a work visa.


According to the QS world university ranking Cape Town is the best university in South Africa and some of my friends here confirm that.

In the other hand, I think that you can get a part-time job but do not expect that salary help you a lot, you've to go with some money in order to cover your needs.

According to you it sounds like your budget is not good enough. What I can suggest for you are Johannesburg universities.  The cost of living in Johannesburg is lower than in capetown. So you will be left with WITS and UJ as your option. Rentals and food is affordable.

2,fitting in
The main campuses of Wits and UJ are located close to a large Indian, Pakistan and Bangladesh community so you won't take time to adjust to the environment.  The same food dishes that you enjoying now in India will be served to you in local restaurants in joburg.

On international standard Wits is ranked higher than UJ it competes with stellenbosch university on the second best university in Africa spot. This ranking also comes at a price. It's a bit more expensive than UJ.  Uj is lower in ranking but cheaper on fees.

- You have to confirm with the institutions to check how much will you pay for your qualification to make a wise choice that equates your budget.

- staying off campus will work out cheaper for your monthly rentals. It can be a walking distance or you can use the bus services offered by the university to travel to and from the university.

* Wits = Witwatersrand university
* UJ = University of Johannesburg

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