Swedish Institute Scholarships for South Africa (SISSA)

Are you a talented and ambitious citizen of South Africa and want to study for a master’s degree in Sweden on a fully-funded scholarship? Find out if you can apply to the Swedish Institute Scholarships for South Africa.
Previous SI scholarship holders from South Africa on the SI Diploma Ceremony.

Opens for applications February 4th


We grant scholarships to a large number of master’s programmes starting in the autumn semester 2019. Check the list of master’s programmes that are eligible for Swedish Institute Scholarships for South Africa (SISSA).

  1. To begin with, apply for a master’s programme at universityadmissions.se, between 16 October 2018 – 15 January 2019.
  2. Apply for an SI scholarship between 4 – 14 February 2019, follow the instructions below.

Up to 10 scholarships will be awarded to South African citizens attending master’s studies starting in the autumn semester 2019.

What’s included

The scholarship covers

*The travel grant is a one-time payment for the entire scholarship period. The grant is not applicable to students already living in Sweden.

The scholarship does not cover

  • Additional grants for family members.
  • Application fee to University Admissions.

Scholarship period

The scholarship is intended for full-time one-year or two-year master’s programmes, and is only awarded for programmes starting in the autumn semester. The scholarship is granted for one academic year (two semesters) at a time. It will be extended for programmes longer than two semesters, provided that the student has passed his/her courses/credits.

The scholarship period cannot be changed or extended beyond the awarded scholarship period, nor can the scholarship be transferred to a study programme other than the awarded master’s programme.

The competition for SI scholarships is very high. We recommend that you also look for other scholarship opportunities from your government, from organisations in your country, or from Swedish universities.


Country of citizenship

Only citizens of South Africa are eligible for SISSA.

Read more about country of citizenship

University admissions

You must be liable to pay tuition fees to Swedish universities, followed the steps of university admission, and be admitted to one of the eligible master’s programmes by 4 April 2019.

Read more about our criteria regarding University Admissions

Other eligibility criteria

There are also conditions regarding dual citizenships, previous residence and studies in Sweden, and more.

Read more about other eligibility criteria

Who we are looking for

The Swedish Institute Scholarships for South Africa (SISSA) programme is part of the Swedish government’s international awards scheme aimed at developing global leaders who will contribute to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It is funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Sweden and administered by the Swedish Institute (SI). The programme offers a unique opportunity for future leaders to develop professionally and academically, to experience Swedish society and culture, and to build a long-lasting relationship with Sweden and with each other. SISSA is a special initiative in connection with the Binational Commission agreement between Sweden and South Africa.

The goal is to enable the scholarship holders to play an active role in the positive development of the societies in which they live. Ideal candidates are ambitious young professionals with academic qualifications, demonstrated leadership experience, ambition to make a difference by working with issues which contribute to a just and sustainable development in their country in a long term perspective, and a clear idea of how a study programme in Sweden would benefit their country.

Priority will be given to applicants who

  1. have completed bachelor’s with honours or equivalent from a South African university, and
  2. choosing study programmes with an emphasis on one of the following subject areas (listed in alphabetical order, no priority or ranking is implied):
  • Computer science and IT
  • Design (industrial design, architecture, urban/regional planning)
  • Engineering
  • Environmental technology/Sustainable development
  • Gender studies
  • Nanotechnology
  • Public health

Required documents

You should only submit the required documents listed below in your online scholarship application. We will not consider any other documents than the required ones. You must complete your applications in English. Use our forms and templates provided below and complete them according to the instructions, otherwise your applications will be disqualified.

The compulsory documents required are:

  • A motivation letter: you must use the SISSA form for motivation letter. The form will be available here in January 2019.
  • A Curriculum Vitae (CV): you must use the SISSA template for CV and the CV should not exceed the number of pages indicated in the template. Additional pages will not be considered. The template will be available here in January 2019.
  • A copy of your passport: your personal data including name, citizenship and photograph must be shown clearly. Copy of passport should be included together with the CV as a last page. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have a copy of your valid passport showing that your citizenship is South Africa, to include in your application.

Make sure you have a complete application

A complete application must consist of:

  1. a completed motivation letter
  2. a CV
  3. a copy of your valid passport

If your application is missing one of the required documents above, it will be disqualified.

If you apply to several master’s programmes

You need to submit a separate copy of your scholarship application for each eligible master’s programme that you have applied to. For example, if you have applied to the maximum of four master’s programmes on universityadmissions.se, you must submit four separate and complete online scholarship applications. Each application must have all the required compulsory documents attached. You may use the same documents for each application, or create unique ones for each master’s programme. You should use the same account at the application portal to submit all your scholarship applications and you should provide the same e-mail address for all your scholarship applications.

Optional documents

Work and leadership experience is not a requirement for citizens of South Africa who apply to SISSA. However, it will be a merit if you have demonstrated work and leadership experience. In this case, please use our forms to provide one or two letters of reference and proof of work and leadership experience.

  • One or two letters of reference: you must use the SISSA form for letter of reference. The letter can be based on any types of work you had. The letters should be signed by the referee and stamped with official stamp of the referred organisation or a notary office. The form(s) should be typed, then printed, signed and stamped; and then be uploaded as one PDF-file. You can find more information in the instruction in the form and in our FAQ. The will be available here in December 2018.
  • Proof of work and leadership experience: you must use the SISSA form for proof of work and leadership experience. The experience should be signed by the referee and stamped with official stamp of the referred organisation or a notary office. The form(s) should be typed, then printed, signed and stamped; and then be uploaded as one PDF-file. You can find more information in the instruction in the form and in our FAQ. The form will be available here in December 2018.

Data protection and integrity

The Swedish Institute (SI) is a public agency. As such, all applications received by SI are in the public domain. We use the personal information you give us to process your application. If your application is granted, we will continue to use this personal information in order to handle your scholarship. We deal with this information in accordance with the Swedish Principle of Public Access to Information and the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Your personal information is handled by SI employees as well as outside experts who have signed a contract of compliance. For more information please read SI’s privacy policy.

How to apply

Apply for a master’s programme at universityadmissions.se
DATE:16 OCT 2018 – 15 JAN 2019
Apply for SI Scholarships for South Africa
DATE:4 FEB 2019 – 14 FEB 2019
Notifications from University Admissions
DATE:4 APR 2019
Announcement of up to 10 successful SI scholarship recipients
DATE:26 APR 2019

Visit the official link

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