University of South Africa Acceptance Rate

Unisa - University of south africa

University of South Africa Acceptance Rate

Matriculation exemption – Higher Education South Africa

HESA (Higher Education South Africa) was formed on 9 May 2005 and represents the heads of all public universities, universities of technology and comprehensive universities in South Africa. The SAMB (South African Matriculation Board) forms an integral part of HESA’s role. The SAMB advises the Minister of Education via HESA on the minimum general admission requirements for first degree studies at South African universities.

Before admittance to a South African university, South Africans must first successfully complete the SANSC (South African National Senior Certificate) examinations. Those students that manage to obtain the appropriate standards in these examinations are accordingly awarded “matriculation exemption” status and may enrol for a first degree at a South African university.

Foreign Nationals

All students who are either completing or have completed their schooling outside of South Africa and / or through an alternate educational system must ascertain whether they have also earned “matriculation exemption”. In this regard, the SAMB regulates admission to first degree studies by ensuring all students who did not complete a SANSC but who have an equivalent university entrance qualification, comply with the requisite criteria. The SAMB regularly updates the list of these alternate qualifications that are acceptable on face value for admission to first degree studies at South African universities. These can be found on the HESA website.


South African Matriculation Board contact details
Tel: +27 12 481 2847/8
Fax: +27 12 481 2718/2922 or 086 677 7744
Matriculation exemption, a minimum average percentage plus individual programme criteria are the entrance requirements for Baccalaureus (undergraduate) degree studies. For the exemption requirements according to the most common systems / countries from which applications are normally received, please go to the relevant link below:

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American High School diploma


International Baccalaureate (IB)

Namibian Higher and Ordinary Level (formerly HIGCSE and IGCSE)

If you are not sure whether you qualify for matriculation exemption, HESA offer an Online System of Assessment to enable prospective first degree students who want to study at a South African university to assess whether they meet the minimum legal admission requirements.

The system results will state whether an applicant meets the minimum legal requirements or not. If the applicant is successful, hard copies of certificates will have to be sent to the SAMB for verification and issuance of the exemption certificate.

Foreign University-level Qualifications

All non-South African post-school qualifications need to be evaluated by SAQA (South African Qualifications Authority). They can be contacted at +27 12 431 5064 or via e-mail ( or You will also find an application form on the website.

NB: Your application needs to be made well in advance to avoid disappointment, as the process can take as long as six months to complete.


North-West University Disclaimer:
Please be aware that the information supplied on this page is for general information purposes only. More precise details can be obtained by going to the official SADHA website (South African Department of Home Affairs).  Requirements for studying in South Africa are subject to change and each application is treated as an individual case. Please ensure that you make the necessary inquiries well in advance, before travelling to South Africa.