Pretoria - Grade 12 pupils in the city were yesterday excited to learn about career opportunities to study abroad after they had completed their matric.
This was during an educational exhibition organised by Morula Study Centre at Time Square, where representatives from the embassies of Japan and Hungary told them about scholarships offered by their respective governments.
Agnes Juhasz from the embassy of Hungary said prospective students could choose from 137 academic courses offered at various universities in her country.
“All courses are offered in English. You can study natural science, biology, chemistry, geography, computer engineering, agriculture and water management,” she said.
Most of the courses were around natural science because “the South African government said it has skills gaps in these areas”.
Juhasz said: “That means when you come back from Hungary with your degree you would probably not have problems finding a job.”
All the courses were fully financed and the Hungarian government also paid students’ medical allowances.
The applications can be done online and the academic year starts in September (and run) until June the following year.
Ryna Keet from the Embassy of Japan Scholarship and Universities said the scholarship funded by the government was well-established, having started in 1954.
“To date 65000 students from approximately 160 countries, including South Africa, have studied in Japan under this fantastic scholarship programme.”
Keet expressed hope that the next scholarship recipients would attain qualifications that would make them an indispensable part of the South African economy.
The qualification would also place students in a unique position to bridge the gap between South Africa and Japan.
“When we send people to Japan to learn the language and culture and to become educated in Japan and come back to South Africa, they become more valuable. They become a bridge between South Africa and Japan and the rest of the world,” Keet said.
There were three types of scholarships, categorised as research (for master Master's and PhD students), undergraduate and special training colleges.
Those aspiring to do research must be under the age of 35 while those who want to enrol for undergraduate degrees must be between 17 and 25.
“For research applicants are free to apply for any field of study related to subjects they mastered in at university,” Keet said.
Some benefits of the scholarship included return flight tickets, fully funded tuition fees and a monthly allowance of R17000. The application forms are available on the embassy's website.
Organiser Strike Kunene said students would struggle to get the scholarship if they did not obtain good marks.
“You must make sure your marks in the subjects for the career which you have chosen are extremely good in order for you to obtain a bursary.”