Students warned of fake international scholarship message

Students are warned of a bogus international scholarship message doing the rounds on social media.

In a statement on Tuesday, the department of higher education distanced itself from the message.

“This information was not released by the department,” read the statement.

“Details of various international study opportunities are communicated via the department’s international scholarships website and official departmental communication channels.”

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The department however, noted that it did partner with a number of foreign governments to make scholarship opportunities available to South Africans to study abroad.

The department’s media and communications chief director Madikwe Mabotha said what was troubling was that the communication was issued via WhatsApp and email.

“We have official Twitter and Facebook accounts which we use to disseminate information regarding scholarships and other opportunities offered by the department – not WhatsApp or emails,” he said.

“One should worry how they could be receiving the information on WhatsApp when the department does not have anyone’s WhatsApp contacts.”

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Mabotha said international study opportunities were only available on postgraduate scholarships levels.

“There are a very limited number of undergraduate scholarships available for studies abroad.”

Mabotha said the only scholarships the department were aware of were:

– The Kader Asmal Fellowship Programme, which invites applications for scholarships for postgraduate studies in Ireland.

– The Swedish Institute Study Scholarships, which offers 10 scholarships to talented and ambitious South African students who wish to pursue their Master’s degree at a university in Sweden. It is open to highly qualified students who are South African citizens. The scholarship is funded by the Swedish government.

“Scholarships to undertake Master’s and PhD studies in Hungary as well as a small number of bachelor’s degree scholarships will be opening for application later in January,” said Mabotha.

She said these scholarships were provided by the Hungarian government and were not fully funded by the department as indicated on social media.

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“All details on the application process will be made available on the website,”

Mabotha said scholarships for studies in Russia and Mauritius are not open for applications through the department at this time.

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Thato Mahlangu

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