Matriculation Exemption

Higher Education South Africa (HESA) is the leadership association of the university sector representing the heads of all public universities, universities of technology and comprehensive universities. The Matriculation Board forms an integral part of HESA’s service. This Board advises the Minister of Education via HESA on the minimum general admission requirements for first bachelor’s degree studies.

The Board regulates admission to Bachelor degree studies by requiring all applicants who are completing or have completed their schooling outside of South Africa or through a system other that the South African National Senior Certificate examinations to fulfil the criteria that the Matriculation Board has set for that system.

The Matriculation Board regularly updates the list of qualifications that are acceptable on face value for admission to first degree studies at South African universities. These can be found at www.hesa-enrol.ac.za (Click on Foreign Qualifications and type in country). It is every candidate's responsibility to establish whether he/she qualifies for matriculation exemption. Even if you have not yet finished your schooling, the Matriculation Board are able to advise you based on the subject you are completing.

Matriculation exemption, a minimum average percentage plus individual programme criteria are the entrance requirements for Bachelors (undergraduate) degree studies. For the exemption requirements according to the most common systems/countries from which we receive applications, please see the tabs below. If you do not find your school system listed, please consult the Matriculation Board.
 

American High School Diploma

American High School Diploma

To obtain a certificate of foreign conditional exemption from the Matriculation Board a candidate requires the High School Graduation Diploma accompanied by a certificate of eligibility for admission to study at any US university with a valid senior college accreditation issued by any of the following accreditation bodies: ACICS, DETC, MSA, NASC, NCA, NEASC - CIHE, SACS - CC, WASC - Sr

OR

High School Graduation Diploma with at least two subjects passed on grade 3, 4 or 5 for the Advanced Placement (AP) examinations of the American College Board

OR

Candidates unable to submit letters of eligibility to study for degree purposes at an appropriately accredited US university must submit a SAT score of 1600 with a sub-minimum of 550 for Critical Reading and 500 for Mathematics and 500 for the Writing section, together with their High School Graduation Diploma.

Check here for more information. Please note that you can only formally apply for matriculation exemption with final results. However you can consult the Matriculation Board to confirm whether or not you will qualify.

Matriculation Board General Enquiries:
Tel:  010 591 4401/2. For international callers: +27 (0)12 481 2922
Fax: 086 677 7744 (SA Only)

Cambridge

Cambridge

O/GCSE Levels:
A candidate who only holds O/GCSE-levels (only symbols A, B and C are acceptable) and no other school-leaving examination is not eligible for admission to the University, unless he/she has attained the age of 23 before or during the first year of registration and meets the subject combination and grade requirements for mature age exemption.

(Not all Faculties consider mature age applicants for admission).

A-Levels:
To obtain a certificate of complete exemption from the Matriculation Board a candidate requires two recognised A-level passes (symbols A to E are acceptable) and three O/GCSE-level passes (symbols A to C are acceptable) including English Language and an approved second language.

A foreign conditional exemption is issued to a candidate who has pass marks in two approved A-level subjects and three approved O/GCSE–level subject credits, including English or English Language.

AS-Levels:
To obtain a certificate of complete exemption from the Matriculation Board a candidate requires four recognised AS-level passes (symbols A to D are acceptable) and one O/GCSE-level pass (symbols A to C are acceptable) including English Language and an approved second language.

A foreign conditional exemption is issued to a candidate who has pass marks in four approved AS-level subjects (symbols A to D are acceptable) and one approved O/GCSE–level subject credit (symbols A to C are acceptable), including English or English Language but no second language.

Please Note: it is important to establish that the A-level, AS-level and O/GCSE-level subjects that are taken are recognised by HESA. Subjects like Psychology, Sociology, Physical Education, etc. are not recognised by HESA for matriculation exemption purposes.

Check here for more information. Please note that you can only formally apply for matriculation exemption with final results. However you can consult the Matriculation Board to confirm whether or not you will qualify.

Matriculation Board General Enquiries:
Tel:  010 591 4401/2. For international callers: +27 (0)12 481 2922
Fax: 086 677 7744 (SA Only)

International Baccalaureate

International Baccalaureate

A certificate of foreign conditional exemption is issued to a candidate who has obtained the International Baccalaureate Diploma with twenty four (24) points (grades 4 to 7 are acceptable).

A certificate of foreign conditional exemption is issued to a candidate who has obtained the International Baccalaureate Certificate (grades 4 to 7 are acceptable) with two higher level and three standard level subject passes including English.

Check here for more information. Please note that you can only formally apply for matriculation exemption with final results. However you can consult the Matriculation Board to confirm whether or not you will qualify.

Matriculation Board General Enquiries:
Tel:  010 591 4401/2. For international callers: +27 (0)12 481 2922
Fax: 086 677 7744 (SA Only)

Namibian H- and O-levels

Namibian H- and O-levels

To obtain a certificate of complete exemption from the Matriculation Board a candidate requires four recognised Higher-level subject passes (grades 1 to 3 are required) and one Ordinary-Level pass including English Language on first or second language Higher Level, and approved Higher or Ordinary Level language on first language level (if English had been taken on the second language level) or a foreign language (if English had been taken on first language level) accompanied by pass marks in two Higher Level subjects selected from two of the following groups:

  • Group 3: A third language, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Physical Science or Biology
  • Group 4: Art, Economics, History, Geography or a subject from Group 3 excluding third languages provided offered for one group only
  • Group 5: Accounting, Computer Studies or Design and Technology provided the subject must be accompanied by a pass mark in Mathematics on at least OL


A certificate of foreign conditional exemption is issued to a candidate who has pass marks in four approved HL subjects and one approved OL subject credit, including English or English Language but no second language.

Check here for more information. Please note that you can only formally apply for matriculation exemption with final results. However you can consult the Matriculation Board to confirm whether or not you will qualify.

Matriculation Board General Enquiries:
Tel:  010 591 4401/2. For international callers: +27 (0)12 481 2922
Fax: 086 677 7744 (SA Only)

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