• Why SAQA is your first step to applying for admission to a South African university
Every country have their mode or method of accepting applications from foreigners who intend to study in their country or get a work permit. In South Africa, the body responsible for this function is called SAQA.
SAQA simply means South African Qualifications Authority. This agency of the South African government has a legal status, and recognised as a legal entity capable of suing and being sued.
The South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) has a board made up of experts from different walks of life like the education sector, business sector, labour sector and training sectors in South Africa. The board members are appointed
by the Minister of Higher Education and Training.
PRIMARY PURPOSE OF SOUTH AFRICA QUALIFICATION AUTHORITY(SAQA)
The qualification authority has the sole responsibility of ensuring that the National Qualifications Framework of South Africa is properly implemented.
The National Qualifications Framework is responsible for making sure that every knowledge and skills obtained through any formal learning in South Africa can be recognised throughout the country.
SAQA ensures that this implementation is done through its oversight functions. For foreign students applying to SAQA, the government authority evaluates the applicants certifications to determine if it is in line with the National Qualifications Framework requirements. Therefore, South African immigration policy requires every application to be submitted to SAQA for proper evaluation. This is to determine if the credentials can be recognised as valid in the country.
SAQA also undertakes other major functions stipulated in section 13 of the National Qualifications Framework Act of South Africa. Some of the functions include:
– Working together with the Quality Councils to maintain standards.
– Development and implementation of policies and criteria for its oversight functions of the National Qualification Framework.
– Undertake qualifications and part-qualifications registration on the National Qualification Framework.
– The body also gives recognition to professional bodies as well as registration of other professional designations.
– SAQA initiates research and cooperates with its international counterparts for such purposes as at when due.
– They also maintain and preserve the National Learners Records Database
– SAQA evaluates foreign qualifications. It also advises relevant bodies about such foreign qualifications.
– Provides information for the public about the National Qualifications Framework.
– Acts in an advisory capacity to the SA Minister of Higher Education and Training.
• WHY SAQA EVALUATES YOUR DOCUMENTS.
The primary reason why the South African Qualifications Authority undertakes to evaluate credentials submitted by applicants is to ensure that they’re recognized accross the country. This is in fulfilment of the provisions of the South African National Qualifications Framework (NQF). The National Qualifications Framework is the recognised educational framework in the country, and every application that is not in line with it will not be accepted. This is part of South Africa’s national integration plan to maintain a unified recognition value chain.
•HOW THE EVALUATION IS DONE
The South African Qualifications Authority follows a two stage evaluation process. To ensure that foreign qualifications are verified, SAQA undertakes the following:
1) Accreditation or recognition of certificate issuing bodies in the from various systems or countries. This issuing bodies include universities, polytechnics, Colleges of Education, Ministry of Education, etc.
2) Determination of legitimacy to ensure they are validly issued by the accredited issuing bodies and forms part of the national qualifications applicable in that country.
3) SAQA makes sure the credentials or qualification documents are authentic and genuine as claimed by individuals.
4) Once the above is completed, SAQA compares the foreign qualifications to that of South African qualifications. It undertakes this function by viewing the structure and results of the foreign qualifications. After that, it places them within the South African National Qualification Framework.
Note the following about Foreign Qualifications:-
– Only nationally recognised institutions can issue a formal qualification recognisable by South African Qualification Authority.
– National institutions here refers to formal learning or educational institutions recognised by the Ministry of Education and which have the national license to operate as an educational body in Nigeria.
The South African Qualification Authority do not recognize the following as foreign qualifications:
– Professional memberships.
– Certificates gotten at short courses like seminar, short training services or workshops.
Therefore, any application with the following qualifications will simply be disregarded.
• WHERE TO FIND SAQA APPLICATION FORMS.
The South African Qualification Authority is a government entity and therefore have points of contact through physical and online means.
Their Head Office address is located at SAQA House, 1067 Arcadia Street, Hatfield, Pretoria, South Africa.
-To apply for evaluation or find the required forms for different evaluation purposes online, simply visit https://www.saqa.org.za/
-For Help Desk, call official helpline number: 0860 111 673.
-For General Enquiries, send query to
-For National Qualification Framework related Enquiries, send a query to firstname.lastname@example.org
• COST OF EVALUATION WITH SAQA:
The South African Qualification Authority issued tariff adjustments to its fees which came effect from
1st September and 1st November, 2020 respectively.
– Application Assistance through the SAQA office is R300.00 (
– Non-refundable Application Fee R300.00 (
– Advice Requests for status of foreign qualifications issuer’s is tagged at R400.00 (
Per institution requested.
– For All Screening, non-refundable
fee of R320 (
N7,392.66) is charged.
• DIFFERENT SAQA EVALUATION SPEED SERVICES
South Africa Qualification Authority do not have a fast track or special evaluation services to speed up the verification process.
Every verification process is completed within 2–20 working days. However, the duration of each evaluation process depends on the priority selected during the application as well as the availability of the submitted record on the National Learner’ Record Database (NLRD).
The National Learner’ Record Database is saddled with the key responsibility of managing the electronic information system that helps SAQA oversee the NQF. This ensures that an accurate report is kept on all aspects of South Africa’s education and training system.
The National Learners’ Records Database is actually the first of its kind in the whole world and provides key information like like accredited providers or certificate issuer’s.
Therefore, you can always check to see if your educational institution is accredited or not through its database or send an e-mail to
The South African Qualification Authority’s standard with regards to evaluation or verification is to make sure that a final outcome is done and decided within twenty (20) working days.
If such is not achieved within this stipulated time period, the request will be considered “inconclusive” and closed.
• HOW TO MAKE PAYMENT TO SAQA
The South African Qualification Authority accepts payment through:
1. E-Commerce: This is for electronic payments through credit and debit card services. All applicants for SAQA evaluation services can use this means of payment.
2. Cash payment:
This is done by printing out a Standard Bank deposit slip generated by their system online at any Standard Bank branch. This payment method is applicable to only applicants resident in South Africa.
Note the following:
– Each application attracts a separate payment. The reason is because a unique submission number is assigned to each payment automatically.
– Provision of Banking Details is compulsory for the application.
This is to facilitate refunds.
– SAQA has a policy of returning non-compliance applications and refunding the applicants. Following the applications strictly will save you this trouble while making their job easier and faster.
– Every qualification award submitted must be accompanied by a consent form for verification purposes.
• HOW TO SEND ACADEMIC TRANSCRIPTS TO SAQA
Before being accepted or given admission to study in any school in South Africa, you need to obtain a South Africa Qualification Authority Certificate of Evaluation. It is very important, and an essential part of the admission process.
It is noted that some schools don’t really enforce it strictly. However, if you are seeking to further your studies in South Africa, it is very compulsory. It is a prerequisite by all South African schools if you want to further your degree in the country.
You can send your certified transcript(s) to South Africa Qualification Authority by visiting your school. Your school will help you forward your transcript(s) to SAQA for evaluation for a fee.
This is mostly because Nigerian schools rarely give out transcripts to individuals.
• AUTHENTICATION OF YOUR DOCUMENTS.
Before starting any application process to study in South Africa, it is wise to make sure your qualification award issuer is an accredited issuing house. In Nigeria, the issuing houses being referred to are universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education.
The FEDERAL MINISTRY OF EDUCATION is the body or agency of the Nigerian government responsible for Evaluation and Accreditation of issuing houses in Nigeria. This function is specifically done by the Evaluation and Accreditation Division Department/Division.
• CERTIFIED TRUE COPY; Where and how to certify your academic transcripts in Nigeria:
To certify your Certificates for foreign educational purposes, you have to contact the Evaluation and Accreditation Division of the Ministry of Education. Their major functions include the following:
a) They evaluate Local and Foreign qualification awards for employment and admission.
b) They authenticate professional and academic qualifications awarded in the country for persons wishing to study abroad.
c) They issue eligibility letters for qualified persons who want to travel abroad for studies or works.
d) Issuance of ‘no objection letter‘ to bodies or any other educational entity.
What can be evaluated?
– Degree certificate
– O’Level certificates.
– International Passport
– Admission letter
Evaluation Fee: ₦500.00 only
What can be Authenticated by the Evaluation and Accreditation Division of the Ministry of Education?
– SSCE results — WAEC, NECO, NABTEB & NBAIS.
– O’Level certificates (ND, HND, DEGREE, MASTERS & Ph.D)
– ID card (for Nurses, Doctors, Medical Laboratory)
N300.00 per page.
Before the ministry can issue eligibility letters, the applicant must have authenticated their certificate.
Eligibility for undergraduate programmes: Candidates must have 5 credits including English mathematics in at least 2 sittings
Eligibility for Masters programmes: Candidates must possess bachelor’s degree from Nigerian tertiary institutions,
Eligibility for Ph.D programmes: candidates must possess master’s degree from Nigerian tertiary institution.
Amount to be paid is
N500.00 per letter.
•Any person who wants access to any of the services offered by the department is advised to visit the 8th floor room 801, 802 and 803 at the complex.
• Do not ask for the help of agents or touts for this service. The Ministry warns that patronising touts and agents for the above listed services is an offence which you may be arrested for by Nigerian antigraft agencies.