7 Best Places to Earn Your Masters Abroad in Africa in 2018

by Published

If you’re thinking about grad school soon, chuck the usual suspects and go rogue. Consider Africa. Yes, you heard me right. Africa. Home to 1.1 billion people, 54 countries, wild beasts galore, and off the beaten track campuses. African universities offer several courses, the most popular being foreign languages, liberal arts, diplomacy, international relations, and top African American studies graduate programs.

Two Africans do funny faces for the camera
Oh snap! You're heading to Africa for your masters.

Even though only South African universities rank on the global indices of quality academic institutions, don’t let that deter you from checking out other graduate programs in Africa. Study for your masters in East, West, North, South or Central Africa. Here are the seven top places for graduate programs in Africa in 2018.

1. South Africa

Man works on sculpture

Get your Masters in South Africa & go to some of the best grad schools on the continent!

Why not get your masters in South Africa? Post-apartheid, this BRICS country has top places for graduate programs in Africa. The rainbow nation is home to one of the top 200 universities in the world and the top school on the continent, the University of Cape Town. Universities in South Africa are particularly known for their development studies, clinical medicine, and plant and animal science graduate programs. South Africa is also a delight for students because of its stunning landscapes, animal safaris, cities, and coastlines.

See all graduate programs in South Africa

2. Morocco

Girl alone in desert

Contemplate life while you get your masters abroad in Morocco.

Looking for an Arabian adventure while earning your masters? Look no further than Morocco, one of the jewels of North Africa. Sign up for Arabic or peace studies graduate programs or physics at top schools, University of Marrakech Cadi Ayyad and Mohammed V University in Rabat. Explore the country’s picturesque ruins, Mediterranean beaches, and bargain-friendly souks. Note that Morocco’s also pretty close to Spain, so if you ever get tired of the country, you can always escape on a South European getaway!

See all graduate programs in Morocco

3. Madagascar

Lemur staring at the camera

Study this cutie while going to grad school in Madagascar.

If you’re into biodiversity, why not get your masters abroad on an island off the Southeastern African coast? Have a field day (literally) in Madagascar where lemurs run wild. Track and study the natural habitat of a species that’s found nowhere else in the world. If you’re studying marine biology, dive and discover the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef of Tuléar. Going to grad school in this African nation is also a great opportunity to improve your French and pick up Malagasy.

See all graduate programs in Madagascar

Other recommended destinations for graduate programs in Africa

This data was retrieved with help from QS Top Universities in Africa annual report. (Editorial note #1: If you personally run graduate programs for international students in African destinations, please consider adding your masters programs to our comprehensive directory. Email info@goabroad.com to get started).

4. Egypt

Night bazaar scene

Get your bargain on while getting your masters in Egypt.

Study in one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations throughout the ages. If you’re into science, do graduate programs in Africa at Egypt’s leading tertiary institution, Cairo University, in pharmacology, agricultural sciences, and microbiology. Alternatively, study Islam and Arabic literature at Al-Azhar University, Egypt’s oldest higher learning institution and one of the oldest universities in the world. During your study breaks, explore iconic landmarks like the Nile, the Pyramids of Giza, the Valley of Kings, and Mount Sinai. 

5. Uganda

Girl sitting in the park

Take your studies seriously when you get your masters in Africa.

Which country is the home to the white rhino and Lake Victoria, one of the largest lakes in the world? Uganda, of course! This  East African country should also fly on your radar when it comes to graduate programs in Africa. In fact, you can find one of the top 10 universities in Africa here, Makerere University. Located in the capital, Kampala, it’s also the leading university in Uganda. At Makerere University, you can study medical sciences. While you’re there, practice your Luganda to earn the respect of the locals.

6. Ghana

Young people wearing white face paint and mardi gras beads

With so much culture to discover, getting your masters in West Africa is ghana be sweet!

Still looking for top places for graduate programs in Africa? If you make the decision to study in a country that means Warrior King, trust us; you’re ghana dig it! This West African beauty is overflowing with historic forts, castles, beaches, and colorful kente cloth that’ll make your eyes go wild! Get your masters in Accra at the University of Ghana. It’s the oldest university in the country and is also ranked among the top places for graduate programs in Africa. Students need not worry about language barriers because most programs are taught in English.

7. Kenya

Man smiles while reading magazine in the street

Kenya dig it? Choose this East African country for top grad school programs!

Want to pursue graduate programs in Africa? Choose to attend the University of Nairobi, one of Kenya’s largest universities and a top-ranked institution on the entire continent. If you’re studying environmental or wildlife conservation, feel free to step outside the classroom and get up, close, and personal with your subjects, whether they’re lions, antelope, or elephants. You’ll save a lot of cash because studying abroad in Kenya is quite affordable, leaving plenty over for safaris and backpacking trips to neighboring countries.

Why should you go to grad school in Africa? 

Editorial note #2: Due to limited data in GoAbroad’s database, our search analytics only highlighted three countries in Africa ranking as top destinations to our users for pursuing masters degrees abroad. Here, we outline a few key points on why you should consider not only destinations within Africa as you pursue higher education, but also more varied destinations within Africa

First and most importantly, it’s a lot cheaper to go to grad school in Africa than in any other part of the world. Why burden yourself with tens of thousands of dollars in debt when you can get a quality masters in this region? Not only that, it will probably be way more affordable to live in certain African countries than in college towns in your home country because the cost of living there is one of the cheapest in the world. Forget living on a ramen diet and enjoy some of the best African food there is!

Second, Africa is a great base if you’re interested in African studies or international development. Doesn’t it make more sense to base yourself in the countries you’re studying? Instead of just reading about apartheid in your dusty history books, skip over to South Africa and see how post-apartheid society survives. Studying cheetah and other wild cat populations? Live and study in Kenya where you can actually see them in the wild rather than just in your textbooks. During your masters in Africa, volunteer with an NGO in Ghana instead of just writing essays on poverty and economic development.

man standing on precipice looking at south africa
Not all of Africa's lessons will be in the classroom or research lab.

Third, Africa is one of the richest places on the earth in terms of cultural difference and biodiversity. While go to grad school thereLearn a host of foreign languages and understand how different African peoples navigate life. If you’re based on the continent, you can also enjoy exploring its nooks and crannies, places that tourists don’t know even about. 

If you’re thinking of heading in that direction, bear in mind that the language of instruction used at each university will differ according the country so if you’re fluent in Arabic, try going to grad school in Egypt or Morocco. If English’s your mother or second tongue, then doing your masters in Kenya, South Africa, Ghana, and Uganda should be a cinch. 

A note from GoAbroad

We’d like to thank our community for not only inspiring us daily, but for also giving us enough insight to share accurate predictions for meaningful travel in 2018.

Learn more about our research methodology, recommended programs, and links here.

Read the full report here.

Browse more of this year's report on top destinations to earn your masters abroad