How to transfer to another university

Transferring to another university can be an important and strategic decision in one’s academic journey. Whether it’s driven by a change in personal circumstances, a desire for better opportunities, or a need for a different academic environment, the process of transferring to another university in South Africa requires careful planning and execution. This article serves as a comprehensive guide to help you navigate the steps involved in making a successful university transfer.

1. Initial Considerations

Before initiating the transfer process, it’s crucial to consider a few key factors:

  • Reason for Transfer: Clearly identify the reasons why you want to transfer. It could be for academic reasons, location, program availability, or personal preferences.
  • Research: Research potential universities thoroughly. Consider factors such as the reputation of the university, the quality of the program you’re interested in, and the campus environment.
  • Eligibility: Check the transfer policies of the target university. Some universities have specific criteria for accepting transfer students, such as a minimum GPA requirement.

2. Research Target Universities

Once you have a clear reason for transferring, start researching potential universities that align with your goals and preferences. Consider factors such as:

  • Program Compatibility: Ensure that the target university offers the academic program you’re interested in transferring to.
  • Credit Transfer: Inquire about the transfer of credits. Universities have varying policies regarding the acceptance of credits earned at your current institution.
  • Application Deadlines: Note the application deadlines for transfer admissions. It’s advisable to apply well in advance to ensure a smooth transition.

3. Review Application Requirements

Carefully review the application requirements of the target university. These typically include:

  • Transcripts: Prepare your academic transcripts from your current university. This will help the new university assess your academic performance.
  • Recommendation Letters: Some universities require letters of recommendation from professors or academic advisors.
  • Personal Statement: Write a compelling personal statement explaining your reasons for transferring and your goals.

4. Application Process

Follow these steps when applying for a transfer:

  • Submit Application: Complete the application form provided by the target university. Ensure all required documents are attached.
  • Transcript Evaluation: The new university will evaluate your transcripts to determine which credits can be transferred. This evaluation will impact your standing as a student.
  • Interviews: Some universities may require an interview as part of the transfer process. Prepare for this by highlighting your reasons for transferring and your aspirations.

5. Wait for Admission Decision

After submitting your application, wait for the admission decision. This process may take some time, so be patient. In the meantime, you can start preparing for the potential move.

6. Acceptance and Preparations

If you receive an offer of admission:

  • Acceptance: Follow the instructions provided by the university to formally accept the offer.
  • Credit Transfer: Work with the new university to understand which credits will transfer and how they will contribute to your new program.
  • Housing and Logistics: Make housing arrangements if you plan to relocate. Research the new area to familiarize yourself with the surroundings.

7. Notify Your Current University

Once you’re certain about transferring, inform your current university about your decision. This is essential for administrative purposes and to avoid any issues in the future.

8. Financial Considerations

Understand the financial implications of transferring. Consider tuition fees, financial aid, scholarships, and any other costs associated with the new university.

9. Embrace the Transition

Transferring to a new university is not only an academic change but also a personal one. Embrace the opportunity to meet new people, explore a new campus, and engage in different activities.

10. Seek Support

If you face challenges during the transfer process or after arriving at the new university, don’t hesitate to seek support from academic advisors, counselors, or student services.


Transferring to another university in South Africa is a significant step that requires careful planning and preparation. By considering your reasons for transferring, researching target universities, and following the application process diligently, you can successfully navigate this transition. Remember that each university has its own policies and procedures, so it’s important to stay organized and keep communication lines open throughout the process. With the right approach, transferring to a new university can open doors to new opportunities and a fulfilling academic experience.