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Portuguese Language Centre

Portuguese Language Centre of Camões

The University of the Witwatersrand and the Camões, Institute of Cooperation and Language collaborated to create the ‘Portuguese Language Centre of Camões’ within the ‘School of Literature, Language and Media’ (‘SLLM’) at Wits University’s Faculty of Humanities. 

The ‘Portuguese Language Centre of Camões’ is dedicated to students' multimedia, study, research, and library space. It facilitates students’ tertiary education in Portuguese language, lusophone literature and cultures. The Portuguese Language Centre was inaugurated on 5 March 2002 within the SLLM and is one such institution to promote the Portuguese language and lusophone cultures on the African continent. 

The Portuguese Language Centre’s purpose is to disseminate the Portuguese language as a language of international and continental communication; endorse the diverse cultures and literature associated with the Portuguese language; and strengthen the academic, intellectual and cultural relations within the multi-cultural context of Wits University.  

The Portuguese Language Centre is fully integrated into the University’s academic programme, organises various cultural events training sessions for Portuguese teachers, and promotes research projects with the Portuguese department.

The Fernão Mendes Pinto Scholarship

Camões Institute of Cooperation and Language through the Portuguese Language Centre awards the Fernão Mendes Pinto Scholarship to university students that study Portuguese at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

This scholarship is aimed at students who are completing their final year of undergraduate studies with Portuguese as one of their majors and display a keen interest in furthering themselves in scientific or professional training projects in the area of Portuguese as a foreign language. The Portuguese Language Centre and the Portuguese lecturer, who is associated with the Camões Institute of Cooperation and Language, will be responsible for the selection of students and their research projects, taking into account the student's performance throughout their Portuguese major, as well as the project presented at the end of their 3rd year.

Academic Opportunities

The Camões Institute Scholarship Programmes

Due to the existing partnership between the University of the Witwatersrand and Camões Institute of Cooperation and Language, students have the unique possibility of applying to the Camões scholarship programmes to study overseas and broaden their knowledge in the international realm. This is an excellent asset to a student’s overall learning and career prospect. The available scholarships, provided by the Camões Institute, are aimed at supporting and promoting:

  • The improvement of a student’s Portuguese language skills;
  • The study and research in the discipline of Portuguese language and culture;
  • The professional training of students in Portuguese as a foreign language;
  • The training and improvement in the area of Portuguese translation and interpreting.

The Scholarship Programmes are:

  1. Summer Course
  2. Annual Course
  3. Fernão Mendes Pinto Programme
  4. Research Programme
  5. Pessoa Programme
  6. Vieira Programme

The University of the Witwatersrand Postgraduate Merit Award (PMA):

In addition to the Camões scholarship programmes, students wishing to continue studying Portuguese at a Postgraduate level (full-time only) and have met specific academic criteria at the University can obtain a Postgraduate Merit Award from the University of the Witwatersrand. The University Postgraduate Merit Award (PMA) assists graduates in completing Honours, Masters or PhD degrees by research or by a combination of course work and study on a full-time. Besides, this award is based purely on academic merit and the availability of funds. Students will be required to perform departmental duties and receive PMA stipends per block.

PMA Criteria*:
  • Honours degree: Last year of their undergraduate degree (YOS 3) or 3rd year National Diploma is a minimum average mark of 70% and above. Students are ranked according to their average. 
  • Masters by Research: Students who receive an average mark of 75% or above for the 4th year of their professional degree, Honours degree or Postgraduate Diploma. Students are ranked according to their average.  
  • PhD: Students need to submit their Masters’ degree within two years full-time or three years part-time.

* All awards are automated based on the PMA criteria. This means that students do not need to apply for the award