Bursaries for 2024: Unlocking Opportunities for South African Students


As the new academic year approaches, many South African students are exploring avenues to fund their education. Bursaries, which are financial awards given based on various criteria such as academic merit, financial need, or specific fields of study, play a crucial role in making higher education accessible. For 2024, numerous bursaries are available, each designed to support students in achieving their academic and career aspirations. This article delves into the various bursaries available for 2024, highlighting their benefits, eligibility criteria, and application processes.

Importance of Bursaries

Bursaries are essential in addressing the financial barriers that many students face in pursuing higher education. They not only cover tuition fees but often include additional expenses such as textbooks, accommodation, and living costs. By alleviating financial stress, bursaries enable students to focus on their studies and perform to the best of their abilities.

Key Bursaries for 2024

National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS)

NSFAS is a government-funded initiative aimed at supporting students from disadvantaged backgrounds. For 2024, NSFAS continues to provide comprehensive funding, covering tuition fees, accommodation, study materials, and living allowances. The application process is straightforward, requiring students to provide proof of income, academic records, and a completed application form. Applications for NSFAS bursaries typically open in August and close in November.

Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme

The Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme is designed to encourage students to pursue a career in teaching. This bursary covers tuition fees, accommodation, meals, books, and a monthly stipend. Eligible candidates must be South African citizens, have a strong academic record, and be committed to teaching in public schools after graduation. Applications open in October and close in January.

Allan Gray Orbis Foundation Fellowship

The Allan Gray Orbis Foundation offers a prestigious fellowship to students who demonstrate academic excellence, entrepreneurial potential, and leadership qualities. The fellowship covers full tuition, accommodation, living expenses, and provides mentorship and entrepreneurial training. Applicants must be in their final year of high school or first year of university. The application process includes multiple stages, such as online applications, interviews, and assessment camps.

South African Reserve Bank (SARB) Bursary

The SARB Bursary is aimed at students pursuing degrees in economics, actuarial sciences, finance, mathematics, and related fields. It covers tuition, accommodation, textbooks, and a living allowance. Applicants must have strong academic records and demonstrate financial need. Applications open in July and close in September.

Thuthuka Bursary Fund

The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) offers the Thuthuka Bursary Fund to increase the number of black chartered accountants in South Africa. This bursary covers tuition fees, accommodation, books, and living expenses. Applicants must be pursuing a BCom Accounting degree and demonstrate academic excellence and financial need. Applications open in April and close in September.

Industry-Specific Bursaries

Mining Qualifications Authority (MQA) Bursary

The MQA Bursary Scheme targets students pursuing qualifications in mining-related fields, such as mining engineering, geology, metallurgy, and bursaries for 2024 environmental science. It covers tuition, accommodation, textbooks, and living expenses. Applicants must have a strong academic record and be committed to working in the mining industry after graduation. Applications open in May and close in August.

Eskom Bursary Programme

Eskom, South Africa’s primary electricity supplier, offers bursaries to students in engineering, accounting, IT, and other critical fields. The bursary covers tuition fees, accommodation, meals, books, and a monthly stipend. Applicants must have a strong academic record and demonstrate financial need. Applications open in June and close in August.

How to Apply for Bursaries

Applying for bursaries requires careful preparation and attention to detail. Here are some general steps to follow:

  1. Research: Identify bursaries that match your field of study and eligibility criteria. Make note of application deadlines and required documents.
  2. Prepare Documentation: Gather all necessary documents, including academic records, proof of income, identification documents, and any required essays or personal statements.
  3. Submit Applications: Complete application forms accurately and submit them along with the required documentation before the deadline.
  4. Follow Up: Keep track of your applications and follow up if necessary. Some bursary providers may require interviews or additional assessments.


Bursaries for 2024 offer a lifeline for many South African students, enabling them to pursue higher education and achieve their career goals. By providing financial support and reducing the burden of educational expenses, these bursaries play a crucial role in promoting academic excellence and social mobility. Students are encouraged to explore the various bursary opportunities available, prepare their applications diligently, and take advantage of the support offered to unlock their full potential.

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