Bursaries for Engineering 2024/2025

A Guide to Securing Bursaries for Engineering Studies in South Africa

Engineering is a pivotal field that drives innovation, solves complex challenges, and uplifts communities. As an engineering student, you have immense potential to make a meaningful impact. However, the costs of quality engineering qualifications can be prohibitive without financial assistance. This is where engineering bursaries become invaluable – by providing the essential funding to power your engineering education.

In this comprehensive guide, we explore the wealth of public and private bursary options available for engineering students in South Africa. Whether you are studying civil, electrical, mechanical, chemical, industrial or any other engineering discipline, read on to uncover where to find bursaries, how to apply successfully, and set yourself up to excel in this dynamic field.

Bursaries for Engineering

Introduction to Engineering Bursaries

A bursary is a monetary award provided to students to help cover educational expenses, without requiring repayment. Bursaries are granted based on criteria like financial need, academic performance, field of study, or other eligibility requirements set by the provider.

For aspirant engineers in South Africa, bursaries can make the difference in being able to access quality studies to launch your career. The key is finding aligned bursaries and crafting compelling applications.

This guide will explore:

  • Main sources of engineering bursaries in South Africa
  • Crafting outstanding bursary applications
  • Key eligibility criteria and requirements
  • Insider application tips from experts
  • Answers to common bursary questions

Let’s delve into how to secure funding to invest in your engineering education and career.

Main Sources of Engineering Bursaries

Many excellent engineering bursary opportunities exist through government, universities, companies and more.

Government Bursaries

The South African government offers several programs, including:

  • NSFAS – Financial aid for disadvantaged students pursuing higher education, including engineering.
  • MISA Bursary Programme – Bursaries for studies related to municipal infrastructure like civil engineering.

Engineering Company Bursaries

Many leading engineering firms offer bursaries for students in their fields, like:

  • Aurecon South Africa Bursary Programme
  • Hatch Engineering Bursary Programme
  • Royal Haskoning Bursary Programme

University Bursaries

Most major universities provide engineering bursaries based on financial need or academic merit. Target those where you aim to study.

Research Institutions

Organizations like the CSIR and NRF offer bursaries focused on science, engineering and technology fields.

Cast your net wide across these sources to discover funding tailored for your situation.

Crafting Your Bursary Application

Your written bursary application provides the opportunity to showcase your worthiness for funding. Here are some tips:

Highlight Academic Achievements

Provide details of your stellar academic performance, distinctions, awards and any evidence demonstrating your excellence as an engineering student.

Showcase Technical Skills

Discuss engineering-related skills you possess like design, problem-solving, analytics, coding and hands-on building. Provide examples.

Demonstrate Leadership Abilities

Share examples of leadership roles and collaboration which provide insights into your communication skills and strengths working in teams.

Discuss Your Engineering Passion

Explain what excites you about your chosen discipline and how your studies will enable your career goals and ability to uplift communities.

Proofread Meticulously

Refine your application until it is flawless. Any errors may jeopardize your success.

With diligent preparation and compelling content, you can craft an outstanding bursary application.

Key Eligibility Criteria

Understanding typical requirements will help you determine which bursaries to pursue.

Academic Achievement

Meeting high academic standards is usually required based on matric or ongoing university grades.

Financial Need

Most bursaries aim to assist economically disadvantaged students, so financial means testing is common.

Engineering Discipline

Some bursaries target specific disciplines like electrical, civil or chemical engineering. Confirm your program aligns.


Eligibility often requires South African citizenship or permanent residence. Some bursaries are open globally.

While each bursary sets specific criteria, excellence and dedication are vital prerequisites.

Insider Tips from Experts

Apply these bursary application tips from the experts:

  • Align your application closely with the engineering focus area of the provider – e.g. highlight relevant projects or coursework.
  • For corporate bursaries, research the company’s projects and values to showcase how you fit their needs.
  • If required, include a detailed budget of your expected study costs and why you require financial assistance.
  • Ask professors or mentors familiar with your engineering skills for recommendation letters.
  • Follow up politely after submission to confirm your application was received.

With diligence and persistence, you can optimize your chances of winning key funding.

LIST OF Bursaries for Engineering 2024/2025

FEM Bursary 2024/2025

Answers to Common Bursary Questions

Let’s explore some frequent questions engineering bursary applicants have:

How competitive are engineering bursaries?

Competition is often high, but strong applications tailored to providers can maximize your chances of success.

When should I apply for engineering bursaries?

Begin researching early, 12-18 months before studies commence. Many providers have early deadline cycles.

Can I still get a student loan if I secure an engineering bursary?

Yes, combining funding sources is common. Maximize free aid from bursaries first, then supplement unmet costs with loans.

Must I work for the bursary provider after graduating?

Some engineering bursaries require internships or post-study employment commitments. Be sure to understand any obligations.

The more you understand the landscape, the better prepared you will be to secure valuable funding.


The costs associated with engineering qualifications can seem daunting without financial assistance. But by leveraging South Africa’s range of public and private bursary opportunities, aspiring engineers can gain the education needed to bring their innovative visions to life.

Remember to begin your bursary search early, thoroughly research options aligned with your discipline, craft excellent applications, and follow expert tips. With focus and perseverance, engineering bursaries can enable you to play a pivotal role in transforming communities through engineering excellence.


Where can I find bursaries for postgraduate engineering studies like MEng and PhD programs?

Great sources are university engineering departments, research institutions like CSIR, the NRF, large engineering firms, and aggregator platforms like Bursaries24.

What are the most prestigious engineering bursaries in South Africa?

Some highly-regarded programs are from industry leaders like Aurecon, Hatch, GIBB, Royal HaskoningDHV, Iliso Consulting, and ESKOM. Competition is very intense for these.

If my grades slipped one semester due to personal issues, does that disqualify me?

Not necessarily, though it may be tougher. Explain the situation in your application and emphasize the positive trajectory of your overall academic record.

Should I rely only on bursaries or also apply for student loans?

Pursuing both bursaries and loans can provide your full funding needs. Bursaries help minimize debt, but loans can supplement unmet costs.

Can part-time engineering students qualify for bursaries?

Unfortunately most bursaries require full-time enrollment. But some providers may offer support for part-time students, so verify each bursary’s criteria.


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