Bursary For Teaching 2024/2025


A Guide to Securing Teaching Bursaries for Education Studies in South Africa

Pursuing a career in education is a noble calling that requires dedication, passion, and the right qualifications. For many aspiring teachers in South Africa, the costs associated with studying education at university can seem prohibitive without financial assistance. This is where teaching bursaries become invaluable – by providing the essential funding you need to achieve your dreams of positively impacting young minds.

In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the wealth of bursary opportunities available for teaching studies in South Africa. Whether you are pursuing an undergraduate education degree, postgraduate teaching diploma, or specialized qualification, read on to uncover where to find bursaries, how to apply successfully, and set yourself up for a rewarding career in education.

Bursary For Teaching


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Introduction to Teaching Bursaries

A bursary is a monetary award provided to students to help cover educational expenses. Unlike a loan, it does not need to be repaid. Bursaries are granted based on financial need, academic merit, field of study, or other eligibility criteria set by the provider.

For aspiring teachers in South Africa, bursaries can make the difference in being able to pursue your passion affordably. The key is finding ones that match your specific situation and crafting an outstanding application.

This guide will explore:

  • The main sources of teaching bursaries in South Africa
  • Government and university funded opportunities
  • Bursaries for specific teaching subjects
  • Crafting a compelling bursary application
  • Eligibility criteria and application tips
  • Answers to frequently asked bursary questions

Whether you want to teach mathematics, science, languages, or any subject – let’s uncover how to access funding to power your education journey.

Main Sources of Teaching Bursaries

Many excellent bursaries for teaching studies are available from government, universities, charities and more.

Government Bursaries

The South African government offers several programs:

  • Funza Lushaka Bursary – Bursaries for teaching scarce skills like math, science and technology.
  • National Skills Fund – Provides teaching bursaries based on areas of national priority and need.
  • NSFAS – Financial aid for economically disadvantaged students pursuing higher education, including teaching.

University Bursaries

Most major universities in South Africa offer bursaries for education students, often based on financial need or academic achievement. Research those where you aim to study.

Subject-Specific Bursaries

Certain organizations provide bursaries for students pursuing qualifications in teaching specific subjects like:

  • STEM – Sasol Inzalo Foundation, Bioinformatics and Biological Sciences
  • Languages – South African Translators’ Institute
  • Arts/Sports – Creative Arts and Sport Education Trust

This wide range of options gives you the best chance of securing funding for your teaching studies.

Government Teaching Bursaries

As a top source, government bursaries warrant a deeper look.

Funza Lushaka Bursary

This scheme from the Department of Basic Education aims to address teacher shortages in key subjects. Benefits include:

  • Full cost of tuition, accommodation, meals, books
  • Requirement to teach at public school for same duration as studying

National Skills Fund

Funded by the Department of Higher Education and Training for areas like math, science, and technology teachers. Offers:

  • Full bursary funding for university studies
  • Priority placement in public schools after graduating


The National Student Financial Aid Scheme provides bursaries and loans for financially needy students pursuing higher education, including teaching qualifications.

With a bit of research, you can uncover the perfect government teaching bursary for your situation.

Crafting Your Bursary Application

Your written bursary application is your opportunity to showcase why you deserve funding. Here are tips:

Highlight Academic Achievements

Provide details of your academic performance, awards, prizes, or any evidence of academic excellence. Quantify achievements.

Demonstrate Passion for Teaching

Explain your motivations for becoming a teacher and the difference you hope to make through education. Share relevant experiences.

Address Area of Specialization

For subject-specific bursaries, discuss your background, interests, and goals within that subject.

Show Financial Need

Give accurate details of your financial situation and how the bursary would enable your studies. Provide documentation if required.

Secure Recommendations

Ask teachers or mentors familiar with your character and abilities for recommendation letters to include.

Proofread Meticulously

Refine your application, verify details, and confirm it aligns perfectly with requirements. Grammatical errors can cost you.

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

Eligibility Criteria and Requirements

Understanding typical eligibility criteria will prepare you to target bursaries you have the highest chance of securing.

Academic Achievement

Meeting minimum academic performance standards is often required, usually based on matric marks or ongoing university grades.

Financial Need

Bursaries aim to help economically disadvantaged students. Be prepared to verify income and financial status.

Field of Study

Bursaries can be for general education degrees or specific teaching subjects – confirm your program aligns.


Eligibility may require South African citizenship or permanent residence in some cases.

While each bursary sets specific eligibility criteria, excellence and passion for teaching are universal requirements.

Insider Tips from the Experts

Take advantage of these bursary application tips:

  • Thoroughly research bursaries aligned with your teaching interests and study plans.
  • Start applications well in advance of deadlines to allow time for gathering documents.
  • Ask a teacher or mentor to review your essay drafts – their feedback can be invaluable.
  • For government bursaries, familiarize yourself with departments and processes – this shows initiative.
  • Follow precisely any formatting instructions provided for documents submitted.
  • If offered a bursary, accept promptly within the window specified.

With proper preparation and persistence, you can maximize your potential for bursary success.

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Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s explore some common questions teaching bursary applicants have:

How competitive are teaching bursaries?

Competition varies by type, but can be high for prestigious or subject-specific bursaries. Craft excellent applications and apply to multiple to maximize your chances.

Can I apply before starting my teaching degree?

Some bursaries allow this, but most require you to already be enrolled in an eligible program. Verify requirements.

How much funding will a bursary provide?

Amounts vary widely. Some cover full tuition and living costs, others partial amounts. Understand how far funds will go towards your needs.

What are the obligations of a teaching bursary?

Most require recipients teach at public schools for a set period after graduating. Understand and ensure you can meet such commitments.

Are bursaries available for postgraduate teaching studies?

Yes, many providers offer bursaries for Honours, Masters and PhD study for existing teachers looking to further specialize.

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


The costs associated with quality teaching qualifications can seem prohibitive without financial assistance. But by leveraging South Africa’s range of outstanding public and private bursary opportunities, aspiring teachers can access the education needed to positively transform young lives.

Remember to start researching bursaries early, assess eligibility thoroughly, craft excellent applications, and follow expert tips. With focus and perseverance, teaching bursaries can enable you to follow your noble education journey. Use this guide as a reference to unlock the funding you need to mould generations through teaching excellence. Your future students are eagerly waiting for the passion and dedication you have to share.


What is the best way to find subject-specific teaching bursaries I qualify for?

Great resources are university education departments, teaching associations for your subject, and forums where teachers connect and share opportunities.

Should I rather pursue a student loan instead of bursaries?

Bursaries have the benefit of not requiring repayment like loans. But in some cases combining the two can provide enough funding. Evaluate your specific situation.

Which documents are required for most teaching bursary applications?

Typical documents needed are ID, academic transcripts and matric results, proof of university acceptance or enrollment, motivation letter, and financial information.

If I don’t get a bursary on my first try, should I apply again?

Absolutely, many students only succeed after applying across multiple years. Persistence pays off. Continuously improve your applications each cycle.

How do I best manage my teaching studies while fulfilling bursary commitments?

Time management and maintaining focus are key. Understand all obligations upfront and proactively stay on track with studies and service requirements.


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