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New applications close: 11 January 2019.

The Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme is a multi-year programme to promote teaching as a profession. Bursaries are available to enable eligible students to complete a teaching qualification in an area of national priority. Recipients of these bursaries will be required to teach at a public school for the same number of years that they received the bursary.

Recipients of the bursary must apply online for the bursary in every year. The recipient must also complete the placement information as required in every year. The provincial education department (PED) will place a graduate bursar in a suitable teaching post. If a particular PED does not have a suitable teaching post for the graduate bursar, the applicant may be placed in a PED that does have a suitable post. Please note that bursars cannot choose the school in which they would like to be placed and placement cannot be deferred for any reason.


  • Applications for the Funza Lushaka bursary for 2019 opened on 05 October 2018.
  • Please note that there are a limited number of new bursaries available for 2019.
  • New applicants are advised to also pursue other funding opportunities such as NSFAS.
  • The outcome of the selection process will be available from the University not later than 30 April 2019.

Closing dates:

Re-applications closed on 23 November 2018;
New applications close on 11 January 2019.

Information about the Bursary
The following must be read before making an application for a Funza Lushaka bursary for 2019.

1.  Should you have a criminal record, charged of misconduct or dismissed from work, kindly note that
you are not eligible to apply for this bursary.
2.  Allocation of Funza Lushaka bursaries to Higher Education Institution employees, their spouse and
their dependents/children is not permissible.
3.  Non-disclosure of the information required as stated in 2 above will be treated as fraud.
4.  This online application is a MUST. No hard copies are accepted by the programme.
5.  Printing of the completed on-line application is a MUST.
6.  Please note that those who already have other teaching qualifications do not qualify for this

7. Programmes to be funded

Two types of qualifications can be funded. These are shown below. The qualification must include
subjects which will allow the student to specialise as a teacher in at least two priority areas (see
next section below).

  • Undergraduate studies
    4-year Bachelor of Education degree (B Ed), specialising in Foundation Phase (Grade R – 3),
    Intermediate Phase (Grade 4 – 6), Senior Phase (Grade 7 – 9) and FET Phase (Grade 10-12).
  • Graduate studies
    One-year Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) for graduates whose degrees
    include at least one major in one of the two priority subjects.Take note that some universities offer qualifications which combine specialisation in the Foundation
    Phase (Grade R – 3) and Intermediate Phase (Grade 4 – 6), or the Intermediate Phase and Senior
    Phase, or the Senior Phase (Grade 7 – 9) and FET Phase (Grade 10 –12). These combined
    qualifications are also acceptable.

8. Admission criteria
Selection criteria include the following:
8.1. The bursary is only awarded to South African citizens with a valid South African ID number;
8.2. The applicant should demonstrate good academic ability;

9. Students must meet the minimum academic criteria for award of the bursary.

In 2019, the minimum academic criteria are:

1st time entrants to university:

  1. An exemption, endorsement, or ‘admission to bachelor degree studies’ pass at matric/Grade 12 level.
  2. At least a level 4 pass at matric level in the subject which the applicant will specialize to
  3. For students who wish to specialize in the Foundation Phase, a pass in Mathematics or
    Mathematical Literacy at Grade 12 level is required. In addition, at least a level 4 pass in
    the Home Language is required. If a student completed matric prior to 2008 when
    Mathematics was not compulsory, a student may still be considered based on an overall
    good performance (Average of at least 50%).
  4. Students who wish to specialize in the teaching of Technology subjects, including CAT,
    and who do not have these subjects at matric level, must have at least a level 4 pass in
  5. If the institution’s admission requirements are higher than the bursary requirement and
    vice versa then the higher requirement will apply.

For new applicants already at university:
The student must have:

  1. Passed all of the modules studied in 2018 or the last year of
    study at the Higher Education Institution.
  2. At least a 55% average across all the modules studied in 2018 or in the applicant’s last
    year of study at a Higher Education Institution.
  3.  The student must have at least 55% average in modules studied in 2018 or in the
    applicant’s last year of study at university which relate directly to the priority area
    teaching specialization.
  4. These are minimum criteria. The Funza Lushaka bursary is a prestigious bursary that
    must be awarded firstly on the basis of academic ability. The criteria applied at particular
    institutions may be higher than those suggested here, but cannot be lower.

For new applicants enrolling for PGCE

  1. The student must have successfully completed a recognized qualification that qualifies
    him/her to be admitted for a PGCE.
  2. To be considered for a PGCE in Foundation Phase Teaching a student must have
    majored in Psychology and an African Language.
  3. To be considered for PGCE in Intermediate Phase, Senior Phase and Further Education
    and Training Teaching the student must have majored in the subject he/she wishes to
    specialize in from the B. degree.
  4. The student must have at least TWO identified priority subjects at second year level;
  5. The student must have sufficient modules in the identified priority subjects to qualify to
    teach it as a subject at school.

For existing bursars

  1. The student must have passed at least two-thirds (66.6%) of all the subject modules
    studied in the last year of study at the university.
  2. The student must have passed at least two-thirds (66.6%) of the priority subject area
    modules studied in the last year of study at the Higher Education Institution.
  3. If a student is doing one priority subject he/she must pass it to qualify for re-award;
  4. The student must be progressing to the next level/year of study.
  5. The students must achieve at least 50% average across all subject modules.

Applicants must note that these are minimum criteria. Meeting these criteria does not mean
automatic acceptance for the bursary. There are a limited number of bursaries available, and
the best students will be selected for the bursary.

10. Bursary period
The bursary is awarded for one academic year at a time. It is not automatically re-awarded. Re-award will depend on academic success. There is no automatic promise of support for 4 years plus 1 more year. On evidence of academic success, and pending the availability of funds, the bursary may be renewed each year until the recipient of the bursary has qualified as a teacher. Recipients of bursaries will be required to teach one year for every year for which they receive a bursary.

11. What the bursary covers:
Funza Lushaka bursaries cover most of the recipient’s essential
expenses. Expenses covered include tuition, accommodation including meals, books and learning
materials, and if possible a small allowance for monthly living expenses. The allocation to any
individual student is capped at a specific value. Where the university charges more than the capped
value the bursars will have to top up from own funds. Universities have different cost structures, so
the total value of a bursary differs from institution to institution.

12. Conditions
Recipients of these bursaries will be required to teach at a public school for the same number of years that they received the bursary.

The amount that is repayable is the full amount of the bursary received under the programme, less
one year’s funding for every year spent teaching at a public school. Interest will be charged at the
rate determined by NSFAS.

13. Contact requirements
If you are awarded or re-awarded the bursary you will be expected to have an e-mail address and a
contactable cell phone number for SMS purposes.

These conditions are all contained in the bursary contract which all applicants must sign. When
applicants sign the bursary contract, they are legally agreeing to the conditions described in the
contract. The applicants should keep a copy of the signed contract for themselves.

Process for applying for the bursar in 2018

  • Applications must only be made once students have been allocated a valid student number and
    have been accepted/provisionally accepted at their university of choice.
  • All applications must be made online at Take note of the closing
    date. No applications will be entertained after the closing date. Students must apply online and
    submit supporting documentation to the university.
  • After your application has been completed online, you will be prompted to make a printout.
    This will serve as proof of your application. Keep a copy for yourself, and submit a copy to the
    university where you have been accepted and where you will be registering.

The copy submitted to the university must be accompanied by:

  • A certified copy of your ID.
  • A certified copy of your academic results.
    For 1st year students coming out of Grade 12, this will be a certified copy of your Grade 12 result notification or Grade 12 certificate.
    For students already at university, this will be a certified copy of your academic transcript, which
    must include results for 2018 or your last year of study at university.
  • If these documents are not submitted to the Coordinator at the university, your application will not
    be considered during the bursary selection process.
  • Please ensure that all information that you capture is accurate, and that priority areas that you
    capture are the ones you will specialize in.
    The academic year of study refers to the level you are studying e.g.
    B Ed 1 = 1st year, B Ed 3 = 3rd year.
  • Please note that you have access to your online bursary application to “Update personal details” or
    make changes to your application before applications close.
  • Students who change institutions after submitting their bursary application forms will not be
    considered for selection.
  • Each University has a Financial Aid Office and a Funza Lushaka Bursary Coordinator is there to
    assist you. The details for the contact person at university is shown on the printout.
  • Having applied for the bursary is not a guarantee that a student will receive it.

Communications from students about the bursary
All inquiries about the bursary must be directed to the Funza Lushaka academic and administrative coordinators at your university. They will be best placed to respond to any issues. Students should not
communicate directly with NSFAS (the financial managers of the scheme) or with the Department of
Basic Education (DBE) or the Department of Higher Education and Training. Students may not come in
person to the DBE, but should phone and enquire at 012 357 3000.


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