Top 10 Funding For Education In South Africa (2024)

Education is a big deal in South Africa, and there are various encouragements prompting everyone to be as educated as possible since education can empower the average person to soar above inequality and limitations.

List of funding for Education in South Africa includes the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), Student Loan, Department of Higher Education & Training, and Financial Aid amongst others. Even if you don’t have a whole lot of resources, you should be aware of the various funding sources available.

Top 10 Funding For Education In South Africa

1. National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS)

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme brought a lot of relief to many folks in the country since it was established and it has become a prominent funding for education in South Africa. It is very crucial since it was designed for deserving students who cannot afford further education.

This used to be a loan but became a form of bursary in 2018. It should also be added that not only university education is funded by NFSAS, but even programmes at public technical and vocational education and training (TVET) colleges in different parts of the country.

2. Student loan

The majority of South African banks provide student loans, but to be eligible, you must either meet a specific income threshold or have your parents act as guarantors. These loans come with repayment obligations, encompassing both the borrowed amount and accrued interest. Student loans are accessible through major banks and credit providers.

Student loans can offer significant benefits to individuals pursuing higher education in the country. These loans play a pivotal role in expanding access to education, allowing students to overcome financial barriers that might otherwise prevent them from attending college or university. By covering tuition fees, textbooks, living expenses, and other educational costs, student loans empower students to focus on their studies without being burdened by immediate financial pressures.

Furthermore, student loans indirectly benefit the economy of the country by producing a more skilled and educated workforce. As borrowers graduate and enter the workforce, their increased earning capacity can lead to higher tax contributions and overall economic growth. The availability of student loans also encourages competition among educational institutions, fostering improvements in the quality of education.

So, student loans act as a stepping stone to educational and economic advancement, enabling students in the country to invest in their future and contribute to the development of society at large.

3. Department of Higher Education and Training

The Department is in charge of different government bursaries that can be utilized to fund your education in South Africa. However, these can only be benefited by deserving students.

A bursary provides peace of mind but mandates maintaining a specific result standard for eligibility. Should you secure a corporate bursary, there could be a post-study program work obligation. Thoroughly researching available bursary options and their requirements is crucial. You’re not restricted in the number of bursaries to apply for, so it’s wise to seek out and apply to those that match your interests and fulfil your needs.

Generally, securing a bursary for education offers a pathway to pursuing academic goals without the burden of financial constraints. It eases the financial strain associated with tuition fees, books, and living expenses, allowing recipients to concentrate on their studies. You should always remember that bursaries are typically awarded based on various criteria such as academic merit, financial need, and sometimes specific fields of study.

4. Financial Aid

If you are wondering how to fund your education here, you should be informed that the majority of South African universities extend financial assistance to students facing funding challenges and/or those with exceptional academic achievements.

If you are interested in this avenue, it’s crucial to reach out to the university’s financial aid office and inquire about their specific requirements for financial aid.

5. Scholarships

Various students have been able to actualize their dreams in the world of academics via scholarships. It is a famous type of financial assistance that you can take advantage of to study at the university. However, it should also be noted that it is only granted to students who have proven to deserve it.

Scholarships can come from different channels. There are organisations in the country that offer scholarships to excellent students. So, you have a lot of options available to you, irrespective of what you desire to study in school. Finally, while it may be easy to get a bank loan compared to a scholarship, one of the things about scholarships is that you won’t have to bother about paying back what you received, unlike a loan.

6. Bank loan

This one suits short-term or part-time education, and it can be easier than certain other channels on this list. After the bank loan approval, the funds are provided to you. You are accountable for covering fees and acquiring study materials.

You must always remember that obtaining educational funding through banks or other financial entities entails eventual repayment, usually within a few years post-graduation. Bank loans are a channel of funding for education in South Africa.

7. African Union Grants

The AU provides grants for education to advance learning opportunities across Africa. Through initiatives like the Pan African University and the Education Division, it supports projects that enhance education systems, promote research, and foster knowledge exchange.

8. Mastercard Foundation

The Mastercard Foundation provides substantial grants to improve education in Africa, aiming to enhance access and quality of learning. Look out for one of their offerings.

9. Global Partnership for Education

Another great global funding opportunity you should take advantage of even as a South African with the right qualifications.

10. African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD)

AWARD provides fellowships and mentoring to African women scientists working in agricultural research and development, helping them advance their careers and contribute to innovative solutions in the field.

Government Funding For Higher Education In South Africa

Government funding for higher education in South Africa includes:

– National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS)
– Department of Higher Education and Training Bursaries

While it might not always be easy to get government funding for higher education, it remains one of the best, as you won’t have to put unnecessary pressure on yourself along these lines. Government funding is better than taking a loan since you won’t have to bother paying back, unlike when you take a loan.

Nevertheless, you should always remember that the government is interested in giving its funding to only the very best in society. This means that you must strive to be very good and maintain a good posture academically if you want to keep enjoying what is offered.


In Conclusion 

It is generally a nice idea that there is a variety of funding available to folks looking for resources for their education in South Africa. This is because, if one channel won’t work, you can always look to another

As far as your academic is concerned, the sky is your limit, as you can opt for any funding for education in South Africa to go as far as you desire.