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NSFAS struggles with backlog

Higher Education Minister revealed that, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) still has a backlog.



In a written response to parliamentary questions from the DA’s Andricus van der Westhuizen, the Higher Education Minister Naledi Pandor revealed that, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) still has a backlog of more than 80 000 unresolved bursary applications – with 19 000 being unsigned loan agreements – as at the middle of this month.   

In 2018 the Student financial aid scheme experienced challenges , including funding decisions, addressing the 2017 academic year backlog, the non-payment and delays in the payment of allowances, and a weakness in data integration between NSFAS and institutions.

This led to Minister Pandor appointing Dr Randall Carolissen as the administration.

In her reply, Pandor said unresolved applications from 2017 and 2018 stood at 83186 as at February 14.

“Of these, 19113 relate to unsigned loan/bursary agreements.”

She mentioned that the absence of signed contracts prevented NSFAS from making payments to the applicant or the educational institution at which they were registered.

According to Minister Pandor, the students with unsigned contracts were sent regularly to their host institutions for them to ensure the contracts were signed.

“Once signed, fees and allowances can be paid immediately,” she said.

 She mentioned that, a further 64073 are still outstanding cases where there were internal system issues that prevented final resolution of the bursary applications.

“Of these, 54807 (10333 from 2017 and 44474 from 2018) relate to changes in fees or allowances that, for a number of reasons, are rejected by the processing algorithm. The causes of these rejections have now been identified, and the algorithm is being updated to resolve the blockage.”

She said NSFAS had planned to complete this work by last Friday.

 More than 400000 bursary applications were made to NSFAS, however, only about 170000 applicants qualified for bursaries for 2019 academic year.

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Bursary Opportunity: Accounting





The Old Mutual Accountancy Bursary will be awarded for Accounting studies at the University of Cape Town/ University of Stellenbosch/ University of the Witwatersrand/ University of Pretoria.

The bursary will cover the following expenses: tuition fees, accommodation in residence, prescribed books, general allowance and one return flight home each year for learners studying outside of their hometown.

Students will be required to commit to the Old Mutual CA Training Programme, take part in vacation work and on completion of your studies you must work at the company for a specific duration of time.


Applicants must satisfy the following minimum entry criteria before applying (please note that failure to satisfy all the requirements will lead to your application not being considered):

  • South African citizen
  • Black student (African/ Coloured/ Chinese/ Indian)
  • Completed Matric OR currently in Matric
  • Achieved a minimum Level 6 or 70% for all subjects in Matric, including English and Mathematics (NOT Mathematical Literacy)
  • Studying or intend on studying towards an Accounting qualification
  • Studying or intend on studying at one of the following tertiary institutes: University of Cape Town/ University of Stellenbosch/ University of the Witwatersrand/ University of Pretoria
  • Intend on pursuing a career in Chartered Accounting


Applications must be done online at

You may be required to submit clear copies of the following supporting documentation along with your application (the submission of these documents is compulsory – if any items are missing, your application be disregarded):

  • ID document (certified copy)
  • Grade 11 final results, if currently in Matric (certified copy)
  • Matric certificate/ final results, if completed Matric (certified copy)
  • Latest tertiary academic record, if currently at University (certified copy)


30 May 2019. 


For any queries related to this bursary programme, please contact Old Mutual directly:
Tel: 021 504 7285

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Call for applications: Master’s and doctoral scholarships for full-time studies in 2020



The National Research Foundation (NRF) has opened the above call for applications

About National Research Foundation

The NRF is mandated by an Act of Parliament, the National Research Foundation Act (Act No 23 of 1998) to “support and promote research through funding, human capacity development and the provision of the necessary research facilities, in order to facilitate the creation of knowledge, innovation and development in all fields of science and technology, including indigenous knowledge”.  The scholarships are funded by the NRF core grant allocation from National Treasury, the Department of Science and Technology (DST), the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the International Institution for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) for Human Capital Development (HCD). 

Internal closing date:

  • All calls except first-time applications for master’s degrees: 2 July 2019
  • First-time applications for master’s degrees: 16 August 2019

Areas of support

The scholarships are intended to support master’s and doctoral candidates to pursue research studies in all areas of Science, Engineering, Technology, Social Sciences, and Humanities, including Priority Research Areas at public universities. The table below presents the breakdown of the broad disciplines supported by the NRF:

Broad disciplines supported for master’s and doctoral scholarships
Accounting, Actuarial Science, Agricultural Sciences, Astronomy, Auditing, Bioinformatics*, Biotechnology, Cellular and Molecular Biology, Chemistry, Climate Change*, Computer Science, Demography, Drug Discovery and Development*, Earth Sciences, Earth Observation*, Ecology, Economic Sciences, Education, Engineering, Environmental Sciences, Financial Management, Functional Genomics*, Geology, (Global Change, Society and Sustainability*), Health Sciences, Information Science, Information Systems, Indigenous Knowledge Systems*, Law, Mathematical Sciences, Marine Sciences*, Medicinal Plant*, Medical Sciences, Nanotechnology*, Nuclear Technologies in Medicine and Biosciences*, Palaeosciences*, Polar Science*, Physics, Renewable Energy*, Social Science and Humanities, Space Science*, Statistics, Transportation Studies, Tourism

Students who are not eligible for support 

  • Students who already hold NRF funding for master’s (in 1st year of funding) or doctoral studies (in 1st or 2nd year of funding) are not eligible apply, but should submit a Progress Report (PR) to renew funding for the following year as per the Conditions of Grant.
  • Individuals that already hold a degree at the level at which they intend studying, are not eligible to apply.
  • Students in their pre-proposal year will not be supported. The proposal year should also not be counted as the first year of registration.
  • Students who are intending to register for or that are studying for a 100% master’s by coursework, professional master’s or doctoral degree.
  • Students pursuing master’s studies who commenced their degree before 2019.
  • Students pursuing doctoral studies who commenced their degree before 2018.
  • Individuals that will be in full-time salaried, contractual or permanent employment while pursuing master’s or doctoral studies.
  • Individuals that are on sabbatical leave from their employment (including those without paid sabbatical leave).

Value of the award

1.      Higher-Value Scholarship (Innovation, Scarce skills) per annum:  

  • Masters – R90 000 pa. for 2 years
  • Doctoral – R120 000 pa. for 3 years

2.      Lower-Value Scholarship (Freestanding) per annum: 

  • Masters – R50 000 pa. for 2 years
  • Doctoral  – R70 000 pa. for 3 years 

Application process

All applications are submitted on the NRF Online system at

Late and incomplete applications will be rejected.

The process of master’s and doctoral applications has changed. Applications will undergo a college review / vetting before they can be submitted to the NRF. 

Click here for the Application and Funding Guide for 2020.

Click here for the Master’s and Doctoral Scholarships for Full-Time Studies Framework 2020 document. 

Click here for the 2020 Application and Funding Guide for first-time master’s and doctoral applicants.

For more information click here

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Attorneys Fidelity Fund Bursary 2019 – 2020




Attorneys Fidelity Fund Bursaries

The Attorneys Fidelity Fund bursaries grant financial support to law faculties at South African universities in order to train more future practitioners and to encourage high standards in legal education. The Fund’s Bursary Committee of the Board of Control exclusively awards and determines the amount of bursary.

Bursaries are only awarded for a maximum period of two years at a South African University. The bursary only covers the tuition fees of a recipient for LLB studies, while a maximum of R8 000 per year, for further studies.

Terms and Conditions of the Bursary:

  1. Bursary holders must submit an official transcript of academic records to the Fund within three months after the end of each academic year. If the results are deemed unsatisfactory, the Fund’s Board of Control has the right to terminate the bursary.
  2. Bursary holders must disclose in writing to the Fund regarding any other bursary, grant or financial assistance that he/she is receiving. The Board of Control has the right to either cancel or reduce the amount of the bursary or impose further conditions as it may deem fit.
  3. Bursary holders must submit a copy of the degree certificate to the Fund after the completion of the LL.B degree.
  4. The Board of Control reserves the right to withdraw any bursary in the event of non-compliance with the above-mentioned conditions, bursary holders conducting in a manner which may be deemed unworthy by the Board of Control and misuse of the bursary in any way by the bursary holders.

Bursary Requirements and Eligibility

For LLB Study:

  • Minimum qualification of a BA (Law), B Comm (Law), B Iuris or B Proc degree or a similar OR Completion of the first two years of the revised 4-year LLB curriculum
  • Currently 2nd year and upwards students
  • Proven financial need
  • Outstanding academic merit

For Further Study:

  • Practicing or candidate attorney
  • Applicants who wish to continue study for an LL.D, Ph.D. or MPIL degree at a South African university to improve professional qualifications

How to Apply and Application Details

  1. Download and complete the appropriate application form:
  2. Alternatively, send Mr. Shawn Africa a letter via post, fax or e-mail to request a prescribed application form using the contact details indicated in the Contact Details section of this post.
  3. Accompany your application form with certified copies of the following documents:
    • Passport size photo, to be attached to the application form
    • South African ID
    • Official transcript of records
    • Latest recommendation letter from the Dean of Faculty of Law of the institution where the applicant is studying.
  4. Send your applications through post or hand delivery. Faxed or emailed applications will not be accepted.

Closing Date

15 August each year.

Contact Details

Mr Shawn Africa
Bursary Co-ordinator
Attorneys Fidelity Fund
Address: 5th Floor Waalburg Building 28 Wale Street Cape Town, 8001
Post: P O Box 3062 Cape Town, 8000 Docex 154 Cape Town
Tel: 021 424 4608
Fax: 086 434 7299

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