The Thuthuka Bursary Fund is a programme that is available solely to African and Coloured students who dream of becoming Chartered Accountants but do not have the funds in order to fulfil that dream. Every year, between 250 and 300 Thuthuka bursaries are awarded for undergraduate BCom Accounting degrees, to students who come from disadvantaged communities.
The word “thuthuka” is a Zulu verb which, in English, translates to “to develop”. This indicates the goal of the fund: for dedicated students to develop not only their education and careers but also their perspectives and life achievements.
The universities that partake in the bursary scheme are accredited by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA). SAICA is not only the leading accountancy body in our country, but it is also influential on an international level.
Thuthuka Bursary Fund Requirements for Application
Any candidates who wish to be considered for this bursary must be South African citizens with valid IDs, be of African or Coloured race, and must be financially needy. The financial need is based on a NSFAS Means Test. The National Student Financial Aid Scheme is a government-funded organisation which was created precisely to provide financial aid to students who wish to study at a tertiary education institution. The test will calculate the student’s ability to contribute to their own education based on factors such as family income and other funding sources.
In terms of academic requirements, applicants must meet the following minimum criteria:
- Achieved at least 60% 5 or above on the NSC Scale of Achievement) for final Grade 11 Mathematics result – Mathematical Literacy does not apply
- Currently in Grade 12 with the intent to study for a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting (if already matriculated, it should not have been more than two years ago)
- Have enough points to qualify for university entrance
- Have applied or are in the process of applying to one of the designated SAICA-accredited universities
Universities to Apply to
Not all SAICA-accredited universities are part of the scheme. Individuals who want to be considered for this bursary must select a university from one of the following to apply to:
- University of Johannesburg
- University of Cape Town – students must enrol for the Bachelor of Commerce code CB011
- Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
- Stellenbosch University
- University of Pretoria
- University of Free State
- University of Witwatersrand
In order to improve their chances of university acceptance, Thuthuka recommends that prospective candidates apply to at least two of the abovementioned universities – one of which is closes to their homes.
Thuthuka Bursary Fund Bursary Package
The comprehensive bursary package includes funding for:
- University fees e.g. tuition
- Accommodation fees
- Monthly living allowance
Since the Thuthuka programme wishes to do more than merely pay for the studies, it also seeks to contribute to the economic and social upliftment of South Africa’s youth. So apart from the funding, depending on the specific university, bursars can also expect the following aid:
- Additional academic support in the form of additional lectures, tutorials and/or assessments
- Language and logic exercise to improve English language comprehension and to better equip students with problem-solving skills and techniques
- A mentorship programme where not only the bursar gets a mentor, but in turn will be able to mentor someone else as well
- Interactive workshops to teach life-skills and promote workplace-readiness
After the Thuthuka Bursary Fund application forms have been received, the TBF team will screen the candidates and invite a portion for testing and interviewing. The testing process will include a National Benchmark Test (NBT) which is used to assess the candidates’ linguistic and numeric skills, as well as their mathematic aptitude. The results of the testing are then sent to the TBF Project managers at the respective universities.
Once a shortlist has been determined, the successful candidates will be provisionally awarded the bursary pending their final Grade 12 results. Candidates will be notified by Thuthuka and also by their university.
How to Apply For the Thuthuka Bursary Fund?
Applicants can download the Thuthuka Bursary Fund online application by following the link on the SAICA website (applications open from the end of January). Completed applications are then to be posted to the following address:
Thuthuka Bursary Fund
PO Box 59875
Along with the completed form, applicants also need to include a recent passport or ID photo in colour, as well as certified copies of their:
- Parent/guardian’s ID
- IDs of people who are dependent on the family’s income
- Parent/guardian’s salary advice or an affidavit if unemployed
- Final Grade 11 results
- Final Grade 12 results (if applicable)
- Stamped letter from school confirming registration and the subjects taken
- University provisional acceptance letter
On a separate piece of paper and in their own handwriting, candidates must briefly answer the following two questions:
- What is your motivation for wanting to become a Chartered Accountant?
- Why do you believe that you should be awarded the bursary?
And finally, candidates should also include a short essay about themselves, their life plans and their family, to further support their applications.
The Thuthuka Bursary Fund closing date is the 30th of April for the following year’s enrolment.
Thuthuka Bursary Fund Contact Details:
Contact Centre: 086 107 2422
Prospective bursars can also visit their Facebook page for further support or information.