HESA Commonwealth Scholarship/ Bursaries 2023- 2024

About the HESA Bursary Programme

HESA is proud to aid qualifying candidates in receiving Commonwealth Scholarships to further their studies abroad.  There are a number of countries involved and only a limited amount of Scholarships made available each year.  Final candidate selections will be made by the UK Commission out of the nominations received from the agency in South Africa for Scholarships to the UK.  Candidates with exceptionally high academics results with a proven ability to make an impact and bring about a change in South Africa after completion of their studies will be excellent contenders.

Scholarship packages usually include airfare to the UK or selected country and return flight after completion of studies.  They include tuition and examination costs, a monthly personal allowance as well as expenses approved by the Institution where applicable.  Contributions will also be made towards required fieldwork studies.  There are many other related inclusions for single parents, married couples, and students who qualify.  For more information on the terms and conditions have a look at the Commonwealth Scholars Handbook.

HESA Bursaries Available

Candidates wishing to apply can only do so in the following conditions to all fields of study at an authorized UK institution.

  • Awards can be allocated to successful candidates for a one-year Master’s program although MBAs will not be included.
  • Awards can be allocated for up to 36 Months funding for a full-time Doctoral (Postgraduate) qualification.

HESA Bursaries Requirements

Candidates applying will need to meet the following criteria:

  • Candidates must be a citizen and permanent resident of a Commonwealth country (South Africa)
  • Candidates must be able to start their studies in the UK by the start of their academic year (September/October).
  • Candidates must hold a 1st Degree / Second Class Honors or above / 2nd Class Honors and related postgraduate qualifications equal to a Master’s degree.
  • Qualifying candidates must agree to the terms of admission as set by the Commission and Institute.
  • By applying the candidate gives his/her consent to have their names published if awarded a Scholarship.
  • Candidates with similar awards may not apply.
  • Candidates will stay in the UK for the term of their Scholarship and visits abroad must first be approved.
  • Candidates will not be allowed to take any work with an income during their study period in the UK.
  • Candidates must sign an agreement to return to South Africa upon completion of their studies.
  • Candidates must abide by the terms and conditions set in accordance to UK law and practices.
  • Candidates will need to procure a (Tier 4) visa.
  • Candidates may be asked to undergo an English language test.
  • Candidates may be asked to be screened for tuberculosis.
  • Candidates may lose their Scholarship if progress, conduct, and attendance do not meet the requirements.

Candidates are also urged to do regular checks for changes in the study visa application process by visiting the UK Visa website.  Candidates who do not have the needed academic measures will be excluded from selection.  Yearly there are more applicants applying than Scholarships are made available, thus, the selection is highly competitive.  Incomplete application or applications not according to the regulations and standards requested will not be looked at.

Candidates are required to supply a scanned photo (passport size), birth certificate (ID Book / Card), transcripts as well as any replies received from UK Institutions.  Your listed references will receive e-mails from EAS after submission of your application whereby the referee can then submit their references.  Candidates must ensure that these are all submitted before the closing date as applications lacking these will not be deliberated.

HESA Bursaries Application

Candidates can apply through their Institute of Higher Learning by contacting them ahead of schedule to confirm closing dates and requirements.  Candidates wishing to apply directly will only be considered if not enrolled at a Higher Learning Institute within South Africa, if the candidate is a South African citizen currently living or studying in another country or if the candidate has gained their qualifications at an overseas Institute.

For bursaries applications online you can visit the following two sites for more information Commonwealth and HESA or send an email to sso@hesa.org.za for the Attention of Nondumiso Lufele.

For those who download the application send the completed form with all supporting documentation to:

HESA – Commonwealth Scholarships

P.O. Box 37392




HESA Bursaries Closing Date

South African students applying for the nomination has to have their completed forms and relevant documentation in by the middle November each year.

The first selection of candidates will be done by the South African panel within the first week of December and the selected candidate’s list will then be forwarded to the UK Scholarship Commission.

The pre-selected candidates will be informed in January and the final selection will take place during March.  Candidates who qualify will be notified during April and May.

Looking for more Bursaries that will help you studying abroad?? Take a look at our other International Bursaries.

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