What is a Bursary?

What is a Bursary? For those of you who are not sure of what a bursary program is, how you can apply as well as what you can gain from such a program, here is a quick look at it all.

In South Africa work is scarce and skilled workers are in great demand!  

Bursaries are sponsorships given by companies to qualifying students to study further and achieve a great qualification for better work opportunities and a decent future.

What is a Bursary?

A bursary is basically a study program that is financially aided for by someone else or a company.  This means that funds are made available by a company for a student who wants to study further and who qualifies can do so but moreover need the financial assistance to do this.  The company then pays the fees of such a learner to complete their studies and gain a higher qualification.

Some bursary programs do however require the candidate to ‘work back’ the bursary amount after successful completion of their studies, but not all bursaries have this requirement.  Most undergraduate bursary programs mainly aim to add to a student’s funding but some also supply complete funding’s to deserving candidates.

Find your Bursary Programme in the following categories:

Who Benefits From A Bursary?

Well to put it bluntly everyone who needs funding and deserves to study further!


  •  Candidates receive the opportunity to study without paying
  •  Candidates will receive great qualifications
  •  Candidates can receive better work opportunities


  • Gains expertly skilled employees
  • Gains employees that can do what is required with less supervision
  • Gains a workforce that is knowledgeable
  • Gains a stable workforce


  • The skilled and professional workforce gains strength
  • Develop a work force that is of world-class values
  • Gains a competitive edge in the global marketplace

How Do Bursaries Work?

To do a specific work according to set standards one need a great education and if this is not possible due to financial strain a bursary is the answer.

Bursaries and scholarships are not the same and this should be understood.  A scholarship only covers the study fees and is based solely on merit whereas a bursary mostly include study fees as well as book fees, living allowances, pocket money and in some cases a guarantee of work after successful completion of studies.  Bursaries are also mostly awarded on merit and the need for financial aid thus they are sponsored by companies.

If there is a working arraignment tied to a bursary and after completion of studies a student decides that they want to work for a different company this can be done by paying back the fees of the bursary in most cases.  A student should however discuss this with the company involved.

Who Qualifies To Apply For A Bursary?

In most cases bursaries are made available for students who are in need of financial aid and shows that they are dedicated to study further.  It is recommended that a student only applies for a bursary that they will qualify for.  Bursaries are made available to all students in need thus if one wishes to apply they should ensure that all the requirements are met and all information is forwarded in time.

Parents can also ask from their companies for bursaries for their own children if the company makes bursaries available yearly but it might not be a field that the student is qualified for.

Each bursary has different terms and conditions and candidates ought to carefully weigh the pros and cons before deciding to apply or accept.  It is recommended to do a thorough search before applying and compare different bursaries and what they offer so that one applies to a suitable bursary.

A candidate must ensure that all criteria is met for the requirements as not to waste their and the companies time.

How To Get Access To A Bursary?

Firstly you would need to decide upon the career you would like to pursue and then have a look at bursaries in that line.  Most bursary programs have specific requirements that needs to be met so have a look at the companies that offers bursaries in your chosen career path and see if you are a fit for their needs.

There are a wide range of bursaries available and if you cannot find a suitable one on this site, do not give up.  Do a search on the internet, talk to family and friends and find out which companies might be able to offer you a bursary that suits your needs.

Make sure you also do the following:

  • Complete the application completely, do not leave any open spaces, thus ensuring you provide sufficient information about yourself, your future plans and how you can benefit the company.
  • Never submit late as this will automatically disqualify you for the bursary.
  • If you are not in financial distress it will be picked up as all financials have to be submitted and bursaries are mainly for aid of the financially strained.
  • Keep it real when asked for a yearly spending budget do not try and get more than really required as it may end in you not qualifying for the bursary.
  • Be honest and open about the available resources you do have as it will improve your chances of gaining a bursary.

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