How To Get Free Education In South Africa – 2023 Update

11 Min Read
How To Get Free Education In South Africa

Are you struggling to afford education in South Africa? Check out a comprehensive guide on various ways to get free education in South Africa.

You’re not alone. The cost of education can be a daunting prospect for many students and families, but the good news is that there are ways to get free education in South Africa.

Yes, you read that correctly! In this blog post, we will explore various options available for those seeking financial assistance or bursaries to fund their studies. From government-funded schemes such as NSFAS and Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme to senior citizen programs and post-graduate funding schemes – there’s something here for everyone! So let’s dive right in and discover how you can receive higher education without breaking the bank!

Free education in South Africa: an overview

South Africa has made significant strides in expanding access to education for all its citizens. While the cost of education can be a barrier for many, there are various ways to access free or subsidized education in South Africa.

Free primary and secondary schooling are available to all children in South Africa, as enshrined in the country’s constitution. The government also provides financial assistance through bursaries and loans for students pursuing higher education at universities and colleges.

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is one such initiative that assists financially needy students with funding their studies at approved tertiary institutions. Eligible applicants can apply online and receive funding towards tuition fees, accommodation, books, and other related expenses.

The Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme is another opportunity offered by the Department of Basic Education that seeks to address teacher shortages across the country. Successful applicants are awarded full-cost bursaries covering tuition fees, accommodation, meals, and a monthly stipend while completing an approved teaching qualification.

Similarly, senior citizens seeking to further their studies may apply for the Senior Citizen’s Funza Lushaka Bursary Scheme which covers undergraduate degrees or postgraduate Certificate in Education courses leading to a teaching qualification.

In addition to these initiatives by the government, some private organizations also offer scholarships or bursaries aimed at increasing access to quality higher education among disadvantaged communities.

South Africa recognizes that investing in education reaps long-term benefits for individuals as well as society as a whole. By providing opportunities for free or subsidized learning through various schemes like NSFAS and Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme; more people have better chances of achieving their educational dreams regardless of their backgrounds or financial situations

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS)

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is a government initiative aimed at providing financial assistance to disadvantaged students who are unable to fund their tertiary education. The scheme was established in 1999 and has since then helped thousands of South Africans achieve their educational dreams.

To qualify for the NSFAS program, applicants must meet certain criteria such as being a South African citizen, having a combined household income below a certain threshold, and being enrolled or planning to enroll in an accredited public university or college. Successful applicants will receive funding that covers tuition fees, accommodation costs, textbooks, and other study materials.

The application process for NSFAS can be done online through the official website where you will need to provide personal information and supporting documents. It is important to note that applications typically open early in the year so it’s best to keep an eye on the deadlines.

While NSFAS provides much-needed support for financially challenged students, recipients of this aid must use it responsibly. This means attending all classes regularly, focusing on academic performance, and managing finances carefully.

If you’re struggling with paying your tuition fees or any other related expenses while studying in South Africa, consider applying for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS). With its help, many have been able to pursue higher education without worrying about financial constraints.

The Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme

The Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme is a government initiative that aims to increase the number of qualified teachers in South Africa. The bursary covers all tuition fees, accommodation and meals, books, and other study materials for students pursuing a teaching degree.

To be eligible for the program, applicants must be South African citizens with a valid ID number. They must also have good academic results in their previous studies and be accepted into an accredited university or college offering a teaching degree.

One of the unique aspects of the Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme is that recipients are required to teach at public schools for the same duration as they received funding. This means that graduates will get work experience while giving back to their communities.

Furthermore, recipients who perform well during their studies may receive additional benefits such as overseas travel opportunities or job offers upon graduation.

The Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme provides an excellent opportunity for aspiring teachers who may not have had access to education due to financial constraints. By investing in educating more teachers, South Africa can improve its education system and provide better quality education to future generations.

The Senior Citizen’s Funza Lushaka Bursary Scheme

The Senior Citizen’s Funza Lushaka Bursary Scheme is a unique program that offers free education to senior citizens in South Africa. This initiative was launched by the government to encourage lifelong learning and enable older adults who may not have had access to higher education earlier in life.

To be eligible for this bursary, applicants must be 60 years or older and meet certain academic requirements. The program covers tuition fees, accommodation, and stipends for books and other materials.

This scheme has enabled many senior citizens who thought their dreams of getting a higher education were long gone due to financial constraints or lack of opportunities to pursue their passions.

Through this program, they can now study at universities or colleges across the country without worrying about financial burdens. This initiative is an excellent opportunity for seniors seeking personal growth, career advancement opportunities, or simply wanting to learn something new.

The Senior Citizen’s Funza Lushaka Bursary Scheme has aided many elderly individuals in fulfilling their educational aspirations while simultaneously promoting lifelong learning within South African communities.

The Post-Graduate Funding Scheme

The Post-Graduate Funding Scheme is a program that aims to provide financial assistance to eligible students who wish to pursue post-graduate studies. This scheme is available for both South African citizens and permanent residents who have completed their undergraduate degrees and want to further their education.

Through this funding scheme, students can receive up to R100,000 per year towards tuition fees, accommodation costs, books, and other related expenses. The amount provided may vary depending on the student’s academic record, research proposal, and financial need.

To be considered for the Post-Graduate Funding Scheme, applicants must meet certain eligibility criteria such as having an average grade of at least 65%, being enrolled in an accredited institution of higher learning in South Africa, and demonstrating financial need.

Applicants are also required to submit a research proposal outlining their intended area of study and how it aligns with national priorities. Successful candidates will then be awarded funding for the duration of their post-graduate program subject to satisfactory academic progress.

The Post-Graduate Funding Scheme provides much-needed support for students who wish to continue with their education beyond the undergraduate level. It offers a valuable opportunity for individuals from all backgrounds to enhance their skills and knowledge through advanced studies while reducing the burden of financial constraints.


In summary, free education in South Africa is possible through various government initiatives and programs aimed at providing financial support to students who cannot afford tertiary education. The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) provides loans and bursaries to eligible students while the Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme supports those studying for a teaching degree.

Moreover, there are also opportunities available for senior citizens pursuing teaching qualifications through the Senior Citizen’s Funza Lushaka Bursary Scheme as well as postgraduate funding schemes offered by universities across South Africa.

Prospective students need to research these options thoroughly and apply early before the deadlines. With determination and hard work, anyone can achieve their dreams of obtaining a higher education regardless of their financial background.

Therefore, if you are looking to pursue further studies but are worried about finances, be sure to take advantage of these resources available in South Africa. Free education may not be easy to come by, but it is certainly possible with a little help from these programs.

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