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Teacher Bursaries South Africa: How To Apply

Teacher bursaries are available. Apply for a bursary through ETDP SETA or the Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme and you could be on your way to qualifying as a teacher.

Funding for Teachers: Teacher Bursaries

Bursary update for Education: Hard-to-fill Education Vacancies 2023

The ETDP SETA focuses on the Education, Training and Development (ETD) sector, promoting and facilitating skills development. The ETDP SETA achieves its goals through a number of different skills development interventions including bursaries, amongst others.

There are a number of bursaries available for learners who have successfully completed Grade 12 and wish to pursue a career in the ETD sector. If this describes you, please apply to the ETDP SETA and the Department of Education or enquire about other funding schemes.


Teacher Bursaries for degrees, diplomas and certificates

  • NPDE and PGCE
  • B.Ed Mathematics and Science
  • B.Ed Foundation Phase
  • Certificate in Education
  • B Com
  • BSc Applied Mathematics
  • Masters in Commerce
  • ACE in Leadership and Management
  • Computer Studies
  • Human Resources Management
  • Public Finance.

Who qualifies for ETDPSETA Teacher Bursaries?

  • Unemployed South Africans from previously disadvantaged backgrounds interested in studying towards qualifications in the ETD sector.
  • Employed South Africans from previously disadvantaged backgrounds interested in specializing in an ETD field of study identified by the ETDP SETA.

Department of Education Funza Lushaka Teacher Bursaries

The Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme is a multi-year programme that promotes teaching in public schools. As a result, bursaries are available to enable eligible students to complete a full teaching qualification in an area of national priority.

Teaching for your bursary

Bursary recipients must teach at a school or Provincial Education Department for the same number of years that they receive the bursary.

Consequently, qualified bursary recipients can apply for appropriate public school positions with the Provincial Education Department (PED) of their choice. Then the PED concerned will determine whether there is a suitable post available. When there is no suitable post, the applicant will be offered employment in a PED that does have suitable vacancies.

  • Note that the bursary is only awarded to South African citizens. Therefore applications without a valid South African ID number will not be considered.
  • Also, bursary applicants must be accepted into an appropriate study programme at a recognised higher education institution.
  • Therefore, applicants need to meet the institution’s admission criteria and must also meet the national selection criteria for the Funza Lushaka bursary.
teacher bursaries application letter

Selection criteria for teacher bursaries include the following:

  • Firstly, the applicant’s academic ability.
  • Then eligibility for an approved degree or PGCE in one of the priority areas.
  • Commitment to a teaching career, which includes:
    • an interest in working with young people;
    • enthusiasm for a professional career in teaching;
    • readiness to face and surmount difficult challenges;
    • and personal integrity.
  • Commitment to teach in any school to which a student may be appointed by a Provincial Education Department. Everything else being equal, selection should favour candidates from rural areas, candidates who wish to teach in rural areas and candidates whose financial position would otherwise exclude them from enrolment for a teaching qualification.
  • The bursary is only awarded if one of the priority area specialisation subjects is included as a teaching subject in your qualification.

Please note that those who already have other teaching qualifications do not qualify for this programme.

You need to apply for admission to a teaching qualification (B Ed or PGCE) or a Bachelor’s degree (e.g. BSc, B Tech, BA) with at least one major course in a priority area at a university of your choice. Once you have gained admission at a university, you can apply for the bursary via this website.

What the Teacher Bursary covers

The bursary covers all the recipient’s essential expenses.

  • Expenses covered include tuition, full accommodation including meals, books and learning materials. In addition, a small allowance for monthly living expenses is included.
  • Universities have different cost structures, so the total value of a bursary differs.
  • Note that the bursary is renewable for one academic year at a time. On proof of academic success, the bursary may be renewed each year until the recipient of the bursary has qualified as a teacher.

Conditions for repayment of the Teacher Bursary

The bursary is repaid if:

  • the recipient fails to qualify,
  • fails to apply for a teaching post with a PED at a public school,
  • fails to take up a teaching post with a PED at a public school,
  • leaves a teaching post with a PED before the end of the contracted service period,
  • or otherwise fails to meet any requirement of the bursary agreement.

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