DHET Bursary Scheme

Introduction for DHET Bursary Scheme

Education is a cornerstone of progress, but for many South Africans, the cost of higher education remains a formidable barrier. The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) Bursary Scheme, administered by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), provides a beacon of hope. This initiative is designed to offer fully subsidized education to poor and working-class South Africans, ensuring that financial constraints do not hinder academic aspirations.

What is the DHET Bursary Scheme?

The DHET Bursary Scheme represents a groundbreaking step towards inclusive education in South Africa. By targeting individuals from families with an income of R350,000 or less per annum, this scheme aims to alleviate the financial burden associated with higher education. Managed by NSFAS, a government entity established under the NSFAS Act (Act 56 of 1999), the scheme provides comprehensive financial support to eligible students.

Understanding NSFAS

The Role of NSFAS in Education

NSFAS is pivotal in ensuring that higher education becomes accessible to disadvantaged South Africans. Established to provide financial aid, NSFAS is more than just a funding body; it is an enabler of dreams and aspirations. The organization’s mandate is to support students financially, allowing them to pursue their studies at public universities and TVET colleges without the stress of financial strain.

Eligibility Criteria for NSFAS

Who Qualifies for NSFAS Funding?

Eligibility for NSFAS funding is determined by several criteria, all designed to ensure that support reaches those who need it most. South African citizens, recipients of SASSA grants, and applicants from households with a combined income of not more than R350,000 per annum are eligible. Additionally, for persons with disabilities, the income threshold is higher, set at R600,000 per annum. This inclusivity ensures broad support for diverse students across the nation.

Benefits of the DHET Bursary Scheme

What Does the Bursary Cover?

The DHET Bursary Scheme covers various essential aspects to ensure that students can focus on their studies without financial distractions. The bursary provides for accommodation, transport, living allowances, and learning materials, aligned with the latest Department of Higher Education and Training. This comprehensive coverage is designed to support every facet of a student’s academic life.

Accommodation Benefits for University Students

Detailed Breakdown of Accommodation Costs

University students can receive accommodation funding as per the actual costs charged by their institution. This ensures that students living in university residences or private accommodations do not face excessive financial burdens. Importantly, the cost of private accommodation must not exceed that of university residences, maintaining fairness and financial prudence.

Living Allowance for University Students

Ensuring Student Well-being

A living allowance of R15,000 per annum is provided to university students, ensuring that they can cover daily expenses and focus on their studies. This allowance is crucial for maintaining a balanced and healthy student life, allowing for a conducive learning environment.

Transport Allowance for University Students

Supporting Commuting Students

To support students who commute, the bursary includes a transport allowance of up to R7,500 per annum for those living up to 40 km from their institution. This provision ensures that distance and travel costs do not become barriers to education.

Book Allowance for University Students

Academic Material Support

University students receive a book allowance of R5,200 per annum, which is essential for purchasing textbooks and other academic materials. This allowance directly supports the educational process, ensuring that students have access to necessary resources.

Incidental Allowance for University Students

Personal Care and Incidental Expenses

An incidental or personal care allowance of R2,900 per annum is provided for students in catered residences. This allowance helps cover miscellaneous personal expenses, further easing the financial burden on students.

Accommodation Benefits for TVET Students

Urban, Peri-Urban, and Rural Allowances

TVET students receive accommodation allowances tailored to their living environment. For urban areas, the allowance is R24,000 per annum; for peri-urban areas, R18,900 per annum; and for rural areas, R15,750 per annum. This differentiation ensures that all students, regardless of their location, receive adequate support.

Transport Allowance for TVET Students

Coverage and Support

Similar to university students, TVET students also benefit from a transport allowance. This allowance is R7,350 per annum for those commuting up to 40 km from their institution. Additionally, a general transport allowance of R7,000 per annum is provided, ensuring comprehensive support for commuting needs.

Incidental Allowance for TVET Students

Addressing Personal Needs

TVET students also receive an incidental or personal care allowance of R2,900 per annum. This support is vital for covering personal expenses, allowing students to focus on their education without worrying about minor financial issues.

Special Considerations

Funding for Students with Disabilities

The DHET Bursary Scheme includes special provisions for students with disabilities, increasing the household income threshold to R600,000 per annum. This ensures that students with disabilities receive the necessary support to pursue their education.

Application Process

Steps to Apply for NSFAS Funding

Applying for NSFAS funding is a straightforward process, but it requires attention to detail. Prospective applicants must ensure that they meet the eligibility criteria and gather all necessary documentation. The application process typically involves submitting an online application, providing proof of income, and other relevant documents.

Common Mistakes to Avoid on DHET Bursary Scheme

Ensuring a Successful Application

To avoid common pitfalls, applicants should ensure that all information provided is accurate and complete. Missing documents, incorrect information, and late submissions can result in delays or rejections. Thoroughly reviewing the application guidelines and double-checking submissions can help ensure a smooth application process.

why should you not apply for sassa while on scheme

Maintaining Eligibility

Academic Requirements and Progress

Students must meet academic requirements and demonstrate satisfactory progress to maintain their NSFAS funding. This includes passing modules and adhering to institutional academic standards. Continuous monitoring and meeting these requirements are crucial for ongoing financial support.

Renewing NSFAS Funding

Continuation Criteria

Renewing NSFAS funding involves meeting specific continuation criteria, including academic performance and adherence to funding rules. Students must ensure they are aware of these criteria and strive to meet them to continue receiving support throughout their studies.

Impact of the DHET Bursary Scheme

Transforming Lives and Communities

The DHET Bursary Scheme has a profound impact on individuals and communities. By providing access to education, the scheme helps uplift families out of poverty, fosters social mobility, and contributes to the nation’s development. Education opens doors to opportunities that transform lives.

Success Stories

Testimonials from Beneficiaries

Many students have benefited from the DHET Bursary Scheme, and their success stories are a testament to the program’s effectiveness. These testimonials highlight the life-changing impact of the bursary, showcasing how financial support has enabled them to achieve their academic and career goals.

Challenges and Solutions

Overcoming Hurdles in Implementation

Despite its successes, the DHET Bursary Scheme faces challenges, including administrative issues and funding constraints. Addressing these challenges requires a collaborative effort from the government, educational institutions, and stakeholders to

ensure the program’s sustainability and effectiveness.

Frequently Asked Questions

Comprehensive FAQ Section

  • What is the DHET Bursary Scheme?
  • Who is eligible for NSFAS funding?
  • What does the bursary cover?
  • How do I apply for NSFAS funding?
  • What are the academic requirements for maintaining funding?
  • Can students with disabilities apply for NSFAS?


Final Thoughts on the DHET Bursary Scheme

The DHET Bursary Scheme is a beacon of hope for many South Africans, offering a path to higher education and a brighter future. By addressing financial barriers, the scheme ensures that education is accessible to all, fostering a more equitable society. Its impact on individuals and communities is profound, highlighting the importance of continued support and improvement of such initiatives.

Important Links


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here