Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. What is the Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme?
The Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme is a multi-year programme to promote teaching as a profession. Bursaries are available to enable selected students to complete a teaching qualification in identified Subject priority areas. Recipients of these bursaries will be required to teach at a public school for the same number of years that they received the bursary.
Roles and responsibilities
2. How are roles and responsibilities for the Funza Lushaka programme separated?
This is a national programme which is administered each public higher education institution (HEI). It is funded by National Treasury and managed by the Department of Basic Education (DBE).
The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) financially administers the programme on behalf of DBE through the Student Financial Aid office at each HEI.
Provincial Co-ordinators implement district and community based teacher recruitment programmes in collaboration with - district co-coordinators. Provincial Co-ordinators respond to queries from applicants in their respective provinces and districts and assist them to apply online for the bursary. Provincial Co-ordinators manage the provincial selections of the district recruited applicants.
Selected students must meet the admission criteria of the academic programme at the HEI to which they apply, and must meet the national selection criteria for the Funza Lushaka bursary. Selection of bursars is undertaken at each HEI in accordance with the selection criteria and the funds allocated to each HEI.
Once qualified, bursary recipients are placed by a provincial education department.
Applications and eligibility
3. Who is eligible to apply?
Any academically gifted, young –
- learners, currently in Grade 12;
- graduates below the age of 30 who want to complete a teaching qualification or enrol for a PGCE;
- people below the age of 30 who want to make a career change and become teachers; and
- unemployed people below the age of 30 who want to become teachers.
4. How does a student apply?
Prospective bursars must first gain admission at a higher education institution (HEI). Applications may be submitted online at www.funzalushaka.doe.gov.za .
5. Where can prospective students find out more about the bursary programme?
Information on the Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme can be accessed from www.funzalushaka.doe.gov.za and www.education.gov.za .
Student Financial Aid offices will give details of financial matters, service obligations, etc.
Staff in the Faculty or School of Education at HEIs will provide information on teaching as a profession, academic programmes and an individual's eligibility for admission.
6. How does an institution determine whether a student’s academic programme complies with the
The bursary programme is designed to boost recruitment into teaching, in priority subject areas. In most cases, Faculty or School of Education staff will be able to assist students with the Funza Lushaka priority subjects to determine a student's teaching priority subjects guided by the Funza Lushaka Policy.
7. What are the national priority subject areas?
Foundation Phase (i.e. Grades R-3): Foundation Phase (with preference for South African Indigenous Languages) Neurodevelopment Needs, Braille, SASL.
Intermediate and Senior Phase (i.e. Grades 4-9): Preference will be given for a teaching major in TWO of the following: Languages, Mathematics, and Natural Science & Technology
FET phase (i.e. Grades 10-12): Preference will be given for a teaching major in TWO of the following: Accounting; Agricultural Sciences; Agricultural Technology; Civil Technology; Computer Applications Technology; Electrical Technology; Engineering Graphics and Design; Geography; Information
Technology; Life Sciences; Mathematics; Mechanical Technology; Physical Sciences, Languages,Maritime studies, Coding and Robitics, Technical Mathematics and Technical Science.
8. What programmes will be funded?
Bachelor of Education (BEd);
Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in Senior Phase and FET teaching;
9. Are there official quotas for the distribution of bursaries by programme, year of study or priority area ?
Yes, the distribution by programme will be determined by the Department of Basic Education depending on
identified priorities subject areas annually.
10. Are first-year students eligible?
Yes, first-year students in the appropriate programmes are eligible for the bursary.
11. Are Advanced Certificate in Education (ACE) students eligible?
No. Bursaries are available only to unqualified, initial teacher education students.
12. Are distance education and part-time students eligible for a bursary?
Yes, provided they are eligible in all other respects and complete the qualification within the minimum stipulated time.
13. Are recipients of other bursaries eligible to apply for a Funza Lushaka bursary?
Yes, but a student who has been offered both a Funza Lushaka Bursary and another bursary must choose to
decline the other bursary.
14. Who sits on a Funza Lushaka bursary selection committee?
The composition of the selection committee is stipulated in the Funza Lushaka Policy and must include academic members of the Faculty or School of Education, a representative of the relevant provincial education department (PED), a representative of the financial aid office and an official/officials representing the DBE.
15. What selection criteria should be applied?
The selection criteria are stipulated in the Funza Lushaka Policy. The following is a summary:
- The bursary is only awarded to South African citizens with a valid South African ID number.
- Allocation of Funza Lushaka bursaries to Higher Education Institution employees, their spouse and their dependents/children is not permissible.
- Bursary applicants must already have been accepted into a either BEd or PGCE qualification at an accredited public University.
The applicant must also meet the national selection criteria for the Funza Lushaka bursary.
- The bursary will only be awarded if two of the priority area subjects are included as a specialisation in the teaching qualification.
- The applicant should demonstrate good academic ability.
- The applicant must show commitment to a teaching career, which includes: interest in working with
young people; enthusiasm for a professional career in teaching; readiness to face and surmount difficult challenges with integrity.
Please note that you are responsible for paying your registration fee, while awaiting for the outcome of the bursary application
16. Will late applications be considered?
No, late applications for a bursary will not be considered.
17. Are HEIs being allocated a specific number of bursaries or a specific allocation of funds for
Yes. HEIs receive bursary funding from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS). Each HEI will disburse bursary funding in accordance with its cost structure.
18. Are more funding available than those initially allocated to an
institution for a particular academic year?
No. However, If institutions are unable to use all the funds allocated to them, the balance will be redistributed to
institutions that requires more funding. This will only be done after the end of the normal registration period.
19. How much is a Funza Lushaka bursary worth?
Institutions have different cost structures, so the total value of a bursary differs from institution to institution.
Funza Lushaka bursaries should cover essential expenses.
20. What does the bursary cover?
Expenses covered may include tuition fees, accommodation including meals, books and learning materials, and if
possible a small allowance for monthly living expenses. The allocation to any individual student is capped at a specific value.
Where the HEI charges more than the capped value the bursars will have to top up from own funds. Applicants are therefore encouraged to apply at HEIs with the most affordable rates.
21. May a student accept a bursary for fewer than the number of years required to complete a
Yes. However, the student would have to avail himself/herself for placement immediately after qualifying.
22. Can a student accept less per annum than the total amount on offer?
Yes. However, the recipient’s service obligations remain a full year of service for every year for which he/she
has received a bursary.
23. Can a student who has another bursary receive a Funza Lushaka bursary?
24. Can a student receive a bursary for an extra year of study?
Yes. Funding for an additional year of study (i.e. 5th year) ) is not automatic and will be considered on a case by case
basis. In cases where support is provided for an additional year, the service obligation for the student is
extended by a year. Any additional time required will be at the recipient’s own cost. The additional year of study is only applicable to bursary holders following the Bachelor of Education.
25. Who pays for costs incurred over and above the allocated bursary amount?
The bursary holder.
26. Is the bursary renewable?
Yes, A Funza Lushaka bursary holder is required to re-apply for the bursary annually before the end of November. The bursary is awarded for one academic year at a time upon proof of academic progress.
27. How will a student's accomodation and living expenditure be paid?
In accordance with the HEIs normal practices.
Funza Lushaka bursary agreement
28. Must the recipient of a bursary receive a copy of the bursary agreement?
Yes. The agreement must be explained to the bursar before he/she signs it,and a signed copy must then be
given to the recipient.
29. For how many years will the recipient of a bursary be required to teach?
Funza Lushaka bursary holders will be required to teach one year for every year for which they have received a bursary. Each year of service shall repay one full-time year of bursary-assisted studies.
30. If a student migrates from an NSFAS loan to a Funza Lushaka bursary, will the years pertaining
to the NSFAS loan become part of the service contract?
No. The NSFAS loan and the bursary have different conditions.
31. Must the bursary be repaid?
No. However, the bursary may have to be repaid if the recipient fails to make academic progress; registers for a course of study that is not in a designated priority area; fails to apply for a teaching post with a PED at a public school, fails to follow the stipulated processes; 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 a requirement of the bursary agreement
32. How much must be repaid?
The recipient will be required to repay the full amount of the bursary received in terms of the programme, with
33. Will interest have to be paid on the amount owing?
Yes. Interest shall be compounded monthly at the rate of interest determined by NSFAS from time to time.
34. Who determines the placement of newly qualified teachers in terms of the programme?
Qualified recipients of bursaries will be placed by the PEDs to teach in a public school. Offers of employment
will be made, subject to the Employment of Educators Act, 1998, and the South African Schools Act, 1996, as
amended as well as the SACE Act.
35. Are Funza Lushaka bursary recipients eligible for school governing body (SGB) posts at public
No. A bursar may only accept a school governing body (SGB) post after the bursar has fulfilled his/her
contractual obligations to a PED.
36. Are Funza Lushaka bursary recipients able to take a "gap year" or proceed to complete further
studies immediately after qualifying?
No. Students are required to accept a teaching post immediately after qualifying – an extension will not be
granted to a qualifying student even for further studies.
37. Are foreign students eligible for a Funza Lushaka bursary?
No, NSFAS will not enter into a contract with a foreign student or a student that holds a temporary resident