Funza Lushaka Bursary: Your Guide to Education Funding in South Africa

The Funza Lushaka Bursary is a distinct initiative of the South African government, designed to promote the education sector by supporting students who aspire to become professional teachers. Aimed at bolstering the supply of teachers in areas of national priority, such as mathematics, science, and technology, the bursary provides comprehensive financial assistance to eligible students pursuing initial teacher education. By covering essential expenses like tuition fees, accommodation, and learning materials, the scheme empowers future educators to focus on their studies without the burden of financial constraints.

With a continued commitment to improving the quality of education across the country, the Funza Lushaka Bursary specifically targets enthusiastic individuals committed to teaching at public schools. The program not only facilitates access to higher education but also seeks to retain talented graduates within the public schooling system. Applicants must meet certain eligibility criteria to benefit from the bursary, which includes a willingness to teach in public schools upon qualification.

The impact of the Funza Lushaka Bursary extends beyond individual recipients by contributing to the broader educational landscape in South Africa. By investing in the professional development of teachers, the scheme plays a critical role in elevating educational standards and addressing the country’s long-term objectives in skills development and capacity building within the teaching profession.

Overview of Funza Lushaka Bursary

The Funza Lushaka Bursary is a significant financial aid programme designed to support students pursuing teaching qualifications in South Africa. The bursary aims to enhance the quantity and quality of teaching in priority areas.

Bursary Programme Objectives

The core objective of the Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme is to promote teaching as a profession in South Africa by offering comprehensive bursaries to eligible students. These bursaries cover tuition fees, accommodation expenses, meals, small allowances for monthly living expenses, and essential learning materials. The programme primarily seeks to equip educators to teach in areas where there is a higher demand for expertise.

Priority Areas and Subjects

Under the Funza Lushaka Bursary, there is a clear focus on priority subjects deemed essential for the development of the South African education system:

  • Mathematics
  • Physical Science
  • Life Sciences
  • Language teaching
  • Specialisation in Foundation Phase Teaching, with an emphasis on literacy, numeracy and the skills necessary to negotiate the critical early years of a child’s development.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the Funza Lushaka Bursary, candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • Must be a South African citizen
  • Prospective bursars must demonstrate academic ability and a commitment to become a teacher.
  • Should be enrolled for an appropriate teaching qualification at a recognised South African university.
  • First time applicants must be 30 years of age or younger to apply.

The bursary is awarded to students who commit to teaching in public schools anywhere in South Africa, as there is a need for qualified teachers in these areas.

Application Process

The application process for the Funza Lushaka Bursary involves a clear, step-by-step online procedure that must be strictly adhered to by prospective applicants. It requires an initial registration on a government portal, followed by a detailed online application submission, with various documents to be provided for eligibility verification.

How to Register and Apply

Firstly, applicants must register on the e-Gov portal to start the application for the Funza Lushaka Bursary. Registration involves providing personal information, including a valid ID number. Upon registering, an OTP (One Time Pin) will be generated to verify the applicant’s credentials. It’s imperative to review and accept the terms and conditions laid out by the portal before proceeding.

Online Application Guide

To apply online, registered users must login to their account on the e-Gov portal. The application procedure involves filling out the requisite forms and ensuring that all information is accurate and true. With careful attention, applicants must navigate to the application button to initiate the Funza Lushaka Bursary application form. There is a section within the form where the applicant must perform a declaration of the truthfulness of the information provided.

Required Documents

Applicants are required to submit specific documents to support their bursary application. These include proof of academic records, identification documents, and a confirmation of acceptance from a provincial education department if applicable. These documents should be uploaded in the format specified during the online application process. Failure to provide any of these necessary documents may lead to application rejection.

Bursary Terms and Conditions

The Funza Lushaka Bursary offers comprehensive support to its recipients, covering significant educational expenses while enforcing strict adherence to its terms and conditions to maintain the integrity of the programme.

Financial Coverage

The Funza Lushaka Bursary provides substantial financial assistance to successful applicants, ensuring that various aspects of their educational journey are covered. The funding includes:

  • Tuition: Full payment of tuition fees.
  • Accommodation: Coverage of costs for university-approved accommodation or a stipulated allowance for unaccredited accommodation.
  • Meals: An allowance for meals, ensuring recipients have proper nutrition throughout their studies.
  • Books and Learning Materials: A set allowance for books and other learning materials required for the completion of the teaching qualification.
  • Living Expenses: An allocation to cover additional living expenses to support the comprehensive needs of bursary holders.

Obligations of Recipients

Bursary recipients are bound by a series of obligations to both maintain their bursary funding and contribute to the teaching profession after graduation:

  • Teaching Service: Recipients must teach in a public school for the same number of years that they received the bursary.
  • Academic Performance: They must demonstrate satisfactory academic progress to continue receiving bursary support.
  • Criminal Record and Misconduct: Applicants must not have a criminal record and must not have been charged with any misconduct. Involvement in such activities can lead to disqualification and potential repayment of the bursary.
  • NSFAS Loans: Should a recipient be a previous holder of a National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) loan, they are required to repay any outstanding amount before receiving full bursary funds.

The terms and conditions of the Funza Lushaka Bursary are designed to empower individuals aspiring to become professional teachers while securing a commitment to serve in the South African educational sector.

Academic and Support Structures

The Funza Lushaka Bursary provides an integral framework for the development of qualified teachers through affiliations with universities and comprehensive support mechanisms for bursary recipients.

University Affiliations

The Funza Lushaka Bursary is meticulously integrated with various higher education institutions, particularly public universities, which offer accredited programmes geared towards a career in teaching. Students are matched with universities equipped to foster their academic abilities and prepare them for the classroom. Each participating university has a set of pre-approved programmes that align with the bursary’s objectives to ensure graduates are well-equipped for the teaching profession.

Support for Bursary Holders

Bursary holders receive robust support throughout their studies, including financial aid covering tuition fees, accommodations, learning materials, and a monthly allowance for living expenses. To cultivate their future role as teachers, bursary recipients are also provided with academic support services such as mentoring and access to educational resources, ensuring they have the necessary tools to succeed in their academic and professional journeys.

Renewals and Re-applications

The Funza Lushaka Bursary requires annual renewals and allows re-applications, each following specific steps. These measures ensure that funding is continuously provided to eligible students, adhering to the Department of Basic Education’s commitment to expand the teaching profession.

Conditions for Bursary Renewal

A bursary holder must maintain a certain performance standard to qualify for renewal. Key requirements include:

  • Academic Performance: The bursary recipient must pass all the courses for which they have registered, as per the bursary agreement.
  • Age Limit: Continuing students should note the age restriction which may affect their eligibility for renewal.

Re-application Procedures

Re-applying for the Funza Lushaka Bursary involves a series of steps, detailed as follows:

  1. Dashboard Access: Bursary holders must log into their dashboard on the e-Gov portal to initiate the re-application process.
  2. Closing Date: It’s imperative to submit re-applications before the stipulated closing date to avoid disqualification.
  3. Required Fields: Upon access to their dashboard, applicants must complete all required fields accurately to ensure their re-application is processed.

For Grade 12 learners and recent matriculants, the process obliges them to update their personal information and provide their latest academic results. Guidance through the re-application procedures can be found on the Department of Basic Education’s designated Funza Lushaka Bursary page.

Technical Aspects of the Bursary Portal

The Funza Lushaka Bursary Portal is designed for user-friendly interaction, ensuring applicants can navigate and manage their accounts with ease. The portal leverages IT and digital technology to provide a seamless experience on the e-Services platform.

Navigating the e-Services Website

Upon visiting the e-Services website, users are greeted with a streamlined e-Services menu, guiding them through various options. The site’s architecture is aimed at facilitating intuitive navigation, with clear categories and a responsive layout optimised for both desktop and mobile usage. A prominent feature is the application section where one can register and apply for the Funza Lushaka Bursary.

Resetting Passwords and Account Recovery

The portal incorporates straightforward mechanisms for password resets and account recovery, which are critical for maintaining secure access. In the event that a user forgets their password, the system provides a method to reset it via a linked email. The user must navigate to the relevant section within the portal, enter their registered email address, and follow the instructions sent to their email to reset their password. Account recovery features robust security questions to protect user information while ensuring account accessibility.

Majoring in Priority Subjects

The Funza Lushaka Bursary prioritises certain subjects to address specific skills shortages in South African education. Prospective educators are encouraged to specialise in these key areas to enhance their employment prospects and contribute to the nation’s educational development.

Importance of Mathematics and Science

The mathematics and science disciplines are cornerstone subjects in the Funza Lushaka Bursary programme, reflecting the high demand for teachers qualified in these areas. It is crucial for bursary recipients to possess strong knowledge and teaching skills in these *priority area subjects*, as they play a vital role in developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills among students.

Emphasis on Language Teaching

With the objective of fostering effective communication and cultural richness, there is a significant emphasis on teaching languages, including African languages. The proficiency in multiple languages is an asset, and the bursary scheme stresses the importance of educators who can teach both international and indigenous languages, thereby promoting linguistic diversity and enhancing mutual understanding within the educational landscape.

Special Programme Features

The Funza Lushaka Bursary provides a range of benefits tailored to address the specific needs of South Africa’s education system, particularly in the encouragement of specialised teaching fields and offering additional support for different educational phases.

Benefits for Specialised Teaching Fields

The Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme prioritises critical subject areas by offering full-cost bursaries to students pursuing teaching qualifications in fields such as Technical Mathematics, Engineering Graphics and Design, Mechanical Technology, Agricultural Sciences, and Agricultural Technology. Additionally, students specialising in Civil Technology, Computer Applications Technology, and Electrical Technology are also included, underlining the importance of developing skills in technical and vocational subjects.

Additional Support for Specific Phases

Support extends beyond subject-specific teaching, with the bursary programme aligning its benefits to various educational phases:

  • PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education): Postgraduate students aiming at enhancing their qualifications to teach at different levels benefit from this support.

  • Foundation Phase: Students are supported in becoming teachers for younger learners, where the basics of literacy and numeracy are established.

  • Intermediate Phase: This support targets students who are preparing to teach more complex subjects to learners in the critical middle years of schooling.

  • Senior Phase: The bursary also assists students intending to teach the senior phase, where pupils are guided through more advanced and diverse subjects, setting a foundation for further education and vocational training.

Post-Graduation Expectations

Upon completion of their teaching qualifications, recipients of the Funza Lushaka bursary are expected to navigate the world of public education with a set of clear obligations and opportunities for growth. Two significant aspects define their post-graduation journey: their placement in public schools and their career advancement prospects.

Placement in Public Schools

The transition from graduate to educator is facilitated by a compulsory placement in a public school. Recipients are typically appointed by the Provincial Education Department (PED) to schools where there is a dire need for educators. This placement is a crucial component of their bursary contract and is not subject to negotiation. Successful candidates are placed for a period equivalent to the duration of the bursary received. They are obliged to accept the position offered to them, and any request for exemption from the placement or endorsement to teach in a private institution is usually met with stringent conditions and thorough review.

Career Advancement Prospects

Advancing in one’s career after receiving the Bachelor of Education or Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) involves meeting the demands of the classroom and contributing to learners’ success. The degree itself opens doors within the public school system for various roles, including department head positions, senior teacher roles, and more. The PED may recognise exceptional service and dedication with further professional development opportunities, allowing educators to enhance their credentials and thereby increasing their scope for career advancement within public education sectors.

Contact and Communication

Communication with the Funza Lushaka Bursary is a streamlined process, designed to provide applicants and beneficiaries with a multitude of channels for inquiries, feedback, and necessary support. These channels are monitored by the Department of Basic Education to ensure that all interactions are handled efficiently and that personal information is managed securely during the registration process.

Customer Support Channels

To make queries or request information, applicants can contact the Funza Lushaka Bursary support team via their designated email address.

For more direct contact, the bursary scheme offers a toll-free telephone number. This service ensures that applicants can speak to a representative for immediate assistance.

Online Portal:
Individuals wishing to apply can register and access their personal information through the official e-Gov portal.

University Coordinators:
For more personalised assistance, the Funza Lushaka academic and administrative coordinators are available at the applicants’ respective universities.

Feedback and Complaints Management

Immediate Response:
Complaints or feedback can be conveyed through telephone contact, providing an immediate platform for concerns to be heard and addressed.

Written Communication:
For more formal records of feedback or complaints, email communication is recommended. This allows for a documented trail and typically involves a more detailed response.

By utilising these avenues, the Funza Lushaka Bursary ensures a clear and efficient communication process with the Department of Basic Education, thereby maintaining a consistent and responsive contact environment for all stakeholders.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme?

The Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme is a multi-year initiative aimed at promoting teaching as a profession in South Africa. It provides bursaries to selected students enabling them to pursue a teaching qualification in specific subject areas that are considered high priority.

Who is eligible for the bursary?

Eligibility is generally restricted to South African citizens who meet the required academic criteria and commit to teaching in public schools. Initial applicants must be 30 years or younger.

What expenses does the bursary cover?

The bursary typically covers essential expenses including tuition fees, accommodation, meals, books, and learning materials. In some cases, recipients may receive an allowance for monthly living expenses.

How does one apply for the Funza Lushaka Bursary?

Applicants must follow a nine-step process that begins with registering on the e-Gov portal and providing personal information. All first-time applicants must register and apply through this official channel.

Can individuals with a criminal record apply for the bursary?

Individuals with a criminal record, charges of misconduct, or who have been dismissed from work are deemed ineligible to apply for the Funza Lushaka Bursary. This is to maintain the integrity and standards expected of educators.

How do bursary recipients register at university?

The Department of Basic Education sends a funded report to the university, enabling the student to proceed with registration. A separate bursary letter is not required for this process, as detailed by the University of Johannesburg’s Student Finance FAQs.


The Funza Lushaka Bursary Scheme remains an instrumental initiative in South Africa, dedicated to financially supporting students who exhibit a passion for teaching. Those who wish to become teachers and contribute positively to education may find this programme to be an invaluable resource. With a focus on promoting high-quality education and addressing teacher shortages, the bursary scheme provides comprehensive funding covering tuition, accommodations, meals, and educational resources.

Individuals who secure the Funza Lushaka Bursaries commit to teaching in public schools for the same number of years that they received the bursary. This commitment ensures that the investment in education extends beyond individual gain, fostering a cycle of continuous improvement in the South African education system.

Encouragingly, a diverse array of subjects and teaching specialisations are encompassed within the bursary, paving the way for holistic educational development. Aspiring educators are encouraged to apply, bearing in mind the selective nature of the bursary and the criteria that must be met.

In sum, the Funza Lushaka Bursary Scheme represents a strategic investment in the future of South Africa’s students and a step towards a more knowledgeable, empowered society. For more information on the application process and requirements, prospective candidates can refer to the array of resources available, such as a step-by-step guide for the 2024 application.

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