Continuing on from our previous conversation with BWIS alumni Mendy Lisa Ndlovu (access  her article here and her profile here), how can one further their studies amidst a financial crisis? Well, there are plenty of financial resources available, however, searching can prove to be quite the tedious task. We have compiled a list of a few websites to start your search and shared some advice and ideas. We have also included search engines providing you  with even more opportunities not on this current list, your search can be tailored to your specific needs. Have a look at the list below and click on the highlighted text to be redirected to the relevant websites.

Bursaries and Scholarships

Start by approaching your campus and exploring faculty scholarships and bursaries. Higher education institutions often reward students achieving high academic excellence. Also look into companies that are involved in the scientific discipline, they offer bursaries, internships or job opportunities to graduates.

South Africa



National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS)

National Research Foundation (NRF)

Be attentive to the Department of Science and Technology (DST), and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to be updated with the available financial support bursary programmes, grants and awards.

Mandela Rhodes Foundation

Some great directories to search for updated bursary opportunities in all fields:

Go Study: tailor your search to your specific needs.

Bursaries South Africa updates you on what is available from private companies, institutes, universities the government and many other public bodies. The website also covers various other fields of study so be sure to tell your friends.




BWIS supports international scientific collaboration and formulating strong international academic relations. Those of you interested in crossing the South African boarders have many options to start your search.

The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) provides a list of international scholarships and fellowships for South Africans, a quick search through their website will lead you to a number of options.

This is a little secret that not many people know about, you can explore the embassy websites of your prospective country of study. Embassies often advertise available scholarships and bursaries for students wanting to study in their country.

The French Embassy in South Africa and Campus France for example, offer a number of scholarships for students wishing to pursue their Masters or PhD studies in France (English are courses available). You can view these here and here. Explore these options for your country of choice.

Erasmus+ offers scholarships for students to study abroad, staff training and teaching opportunities, traineeships and apprenticeships and youth exchanges. Learn more about their opportunities here.

Interested in travelling within Africa for your studies? Click here to access the Intra-Africa Mobility Scheme of the European Union and take advantage of opportunities at top universities across the continent.

A great website to search for scholarships, short-courses and training available within Africa and across continents worldwide is After School Africa, here you can search for all scholarships available for developing countries.

Student Loans


Bursaries South Africa provides a details and information regarding student loans. Click here to be more informed about the loaning process and to see what student loans are offered by the four major banks in South Africa.

We advise all students to take caution and understand the terms of your student loans from banks and financial aid. Pay attention to the overall costs involved such as interest and the conditions of repayment, know how these will affect your finances once you start earning an income.

A 2017 IOL article by Martin Hesse (click here) provides more insight on NFSAS and the bank loan options available to fund your studies. Hesse covers details we often neglect such as, eligibility or qualification criteria, the student expenses covered, details regarding the repayment of loans and the associated charges. He also offers advice for students to consider prior to making a commitment.

Refer to this Parent24 article by Carin Bevan here, to better understand the different government and university bursaries and financial aid opportunities available to at tertiary institutions across the country.

Some Advice

If the closing date has already passed, do not despair. Use this as an opportunity to better prepare for the next call. Take note of the scholarships that interest you and have another look in a few months.

Observe the scholarship criteria and start preparing some aspects of your application in advance. The application process can be demanding which could be discouraging and lead to an incomplete application, many scholarships have not been awarded due to a this fact.

Subscribing to mailing lists and paying close attention to social media notices will ensure that you don’t miss out on the next call. Stay alert!

Word of mouth can be highly beneficial, speak to your supervisors, lecturers, friends or anyone relevant about your desire to gain financial support for your studies.

Do not stop your search here, there are many more resources to explore.

Pay attention to you student notices, these will keep you updated on what is available.

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