The NSFAS Scholarship and the Funza Lushaka Scholarship are two of the most popular funding options in the country when you want to continue studying. If you are interested in knowing the difference between the two, read on.
Scholarships can often be the key to our success when we want to further our studies. Two scholarships that South Africans might have heard of are the NSFAS scholarship and the Funza Lushaka scholarship. However, the two scholarships differ in certain areas.
The Funza Lushaka Scholarship Program is a multi-year program aimed at promoting teaching as a profession and requires students to accept a teaching position immediately upon qualification and will be required to hold this teaching position for the number of years it was funded. This is different compared to NSFAS, which not only funds teaching degrees but also funds various courses at public universities and TVET colleges in South Africa.
Terms related to scholarship program reimbursement also differ.
All students who received an NSFAS loan prior to the president’s announcement of free education in December 2017 must repay the amount loaned according to the signed loan agreement form. Those who have to repay the loan will only start repaying the loan once they have a salary of R30,000 or more per year.
If you have started funding with NSFAS in 2018 and beyond, you have received a scholarship and you do not need to return the money to NSFAS.
Recipients of the Funza Lushaka scholarship may have to reimburse if they are in the following cases:
if the recipient does not qualify
you enroll in a course of study that is not in a designated priority area
does not apply for a teaching position in a Provincial Department of Education in a public school, following the stipulated processes
does not assume a teaching position in a Provincial Department of Education in a public school
leaves a teaching position in a Provincial Department of Education before the end of the contracted period of service
does not meet a requirement of the scholarship agreement
The Funza Lushaka Scholarship, which funds students year after year, also has an age limit attached to its list of requirements for students to qualify for the program, it is only for applicants under the age of 30.
However, NSFAS does not have an age limit when it comes to those who can apply. No matter what your age is, if you qualify, you can get funding from NSFAS.
The Funza Lushaka Scholarship does not cover registration fees and they have stated that students are responsible for paying for their registration while waiting for the result of their application. They have also stated that paying their registration fee does not mean that they will receive the scholarship.
However, NSFAS covers your registration fee. In case you are asked for a registration fee when you sign up, you will just have to clarify that you are funded by NSFAS.
Graduate education certificate
The Funza Lushaka Scholarship focuses on promoting teaching as a profession and therefore covers Postgraduate Education Certificates (PGCE) courses.
However, NSFAS no longer covers postgraduate courses and this also applies to the PGCE. NSFAS previously funded the rating, but due to financial shortfalls, they decided to stop funding it.
NSFAS funds cover students attending one of the 50 TVET universities in South Africa, regardless of the course they are taking. Funza Lushaka, however, doesn’t just fund bachelor’s degrees in education and PGCE, which is only done at universities.
Another way the two scholarships differ is in terms of duration. NSFAS follows the N + rule while Funza finances year after year.
The NSFAS N + rule that now applies is N + 1, which means you will be funded for an additional 1 year. If your degree is three years, then they will fund it for four years.
The Funza Lushaka Scholarship is awarded for one academic year at a time and the scholarship will only be renewed if you send them proof of good academic performance. This means that you will have to request the renewal of the scholarship every year.