University of Pretoria – Available Financial Aid and Scholarships for Africans

Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to leave your homeland to pursue greater opportunities— some could be just waiting around the corner.

The University of Pretoria (UP) has several available financial aid and scholarships for Africans who want quality education without having to go far from home.

Known to be the greatest producer of research in South Africa, UP stands among the top universities in South Africa for research output and impact and produces the highest number of graduates in South Africa annually. 

The institution is committed not just to giving quality education, but also consideration for financially challenged and struggling Africans looking to pursue higher academic level studies.

About the University of Pretoria

As one of the largest contact and residential universities in South Africa, the University of Pretoria has nine faculties and a business school, the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS).

In 2018, UP was one of only four South African universities to be included in the top 500 universities in the Academic Ranking of World Universities survey. 

Relying on over a century of experience and well-established facilities, UP develops human capital and generates the knowledge and skills required to meet the many challenges of the world at large, within the context of a developing nation. 

Scholarships and Financial Aid Opportunities

Having housed over 250,000 alumni from bachelor’s to doctoral degree-holders, the University of Pretoria offers a diverse scheme of scholarship and financial aid opportunities for its students.


Name of ScholarshipStudy LevelDetails
NCP Chlorchem BursaryUndergraduateAll students who will be registered for full-time studies at the University of Pretoria for the 2022 Academic year are welcome to apply for the bursary in the following fields: Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and IT;
Faculty of Health Science;
Faculty of Economic and Management Science;
Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences
Leiden University South Africa Scholarship – University of PretoriaUndergraduateThis Scholarship is intended for students of the University of Pretoria, South Africa, who would like to study at Leiden University for one semester(s) as part of an exchange program.                       
Allan Gray Orbis Foundation: 1st Year University ApplicationUndergraduateAllan Gray Orbis Foundation is excited to announce that the 1st year university applications have officially opened. The application is open to all 1st-year students who meet the criteria below to apply.   Minimum 65% average in June examination Not older than 22 years in 2021 South African Citizenship CURRENTLY studying towards a Law, Engineering, Science, Commerce, Humanities, Arts or Health Science (excluding Medicine, Veterinary Science and Dentistry) degree   
Harmony Financial AssistanceUndergraduateHarmony is offering financial assistance to students who are in their first year of studies for 2021 in the following faculties: GIBS Business SchoolFaculty of LawFaculty of HumanitiesFaculty of EducationFaculty of Engineering, Built Environment and ITFaculty of Health ScienceFaculty of Veterinary ScienceFaculty of Economic and Management ScienceFaculty of Natural and Agricultural SciencesFaculty of Theology and Religion  
Schauenburg Education Trust: Bursary OpportunityUndergraduateThe Schauenburg Education Trust focuses on selecting and financing students to obtain qualifications that have been identified as scarce skills, and which will ensure that these skills are available for employment in South Africa. Students of interest must be pursuing their studies in the field of Electrical Engineering Degrees (BEng or BSc) and Business Management/Administration Degrees.
TRONOX KZN BursaryUndergraduateTronox KZN is offering bursary opportunities to top-performing students to further their studies in 2021.
DSI CSIR Inter Bursary Support Program for 2022Undergraduate & PostgraduateAll students who will be registered for full-time studies at the University of Pretoria for the 2022 Academic Year in the following level of studies: 1.  Honors / 4th year Engineering / Postgraduate Diploma 2.  Masters 3.  Doctoral Only students belonging to these faculties will be considered: Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and ITFaculty of Health ScienceFaculty of Economic and Management ScienceFaculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences  
Schwarzman ScholarshipUndergraduate & PostgraduateSchwarzman Scholars are selected from an international pool of distinguished candidates. Prospective Scholars are expected to demonstrate academic excellence, exceptional results in their field, and outstanding leadership qualities.
Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development BursaryUndergraduate & PostgraduateThe Department of Agriculture, Land Reform, and Rural Development (DALRRD) intends to award comprehensive bursaries to qualifying applicants pursuing and/or intending to further their studies in identified careers in the agriculture, land reform and rural development sector for the 2022 academic year.
Compensation Fund (COID) Bursary ProgrammeUndergraduate & PostgraduateThe Compensation Fund is inviting previously employed persons who suffered occupational injuries or diseases, and as a result, acquired a permanent disablement, as well as dependents of COID pensioners/dependents of COID clients with a permanent disablement, to apply to the Social Welfare and Vocational Rehabilitation Bursary Scheme for 2022 academic year.
CSIR ScholarshipUndergraduate & PostgraduateThe 2022 call from the CSIR for undergraduate and postgraduate bursaries is open to all students of the University of Pretoria.
Margaret McNamara Education Grants (MMEG) 2022Undergraduate & PostgraduateMargaret McNamara Education Grants (MMEG) awards grants on a competitive basis to exceptional women, who are over 25 years old, studying part-time or full-time in select South African universities, and striving towards the well-being of women and children. 
2022 Oil and Protein Seeds Development Trust FundingUndergraduate & PostgraduateThe call from Oil and Protein Seeds Development Trust (OPDT) is open for the 2022 /2023 academic years for Master and Doctoral level studies at the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences.
Protein Research Foundation Bursary 2022Undergraduate & PostgraduateThe call from the Protein Research Foundation for Master and Doctoral bursaries is open for Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences.
France Postgraduate Scholarship 2022Undergraduate & PostgraduateStudy opportunity to do a Masters or PhD studies in France starting in 2022 for the following faculties: GIBS Business SchoolFaculty of LawFaculty of HumanitiesFaculty of EducationFaculty of Engineering, Built Environment and faculty of Health ScienceFaculty of Veterinary ScienceFaculty of Economic and Management ScienceFaculty of Natural and Agricultural SciencesFaculty of Theology and Religion
Mastercard Foundation Scholarship 2022Undergraduate & PostgraduateThe call is open for currently registered students and prospective students who wish to do their Honor or Master-level studies at the University of Pretoria in 2022. Only African students from West, East and Central Africa may apply.  
2022 NRF SARAO Postgraduate ScholarshipUndergraduate & Postgraduate 
Canon Collins Sol Plaatje Scholarship for Postgraduate Study 2022Undergraduate & PostgraduateCanon Collins Trust in partnership with Sol Plaatje Educational Project invites applications for postgraduate study in South Africa 2022. They will provide funding for up to a maximum of two years for Masters and three years for PhD. Only nationalities from Namibia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, or those who have refugee status are qualified for the opportunity.

Rhodes Scholarship 2022  
Undergraduate & Postgraduate  Online applications for the 2022 Rhodes Scholarships for Southern Africa open on 01 June 2021. The scholarships target talented, young South Africans; are fully funded for two years of study; and are inclusive (race, gender, religious affiliation, course of study, and financial need are not criteria for the Rhodes Scholarships).
Chevening Scholarship in the UK 2022 2023Undergraduate & PostgraduateChevening provides fully-funded scholarships, leaving recipients free to focus on achieving their professional goals and enjoying the experience of a lifetime. Chevening Scholars will live and study in the UK for a year, during which time they will develop professionally and academically, network extensively, experience UK culture, and build lasting positive relationships with the UK. The scholarship covers: – University tuition fees; – A monthly stipend; – Travel costs to and from the UK; – An arrival allowance; – A homeward departure allowance; – The cost of one visa application; – A travel grant to attend Chevening events in the UK.
UP Doctoral Research Bursary 2022DoctoralThe UP PhD Research Bursary will open on 1 July 2021 for the 2022 academic year. If you are currently doing your PhD studies at UP and 2022 will be your 2nd year or 3rd year at PhD level, you may apply. Prospective PhD students who have already submitted their application to UP for placement are also encouraged to apply.  If you have not yet applied to UP, ensure you do it concurrently while you apply for this funding opportunity.  
2022 UP PhD Commonwealth ScholarshipDoctoralThe Postgraduate Scholarship Office from the Department of Research and Innovation of the University of Pretoria has opened the call for the 2022 UP PhD Commonwealth Scholarship.

Other Student Funding Schemes

Students with Disabilities

Two main sources of funding are available for students with special needs and disabilities:

Students need to meet the criteria as set out by NSFAS/DHET, and apply online directly with NSFAS on their website at 

Other sources of funding may become available during the study year when external donors or institutions offer bursaries, and they are then advertised on the University’s website at under the section “External bursaries”.

SMS notifications are sent to students with special needs and disabilities who meet the criteria when such external bursaries are advertised on our website. It is therefore essential for students to update their contact details on the UP Portal (“Student Centre”).

Students with special needs and disabilities are also welcome to apply for any other loan or bursary.

[email protected] Assist 1st Year Awards

Guaranteed [email protected] Assist 1st Year Awards

Note: The criteria and the amounts indicated in the table below are for 2021

Qualifying average percentageFaculty
Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology  Faculty of Health Faculty of Veterinary Science      Other Faculties          
75%-79,99%R6 500XX
80%-84,99%R16 000R6 500R16 000
85%-89,99%R25 000R16 000R25 000
90%-100%R40 000R25 000R40 000

NOTE: The University of Pretoria reserves the right to amend award values without prior notice.


  • [email protected] Assist 1st Year awards are based on the average percentage obtained (not on the number of distinctions).
  • Undergraduate achievement awards are made automatically to newly registered undergraduate students who meet the award criteria. Students do not apply for these awards.
  • First-year students who register for studies at UP directly after Grade 12 (final school-year) or who took a gap year(s) after their final school-year, who meet the award criteria, will be considered.
  • Students who have previously registered at a tertiary educational institution prior to registration at UP will not be considered for [email protected] Assist 1st Year award. Students who registered at UP in previous years, are also not considered.
  • Qualifying students must be South African citizens or permanent residents in South Africa, or be citizens of a SADC country.
  • The average percentage for award purposes is the average of the actual percentages obtained for the six (6) best NSC/IEB/Cambridge subjects taken, excluding Life Orientation. This is for subjects taken in the final school-year end exams, based on the calculations done by the University of Pretoria.
  • The average percentage is not rounded off.

Other Achievement Awards

Amounts indicated in the table below are for 2021

JuniorTukkie Grade 11 Empowerment WeekR15 000The 40 learners with the best Grade 12 results who attended the JuniorTukkie Grade 11 Empowerment WeekAll faculties except the Faculty of TheologyNONE Qualifying students will be notified after registration.
Grade 12 dux scholar* (*top academic Grade 12 achiever of a specific school – one learner per school) R10 000 (to cover registration fee)The final decision regarding the selection of schools for this award rests with UP.All faculties  NONE Qualifying students will be notified by letter.
VC Special PDG Award (Top prospective Black and Coloured students with an APS score of 35 or higher)  R11 000The final decision regarding the selection of schools for this award rests with UP.All facultiesNONE Qualifying students will be notified by letter.
Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Merit Award (VCDMA)**The award covers tuition fees for three years. The first-year amount is R70 000This award will be awarded to the new first-year student with the overall highest average percentage, based on the student’s final school-year examination results and the University of Pretoria’s calculation.All facultiesNONE The qualifying student will be notified by letter.

** Terms, conditions, and exclusions do apply.


Only students with South African citizenship or permanent residency in South Africa are considered for the above awards.

[email protected] Assist Senior Undergraduate Awards

Amount indicated in the table below is for 2022

[email protected] Assist Senior Undergraduate AwardsApplication
Qualifying Grade Point Average (GPA) for the previous year of study at UP80–100%
 Award value  R6 500
  • [email protected] Assist Senior Undergraduate awards are automatically awarded to registered senior undergraduate students who qualify for the award. These awards will be made to all qualifying students (South African citizens, permanent residents and non-South African citizens).
  • Undergraduate contact students who were registered for an undergraduate academic programme in the previous year of study at UP will be considered for the award, provided that the following conditions are met:
  • The sum of credit values associated with the enrolled modules is greater than or equal to 100.
  • The sum of the credit values associated with the modules passed as a percentage of the total credit values as calculated above is at least 80 percent or higher.
  • The student was not a final-year student.
  • All modules are weighted according to their credit values.
  • All modules registered for in the previous year are taken into account.
  • Students who achieved a Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 80% (figures are not rounded off) in the previous year will qualify for a [email protected] Assist Senior Undergraduate award. Only modules for which a pass percentage can be obtained as prescribed in the year book will be taken into account in calculating the GPA.
  • Students registered during the previous year of study for the following programmes do not qualify for the [email protected] Assist Senior Undergraduate award:
  • – UP academic study programmes presented by external institutions,

– postgraduate academic study programs,

– special study programs,

– academic study programs classified as distance education study programs, and

– certificates and diplomas.

UP Managed Funding

National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS)

UP Sports Bursaries

UP Support Bursaries

National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS)

Applications openApplications closeApplication websiteContact information
View date at date at Support
Tel: 0860 067 327  

UP Sports Bursaries

Applications openApplications closeApplication websiteContact information
1 June of the year preceding studies31 August of the year preceding studies Office Tel: +27 (0)12 420 6060

Sports bursaries are available to sports achievers who obtained at least provincial colors in a specific range of sports during offered by UP, during their Grade 11 and/or Grade 12 year, and who will continue to actively participate in their sport for a UP club while studying at the University of Pretoria.

The bursary is only available to South African citizens, who are full-time bonafide students of the University of Pretoria.
Successful applicants are required to sign a contract for the year in which the bursary is awarded.
Bursaries are awarded for one sport code per athlete

UP Support Bursaries

Applications openApplications closeApplication websiteContact information
1 August of the year preceding studies31 July 2021 30 November of the year preceding Student Service Centre Tel: +27 (0)12 420 3111
  • A limited number of bursaries are made available annually that were donated by external donors and placed under the management of UP. The bursaries are available to students who register for full-time study and who are financially needy and/or academically deserving. Students who are South African citizens or hold permanent residency in South Africa, may be considered for these bursaries.
  • Other bursaries/loans received by the applicant will be taken into consideration to determine financial need where applicable.
  • It is advisable that students who are financially needy should also apply for NSFAS funding and not only for UP support bursaries which are limited.
  • University support bursaries are not guaranteed and are subject to the availability of funds.
  • Special motivation or proof of meeting the criteria for some of the UP support bursaries has to be submitted as part of the application on the University’s online funding application system. These supporting documents will be indicated to you on the application system.

 The Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme (Teaching)

Applications openApplications closeApplication websiteContact information
1  October of the year preceding the commencement of studies30 October for returning students  15 December for new Student Service Centre at Groenkloof Campus Tel: +27 (0)12 420 4216
  • The Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme is a multi-year programme that promotes teaching in public schools.
  • Students who are awarded Funza Lushaka bursaries will be required to commit themselves upon qualification to teach in public schools in terms of a service contract that will form part of the bursary agreement. Students who default on the agreement will be required to refund their bursary awards to NSFAS in terms of the agreement and according to the procedure determined by NSFAS.
  • The bursary is only awarded to South African citizens. The application will not be considered unless the applicant has a valid South African ID number.
  • Full-cost bursaries are available to enable eligible students to complete a full teaching qualification in an area of national priority.
  • The priority areas are:
    • Foundation phase (ie Grades R-3): Foundation phase specialisation
    • Intermediate and Senior Phase (Grades 4-9): A teaching major in one of the following: 
    • African Languages; English Language; Mathematics; Natural Science; or Technology.
    • FET phase (Grades 10-12): A teaching major in one of the following:
      • Accounting; African Languages; Agricultural Sciences; Agricultural Technology; Civil Technology; Computer Applications Technology; Economics; Electrical Technology; Engineering Graphics and Design; English Language; Geography; Information Technology; Life Sciences; Mathematics; Mathematical Literacy; Mechanical Technology; or Physical Sciences.
    • The criteria for bursary awards are determined by the donor annually.

How to apply

You need to apply for admission to a teaching Qualification (BEd or PGCE) or a Bachelors’s degree (e.g BCom, BSc, BA) with at least one major course in a priority area and commit to following this on with a PGCE teaching qualification. Once you gained admission at a University, you are required to apply for the bursary via

Note: Keep your UP student number as well as SA ID number, handy when applying.

Thuthuka Education Upliftment Fund

Applications openApplications closeApplication websiteContact information
1 March of Grade 12 year  31 August of Grade 12 year +27 (0)11 621 6600 Email: [email protected]

The Thuthuka Education Upliftment Fund is a successful multi-sector partnership between the private sector and various arms of government (Departments of Labour, Education, Science, and Technology) aimed at ensuring disadvantaged youth with potential are able to become chartered accountants.

Requirements for application of the Thuthuka bursary

  • The learner must be an African or Coloured South African Citizen
  • The learner must obtain at least 60% for Mathematics at the end of Grade 11 to apply, NOT MATHS LITERACY.
  • The learner must be in Grade12 intending on studying BCom Accounting the following year to become a chartered accountant.  
  • The learner must be financially needy, apply for NSFAS, and will be assessed using NSFAS MEANS TEST to confirm financial need.

The Process of Awarding a Bursary

  • The learner must have applied to or be in the process of applying to the University of Pretoria
  • Once the learner has met the above criteria they will be called in for testing, which may be followed by an interview. Provisional awards are made pending the final Grade 12 results.

Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) Bursary

Applications openApplications closeApplication websiteContact information
1 June of the year preceding studies  30 September of the year preceding studies (click Food Security and Agrarian Reform Branch, then Education Training & Extension, then Careers)  Ms Tshilidzi Netshilema Tel: +27 (0)12 319 7848 E-mail: [email protected] Mr Looksharp Makaringi Tel: +27 (0)12 319 7923 E-mail: [email protected]

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) introduced the DAFF External Bursary Scheme as a measure of recruiting young people to follow a career in agriculture, forestry, and fisheries. Annually the DAFF recruits deserving young people from previously disadvantaged groups with good results in Mathematics and Physical Science to be worthy recipients of this bursary. 

  Department of Social Development Social Work Bursary

Applications openApplications closeApplication websiteContact information

 The program has been suspended – no new intakes until further notice.

Bursaries for those interested in studying social work are provided by the Department of Social Development, through your specific provincial office of this department. These bursaries have a work back condition – ie the student works for the Department of Social Development in his/her respective province for the number of years for which the student received the bursary.

Rural Education Access Programme (REAP)

Applications openApplications closeApplication websiteContact information
Due to a programmatic shift, REAP will NOT be accepting unsolicited online applications for 2022. Our focus areas for 2022 are very targeted, based on funder guidelines and therefore limited to a small selection of institutions, courses, and new students, all of whom will  be recruited from very specific geographic areas.”  Tel: +27 (0)21 696 5500  

REAP assists students from poor rural communities in South Africa, calling on state mechanisms to assist financially needy rural students and also providing value-added support to the students.

Studietrust Bursary

Applications openApplications closeApplication websiteContact information
  1 April of the year preceding studies      31 August downloadable forms 30 September online applications    Tel: +27 (0)11 403 1632/3 Cell nr: 0875513384

This is a Christian NGO. The bursary gives preference to rural students that are studying a degree in agriculture, economics, teaching, or engineering.

MasterCard Foundation Scholarship Programme

Applications openApplications closeApplication websiteContact information
1 May of the year preceding studies15 September of the year preceding (International Students)[email protected]
  • Citizens from African countries  who are first time applicants at UP as first year students
  • Study fields: Engineering, BCom – Accounting Sciences, BCom – Financial Sciences, BCom – Economics, BCom – Informatics, BCom – Agribusiness Management, BScAgric – Food Science and Technology, BScAgric – Agricultural Economics / Agribusiness Management, BScAgric – Animal Science, BScAgric – Plant Pathology, BScAgric – Applied Plant and Soil Sciences
  • Very specific criteria for eligibility exist so please get details from website.

External bursaries from other institutions

On the UP website, you can search for a list of some external companies and institutions that offer bursaries. Browsing the internet for  “South Africa” “bursary” and “your intended degree program”  lists numerous companies that may offer bursaries.  Never pay for any website to send you information and do not provide private information to unknown parties.

After securing your own external bursary

If you have secured your own external bursary from a company or institution you need to bring this to our attention. In order for the University to capture this external bursary information and where applicable, waive the requirement to pay the initial registration fee in order to register, you must submit written proof of the bursary/bursaries awarded to you, prior to or during the registration at the Student Service Centre.

The proof of bursary must be on an official letterhead, signed by the bursar/donor, and must confirm the total amount of the bursary granted to you and must also indicate what the bursary amount covers (eg tuition fees, residence, meals, textbooks, etc). A Bursary Form is available in the Student Service Centre or can be downloaded from the UP web page, which can assist external institutions in clearly specifying the detail of the bursary they are offering the student.  This Bursary Form however must be submitted together with the proof of a bursary on the official letterhead of the bursar/donor.

The Bursary Register

A private company also publishes The Bursary Register. Prospective and registered students may purchase The Bursary Register at their own cost. This booklet provides information on everything you need to know about bursaries, scholarships, and loans in South Africa. Please note that The Bursary Register does not provide application forms as each bursary indicates its own method of application and it is not a product of the University of Pretoria.

How to Apply

In order to apply, please start by ensuring that you have been successfully admitted into the university.

You may also find additional scholarship information by visiting the University of Pretoria website. Contact details for questions not covered by the website should be addressed to the following:

Student Service Centre (for Contact students):
Contact Centre – Telephone: 012 420 3111
Contact Centre – Email: [email protected]

UP Online Call Centre (for Online Students):
Call Centre – Email: [email protected]

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One thought on “University of Pretoria – Available Financial Aid and Scholarships for Africans”
  1. What about engineering scholarship
    To continue second degree
    Special by water resourse and irrigation engineering

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