UASA Media Release: 13 January 2023
Statement by Abigail Moyo, spokesperson of the trade union UASA:
With the matric results to be announced soon, the cost of tertiary studies is fast becoming a reality for parents and students.
Few can afford to carry the cost of a diploma or degree out of their own pockets. There are still options available for those who still need to secure a bursary, loan, or grant towards further studies.
National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS)
NSFAS offers government-funded bursaries that attract applications from thousands of students annually across South African TVET colleges and universities. Applications are usually open towards the end of the year for the next academic year on the NFSAS website. The bursary covers tuition fees, accommodation, books, and a meal and travel allowance.
Each year companies within specific sectors and industries award bursaries to academically deserving students studying towards degrees in their respective fields. Such students are at some point expected to do their work-integrated learning (WIL) at the companies and are expected to work for them for a few years after graduating.
A few well-known bursary providers include companies specialising in scarce or in-demand skills such as computer science and IT, accounting and commerce, engineering, law, medicine, mathematics and science, among others. Government departments and universities are also bursary providers. Students can visit the official websites of companies, government departments and universities to find out more. Newspapers or government circulars also offer such information.
Student loans come with terms and conditions just like any other loan. However, a student loan must only be repaid after completing your studies. Parents are often expected to pay the accumulating interest on the loan amount every month.
Fundi and Eduloan are well-known entities that offer student loans, as many banks do.
Study and work
A job with flexible hours or a part-time job can keep you afloat while studying. An internship is another option. Alternatively, you can obtain a full-time job and consider enrolling at a distance-learning university or college.
Parents’ workplace funding
Some companies have a financial structure that offers parents funding or a loan for their children’s further education studies. Parents can check with their company’s human resources department to determine if any funding opportunities are available for college or university studies. Sometimes this can be awarded as a bursary, scholarship, study grant or student loan where a repayment plan is agreed upon between a parent and the company.
UASA study grant
UASA awards study grants to its members and dependants each year for further education studies. Subject to the availability of funds, thirty-two (32) grants are paid out per annum and awarded to qualifying students. The once-off grants enable UASA members or their dependents to further their studies. Preference is given to those who are already studying.
UASA members are encouraged to visit the union’s website to apply for 2023. Applications are open until 31 March 2023.
For further enquiries or to set up a personal interview, contact Abigail Moyo at 065 170 0162.