The bursary scheme is part of the Free State provincial government’s drive to address the shortage of skills in identified scarce skills, including Mathematics, Science, Technology and Accountancy. The allocation of bursaries will ensure that the government recruit and attract students in the scarce skills categories.  This will also give opportunities to previously disadvantaged students to further their studies and contribute to the growth and development of the Free State.

During 2010, the provincial government awarded and maintained 3098 full-time bursaries. A further 1394 bursaries were awarded in the 2011 academic year. The total number of bursaries awarded and maintained by the Free State provincial government currently exceed 6000. The process of awarding bursaries takes into account a number of considerations.  Among others, the following criteria are used;

  • Households with a low income
  • Scarce and critical skills
  • Orphans
  • Persons with disabilities and
  • Top (150 ) achievers

We believe that these students require support not only from universities and homes but also from government in order to complete their studies in record time. The Premier and the Executive Council therefore called a meeting of all bursary holders studying in Free State Higher and Further Education Institutions. The intention was to motivate the students at the start of the academic year and to assure them of government’s support.

EXCO visits to tertiary institutions

The Executive Council embark on an annual programme to visit all tertiary institutions throughout South Africa to meet with both the Free State bursary holders and the university management. These tertiary institutions include; Tshwane University of Technology, University of Pretoria, University of Limpopo (MEDUNSA), University of South Africa, University of Johannesburg, University of Witwatersrand, Vaal University Of Technology, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban University of Technology, North West University, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, University of Cape Town, University of Stellenbosch and the University of the Western Cape.

Graduate Employment

Bursary holders who complete their degrees and diplomas at the end of 2010 academic year have been employed in permanent positions such as nurses, veterinarians, engineers and social workers in the provincial government. Other graduates have been absorbed as interns within government and the private sector.