University of the Witwatersrand Scholarships and Funding (financial aid & bursaries)

Filed in General by on October 18, 2023

University of the Witwatersrand Scholarships and Funding (financial aid & bursaries)

University of the Witwatersrand is education institution in Africa and here we have discussed about University of the Witwatersrand Scholarships and financial aid (bursaries) for undergraduate courses, PhD courses, postgraduate courses, Masters and research degrees. Scholarships and bursaries are types of financial aid that you don’t have to repay. In this page you’ll find information about the different grants and scholarships we offer, eligibility criteria and how to apply.

University of the Witwatersrand Scholarships and financial aid (bursaries) 2023/2024 academic year!

Scholarships and Bursaries

The University offers several scholarships for students. These scholarships are based on academic merit. A number of external scholarships and bursaries are also available.


Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship

For the ten most outstanding matriculants, a scholarship of approximately R50 000 is awarded. The scholarship is renewable for each year of the first undergraduate degree provided that academic performance is of a high standard. The award is automatically offered after registration. No application is required.  

Criteria: Subjects are ranked as below 

  • English 
  • Mathematics 
  • Physical Science 

And the next best three designated subjects are taken into consideration. 

NB: Students are chosen on the first submission of the matric results obtained from the Department of Education. No remarks are considered for this scholarship. Students cannot be awarded the Vice-Chancellor Scholarship, the VC Equality Scholarship or Entrance Scholarship at the same time. 

VC Equality Scholarships

The VC Equality Scholarship is awarded to Top 10 achievers from Quintile 1 and 2 schools. The current value is approximately R110 000 per annum. It covers :  

  • Tuition 
  • Accommodation  
  • A monthly stipend for the duration of the UG degree  (provided that academic performance is of a high standard).  

The selection criteria are based on data received from the Department of Basic Education and the highest aggregate of all the marks achieved in the NSC examinations of Grade 12 is the starting point. You must be a South African citizen, writing the South African National Senior Certificate.  You must be offered a place to study at this institution and register for the programme offered. You will be required to sign a contract.  

The award is automatically offered after registration. No application is required. 

Criteria: Subjects are ranked as below 

  • English 
  • Mathematics 
  • Physical Science 

And the next best three designated subjects are taken into consideration. 

NB: Students are chosen on the first submission of the matric results obtained from the Department of Education. No remarks are considered for this scholarship. Students cannot be awarded the Vice-Chancellor Scholarship, the VC Equality Scholarship or Entrance Scholarship at the same time. 

University Entrance Scholarships

University Entrance Scholarships are awarded to students on the basis of the NSC admission point score (APS) as follows:

  • If you achieve an APS of 51 or above (excluding Life Orientation) you will receive R42000.
  • If you achieve an APS between 48 and 50 (excluding Life Orientation) you will receive R30000
  • If you achieve an APS between 45 and 47 (excluding Life Orientation) you will receive R15000
  • If you achieve an APS between 43 and 44 (excluding Life Orientation) you will receive R10000


  • The Scholarship is for a maximum of six (designated and non-designated) subjects only and excludes Life Orientation.
  • Remarks must be submitted to the Student Enrolment Centre by 30th September.
  • A gap year will only be honoured for one year and students must submit an affidavit or proof of what they did in the gap year. This must be submitted to the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office.
  • Applicants writing the Cambridge A & AS-Level or International Baccalaureate Qualification, will receive a scholarship for the number of A and B symbols achieved on a sliding scale ranging from R5 000 up to a maximum of R30 000.
  • NB: Students cannot be awarded the Vice-Chancellor Scholarship, the VC Equality Scholarship or Entrance Scholarship at the same time.
University Council Merit Scholarships

University Council Merit Scholarships are available for returning undergraduate students with an overall average of 75% and above.

No application is necessary for this Scholarship. If you qualify, your account will be automatically updated as per categories specified below.

The Scholarship is for the first attempt undergraduate degree only. However, students who require a second degree as a prerequisite to register for another undergraduate degree will also qualify for this award. Students qualifying according to the criteria, but who are in their last year of study, will not be awarded the Scholarship. Students studying part-time do not qualify for this award.

The University Council Merit Scholarship received by returning students is as follows:

Overall Average Amount
R3 000
R4 000
80% and above
R6 000
All A’s
R10 000
All A’s and 1 B (Average 77.5% and above)
R10 000
South African Radio Astronomy Scholarships

Undergraduate scholarships for 2023.

National Olympiad Winners

No Application is necessary, however, students must provide the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office with the certified copy of their certificate. The amounts below reflect what a student is entitled to receive.

  • R20 000 for winner
  • R8 000 for top ten runners-up

Note: Only applies to English and Mathematics winners.

Sports Scholarships

Bursary awards are made possible by funding from the University itself, and by the generosity of alumni, the business and non-profit communities, and past Wits sports achievers. Applications for sports bursaries for the 2023 academic year, open on the 1st April 2021 and close on 31 August 2021. Please complete the online form. Please note that only online applications will be accepted.


Postgraduate Merit Award

The aim of the University Postgraduate Merit Award (PMA) is to assist graduates to complete Honours, Masters or PhD degrees by research or by a combination of course work and research on both a full-time and part-time basis. No application is necessary for the Postgraduate Merit Award. Please note, the Award does not fund all courses.

PLEASE NOTE REVISED 2020 RULES (VCO) for the PG Merit Award

  • HONOURS: 70% Average in 3rd year of an Undergraduate Degree
  • MASTERS: 75% Average in Honours, 4th Year of a professional degree or PG Diploma
  • PhD: Masters submission must be done within 2 years full time and 3 years part time
  • Provisional offers will be sent to eligible students.
  • Students that do not meet this criteria will not receive any communication.
  • Please refer to the terms and conditions for more details.

Terms and Conditions – PMA

  • Full-time students that have been awarded the PMA need to fulfill duties with their schools each block.
  • Please speak to your school administrator once registered. Your duties will be assigned to you and schools will submit a list of all the students who have completed their duties each block.

Schools need to submit lists by the following dates:

  • 1st Stipend – 6th April 2023
  • 2nd Stipend – 31st May 2023
  • 3rd Stipend – 2nd September 2023
  • 4th Stipend – 24th October 2023
National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS)

As of the 2021 academic year, NSFAS will no longer provide funding for postgraduate courses. This includes postgraduate certificates, postgraduate diplomas, honours degrees, masters and PhD degrees.

Students seeking funding for postgraduate qualifications are encouraged to contact and apply through the National Research Foundation (NRF).

NRF Postgraduate Scholarships 2023

The NRF offers Scholarships for Honours, Masters and PHD. The Free-standing, Innovation, and Scarce Skills NRF scholarships are offered to full-time students who are South African citizens and permanent residents. A small percentage is awarded to non-SA citizens.

2023 Applications

The DSI and NRF are pleased to announce a call of new applications for NRF Postgraduate Student Funding for the 2023 academic year. All continuing students who are eligible for a second or third year of funding must submit a Progress Report and not a new application.

The NRF minimum academic requirement for postgraduate funding is 65%.

The entry age requirement is 28, 30 and 32 years or younger for honours, master’s and doctoral studies respectively, in the year of application, regardless of first year of registration.

Successful applicants will be funded either at Full Cost Study (FCS) or Partial Cost of Study (PCS).

The FCS funding will be awarded to South African citizens and Permanent Residents only, who are either financially needy (i.e., those whose combined household family income is less or equal to R350 000 per annum), living with a disability or are exceptional academic achievers.

However, the PCS funding will be awarded to 5% of international students including South African citizens and Permanent Residents who could not be funded under FCS but meet other minimum requirements for the NRF scholarship funding criteria. Scholarships are intended to support honours, masters and doctoral candidates to pursue studies in all areas of Science, Engineering, Technology, Social Sciences, and Humanities.

The NRF has phased out the block grant nomination process as well as the grant-holder linked modalities of funding postgraduate students in 2020. All the postgraduate students will be expected to apply on the NRF Online Submission System by accessing this link.

No manual applications will be accepted.

Wits closing dates:

  • Honours: 31 October 2021.
  • Masters and Doctoral: Please contact Ndhuvazi Kubayi


Contact Details:

South African Radio Astronomy Postgraduate Scholarships and Fellowships

Harold and Doris Tothill Scholarships

The Scholarship is available to all full-time Masters and PHD students studying English or English-related fields. The amount is determined by a committee. The closing date for these applications is the 31st of March.

Applications are dependant on the availability of funds.

Mandela Rhodes Scholarship

The Mandela Rhodes Scholarship is available for full-time students who are citizens of African countries.

Registered Wits students studying towards an Honours or Masters Degrees under the age of 30 years old may apply online.

Fulbright Visiting Research Scholar Programme

The Programme is an opportunity for a South African university faculty or research institute professional to conduct research in their field of expertise at a US academic or research institution.

Nurturing Emerging Scholars Programme

Are you planning to embark on Master’s degree studies? Have you considered a career as an academic? Then the Nurturing Emerging Scholars Programme (NESP) may be for you.

Externally Administered Overseas Funding

The Commonwealth Scholarship

Full-time, South African students who intend on enrolling at a United Kingdom University can apply online. Applications usually open at the end of August.

The Rhodes Scholarship

Students who are applying to study at Oxford University are able to apply for this scholarship.

Application Form Downloads

University of the Witwatersrand Scholarships and financial aid (bursaries)

Important: Please contact or visit the official website of University of the Witwatersrand for detailed information at