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Does NSFAS Fund Postgraduate



Does NSFAS Fund Postgraduate

Does NSFAS Fund Postgraduate. The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has long been a beacon of hope for South African students pursuing tertiary education. However, a common query among prospective postgraduate students is whether NSFAS extends its financial support beyond undergraduate studies.

Does NSFAS Fund Postgraduate

Historically, NSFAS primarily focused on providing financial assistance to undergraduate students, covering tuition fees, accommodation, and living expenses. However, in recent years, NSFAS has undergone significant policy changes, and one notable adjustment is the exclusion of postgraduate funding from its mandate.

Postgraduate Exclusion

NSFAS ceased funding postgraduate studies, including master’s and PhD programs. This shift in policy has left many aspiring postgraduate students seeking alternative means to finance their educational pursuits.

Challenges for Postgraduate Students

The discontinuation of NSFAS funding for postgraduate studies presents a considerable challenge for students aspiring to advance their academic careers. Without financial assistance, many talented individuals may find themselves unable to pursue higher education beyond the undergraduate level.

Alternative Funding Options

While NSFAS no longer supports postgraduate studies, there are various alternative funding avenues available to prospective master’s and PhD students. These include:

  1. Scholarships and Bursaries: Numerous organizations, both public and private, offer scholarships and bursaries specifically tailored for postgraduate students. These awards may cover tuition fees, research expenses, and living allowances, easing the financial burden of advanced studies.
  2. Research Grants: Academic institutions and research organizations often provide grants to support postgraduate research projects. These grants not only offer financial assistance but also facilitate valuable research opportunities and academic networking.
  3. Employer Sponsorship: Some employers offer sponsorship programs for employees pursuing postgraduate studies relevant to their field. These sponsorships may cover tuition fees and other educational expenses, allowing individuals to enhance their skills while remaining employed.
  4. Personal Savings and Loans: While not always ideal, utilizing personal savings or obtaining educational loans are options for funding postgraduate studies. It’s essential to weigh the long-term implications of taking on debt and explore repayment strategies before opting for this route.


NSFAS no longer funds postgraduate studies, posing a significant obstacle for aspiring master’s and PhD students. However, the landscape of higher education funding is diverse, and alternative options exist to support postgraduate educational endeavors. By exploring scholarships, research grants, employer sponsorships, and personal financing avenues, individuals can overcome financial barriers and pursue their academic aspirations with determination and resourcefulness.

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