Science Education and Bursaries | Western Cape Government

Science Education and Bursaries

Attentive schoolgirl experimenting molecule model in laboratory at schoolThe 4th Industrial Revolution is happening right now, with many 21st-century technologies like apps, the Internet of Things (IoT), Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented reality (AR), Machine learning, big data, Artificial intelligence (AI), Smart homes, smart cities, robotics and coding. The Western Cape Education Department wants to respond to these rapidly changing times by introducing Coding and Robotics as a subject. Our learners need to become globally relevant and globally employable. The Coding and Robotics Pilot has been introduced in the Foundation Phase and Grade 7 in the Western Cape.

To ensure the continuation of learning beyond the traditional classroom, the WCED has adopted STEAMAC as one of its strategic priorities. This approach includes the Arts, Agriculture and Coding, in addition to the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects. 

Encouraging your child to pursue a career in science will prepare them to be equipped for the 4th Industrial Revolution. A career in science will give them a head start in a very fast-changing world. They’ll also play a role in solving the many problems that we face by contributing new research, studies and developing new technologies. A career in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) field will open doors to many other career opportunities.

If your child is interested in science and technology and would like to further their studies in STEM, they have different study and bursary options that they can explore.

The Western Cape Education Department identified certain schools to be STEM focus schools, an initiative aiming to provide access to excellence in various educational fields.

Olympiads and Competitions

South African Mathematics Challenge for Grades 4−7 and South African Mathematics Olympiad for Grades 8 and 9

The South African Mathematics Challenge (SAMC) and the South African Mathematics Olympiad (SAMO) are Mathematics opportunities for learners in Grades 4 to 7 and Grades 8 and 9, respectively. The SAMC and SAMO seek to develop the quality of Mathematics teaching and learning by providing learners with interesting and challenging problems at their grade level as well as developing key 21st-century skills.

More information about both competitions can be found on the following websites:

SAMC – Grades 4–7 

SAMO – Grades 8 and 9

Expo for Young Scientists

Eskom Expo for Young Scientists is an exposition, or science fair, where students have a chance to show others their projects about their scientific investigations.

Click here for more information.

South African Computer Olympiad

The South African Computer Olympiad is the only programming competition and the only application competition for school-age learners offered nationally.

The Computer Olympiad aims to identify, encourage and reward computer aptitude; promote and encourage computer studies; create an awareness of career opportunities in ICT.

Click here for more information.

A young female scientist writing on a glass wall while working in a laboratoryA career in science

Science helps us understand the world and solve its problems. A career in science will allow you to follow a career path that is fulfilling and that will contribute to society by:

  • increasing our fundamental knowledge of the world,
  • creating new technology, and
  • creating new applications.

There are 4 core areas of speciality that you can focus on in science. These specialised fields include:

  • Life and medical science: A student of life sciences will study micro-organisms, plants, animals, human beings and other living things.
  • Physical science: Physical sciences focuses on non-living things - like space, time, quantum mechanics, climatology, geology, and oceanography.
  • Engineering science: Engineering sciences focuses on the development and creation of man-made objects. 
  • Mathematical science: Mathematical sciences focus on equations and, as the name suggests, all things related to mathematics. 

It's important to remember that to pursue a career in science, engineering and technology, you'll need to have good results in mathematics and science at a high school level. You'll also need to look at the different requirements at universities of your choice, as these usually vary between institutions.

You'll need to pass your National Senior Certificate (NSC) with admission to bachelor's degree studies (which requires a performance level of at least 4 (50-59%) in each of 4 designated university admission subjects) or an exemption certificate issued by the South African Matriculation Board to students with other school qualifications.

It's important to find out what courses are offered at each university before applying. To find out more about each university’s admission requirements, use the contact details below:


Contact details

Stellenbosch University

Tel: 021 808 9111


University of the Western Cape

Tel: 021 959 3900/ 01/ 02/ 03


University of Cape Town

Tel: 021 650 2712

Fax: 021 650 2710


Cape Peninsula University of Technology

Tel: +27 21 959 6767


University of South Africa (UNISA)

Tel: 012 429 3111

Cape Town Office

George Office
Tel: 044 884 1300
Fax: 044 884 1303

Video: Prepare yourself for a future in science

The South African National Space Agency (SANSA) focuses on space science, engineering and technology that can promote development, build human capital and provide important national services. Much of this work involves monitoring the Earth and our surrounding environment and using the collected data to ensure that navigation, communication technology and weather forecasting services function as intended.

Here's a virtual tour of the South African National Space Agency (SANSA) Hermanus facility.


Bursary information

There are many bursaries available to prospective students who would like to pursue a career in science and engineering.  Below we’ve listed a few bursaries that you might find interesting.

Available Bursaries:

 Bursary Programme



South Africa Toyota Motors Bursary 

The South Africa Toyota Motors Bursary is available to students who would like to study:

  • Mechanical Engineering,
  • Mechatronics Engineering,
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Information Technology 
  • Business Science Analytics

The bursary is also available to those who would like to study commerce.

Applicants must meet the following minimum entry criteria before applying:

  • South African citizen
  • Strong academic and leadership potential
  • Achieved a minimum result of 75% for Mathematics and English in Matric
  • Achieved an overall average above 70% at Tertiary. The matric criteria will be adjusted to a 65% minimum if the tertiary average exceeds 80%
  • Combined household income of R750 000 per annum.

Applications can be made online, or you can request a hardcopy application form by sending an email to

SAPPI Bursary Programme

Eligible applicants for this bursary scheme should be:

  • School leaver or university student between 18 and 25 years old.
  • Studying (or intending to study) full-time at any South African accredited university.
  • A South African citizen.
  • Have an average of 70-80% in Mathematics (not Maths Literacy), 70-80% in Physical Science, and 60% in English.
  • And qualifying points for entrance at the university or acceptance confirmation.

Applications can be made online or hand in your application at your nearest Sappi HR Department.

Visit the SAPPI website for more information.


Clicks Pharmacy Bursary

This bursary is for those wanting to study for a Bachelor of Pharmacy (BPharm) degree at a registered South African university. 

To be eligible for the bursary, applicants must meet the following requirements: 

  • Confirmed South African citizenship
  • Registered 2nd, 3rd, or 4th year BPharm student
  • A full-time undergraduate student at a South African tertiary institution
  • Aged between 19 – 35 years
  • Not have another bursary


Applications have to be done online.


SAICE Patrons’ Engineering Bursary Scheme

South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE) bursaries are available to undergraduate students studying civil engineering.

National Diploma students: SAICE Patrons Engineering Bursary Scheme (SPEBS) bursaries are therefore intended for S2, S3, and S4 civil engineering students only.

Degree students: SPEBS bursaries are therefore intended for 2nd, 3rd and 4th-year civil engineering students only.

Bursaries are granted per semester. 

Applications can be downloaded here and must be emailed to

The Allan Gray Fellowship

The Allan Gray Fellowship provides access to quality tertiary education to pupils who would like to study science, engineering or the Health Sciences (Excluding Medicine, Veterinary Science and Dentistry) at one of its partner universities.

Application forms are available on the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation website.

Poliomyelitis Research Foundation Bursary

This bursary is available to postgraduate students studying science. 

Applications are available online.

And can be emailed to


Bursaries offered by the Western Cape Government

Bursary Programme



Masakh'iSizwe Bursary Programme

The Department of Transport and Public Works established the Masakh’iSizwe Bursary Programme in 2006. The bursaries are awarded to those looking to study the following disciplines:

  • Property studies
  • Transport economics
  • Transportation engineering
  • Mechatronics
  • Electrical and/or electronic engineering
  • Civil engineering
  • Construction management
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Quantity Surveying
  • Town/City and regional planning
  • Architecture, etc.

The Masakh’iSizwe Bursary Programme:

  • Prioritises financially disadvantaged learners when awarding bursaries, especially women, students with disabilities and learners from rural communities.
  • Provides support services programmes.
  • Secures learning opportunities for Masakh’iSizwe bursars (i.e. interns).
  • Secures employment opportunities for graduates.

Lazola Mtongana
Stakeholder Relations
Tel: 021 483 9545/0964
Twitter: @WCGovTPW

Bursaries in Health

The Western Cape Department of Health offers a limited number of bursaries for full-time study each year in the following fields:

  • Nursing
  • Radiology
  • Medicine
  • Pharmacy 
  • Emergency Medical

To apply for one of these bursaries, you must be:

  • A South African citizen residing in the Western Cape
  • Be accepted at the relevant accredited Higher Education Institution (HEI)

Applications can be done online on eBAS (electronic Bursary Application System).


For more information contact:
Tel: 021 483 6610

Western Cape Education Department

The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) wishes to announce the availability
of 66 extraordinary district-based Funza Lushaka bursaries for the 2024 academic year to Grade 12 learners who intend to study towards a formal teaching qualification.

The Department of Basic Education’s (DBE’s) Funza Lushaka Bursary Scheme provides high-achieving learners with a full-cost bursary that covers

  • tuition fees,
  • accommodation with meals,
  • a textbook allowance,
  • notes and laboratory fees (where applicable) and
  • a monthly stipend to cover basic living expenses.

Launched in 2007, the Funza Lushaka Bursary Scheme is a multi-year programme to promote teaching in public schools as the career of choice for able and committed South Africans. The programme is run locally at the University of the Western Cape, the Stellenbosch University and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.


Applications for 2024 open on 1 October 2023 and close on 11 February 2024.

Applicants must apply by completing the online attached application form and submitting all the supporting documents to: 

Ms Malorato Mpiti 
Tel: 021 467 2155

Where else can you apply for bursaries?

For more information about science programmes and bursaries, feel free to contact the following organisations:


Contact Details

South African National Space Agency (SANSA)

Tel: 012 844-0500


South African Young Academy of Science (SAYAS)

Tel: +27 12 349 6600


The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)

Tel: + 27 12 841 2911


Department of Science and Technology

Tel: +27 12 843 6300


The National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) 


Tel: +27 12 841 3987

The content on this page was last updated on 4 July 2023