National Arts Council: 2023 Bursary Programme for South African citizens

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The National Arts Council of South Africa invites students to apply for Bursary Programme 2023 academic year.

Closing Date: 31 March 2023

The International Bursary will be awarded for Undergraduate and Postgraduate studies towards an Arts qualification (including dance, craft, multidiscipline, literature, theatre, music, and visual arts), at any international tertiary institution outside of South Africa.

Through the bursary programme, the NAC hopes to increase the development of talented artists at various international institutions.

The bursary aims to provide cover for the following expenses: tuition fees and registration costs. In special cases, it may cover residence at relevant institutions or with experienced/ seasoned arts practitioners (all living costs will be determined by the NAC annually).

Bursaries will be awarded to the maximum value of R250 000 per year.

The panel will allocate tuition cost funding relative to costs determined by the candidate’s chosen university.

Should the student’s tuition fees be already covered by another source, the funding will be issued towards ancillary costs, such as books, accommodation, travel, and a subsistence allowance. This will be subject to the NAC’s written approval.

The successful candidate will be chosen based on artistic merit, acceptance at the chosen institution, financial need, the status of the institution they have been accepted to, and the credibility of their chosen qualification.

Successful candidates will be notified by no later than 26 May 2023.

The grant will be renewable for the length of the students course and subject to the successful completion of each year of study.

It is also the responsibility of the student to ensure that they adhere to all conditions of the grant.

Once the student has completed their studies, they will be required to share the skills they gained by assisting underprivileged organisations, groups, and/ or a specific individual in the community.

Such services may include outreach programmes, workshops, admin support, mentoring, and capacity building. Proof of these services must be supplied to the NAC by the candidate and community leader(s)/ institution in the form of a written report and photographs.

Please note:

  • Successful students and a beneficiary will be required to sign an agreement with the NAC.
  • Students who are entering a two to three year degree will not need to reapply for funding and will be given a grant for the length of their studies. This is subject to the student successfully completing each year of studies.

  • The NAC reserves the right to terminate the agreement in the second semester/ year should the candidate not maintain satisfactory performance. This will be based on the written progress report provided by the student’s supervisor.


Applicants must satisfy the following minimum entry criteria before applying (please note that failure to satisfy all the requirements will lead to your application not being considered):

  • You must be a South African citizen
  • You must be registered for full-time undergraduate or postgraduate studies, within one of the Arts fields listed above

  • You must be registered or accepted to study at an international institution
  • You must have achieved a minimum overall average of 65% (students with an overall average of 63% may be considered in special cases)

  • Recognition of prior learning qualification may also be considered if the student is accepted by a sufficient and specific institution
  • You must maintain satisfactory progress

  • You must demonstrate artistic merit
  • You must be in financial need
  • Preference will be given to students from previously disadvantaged backgrounds

How to Apply

Submit clear copies of the following supporting documentation along with your completed application form (the submission of these documents is compulsory – if any items are missing, your application may be disqualified):

  • ID document (certified copy – not older than 12 months)
  • Copies of your certificates/ diplomas/ degrees (certified copies)

  • Proof of acceptance/ registration into an accredited institution
  • An updated Curriculum Vitae
  • A copy of your course structure/ course content

  • An estimate of your fees (must be issued from your tertiary institution)
  • Transcript of results/ recognition of prior learning qualification by academic institutions
  • Proof of bank account/ bank statement

  • Proof of other bursary funding received
  • Proof of income
  • 2 reference letters from industry professionals (must be signed and dated with full addresses)

  • Motivational letter stating why you should be awarded the bursary and your plans for the future


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