In our new ‘Ambassador Advice’ series, our Africademics Scholarship Ambassadors share their experience and advice for scholarship applicants in and from Africa. This week Moloko Florence Morethe from South Africa, a postgraduate student at Tshwane University of Technology and recipient of the Gauteng City Region Academy bursary, introduces the programme and shares valuable tips for future applicants.
About the Scholarship
The Gauteng City Region Academy (GCRA) bursary offers funding for students enrolled, or planning to enrol, in Higher Academic Institutions and Technical and Vocational Education and Training colleges in South Africa.
This bursary caters for student’s tuition fees and academic books to any qualifying student. The top 3 South African grade 12 learners from all government schools in Gauteng automatically qualify for this bursary upon applying to university. If you have completed grade 9-12 in a technical school and wish to pursue your vocational studies in TVET Public Colleges, you are also eligible to apply for the GCRA bursary.
The Application Process
The bursary is open to to individuals aged 16-35 years. Students who wish to pursue the postgraduate studies are eligible for the bursary as well. The bursary is offered yearly with an option to renew but only for a maximum of 2 years.
Applications are open every year and sometimes twice a year (beginning of the year and around August). Applications are available on the Gauteng City Region bursary portal and can be accessed by clicking on this link: https://www.bursariesportal.co.za/bursary/gauteng-city-region-academy-bursary-2021.
The application process is quite simple and done online. What is required from the applicant is certified copy of ID, certified copy of your Grade 12 / highest qualification results (academic record), proof of residence and acceptance letter from the institution you are enrolled or wish to enrol in. my application was also accompanied by a letter of motivation. When your application is successful, as a bursar, you are expected to do a 40 hours’ worth of community from their first year until they graduate.
Personal Experience and Advice
I applied for the GCRA bursary as the funding for my Masters project, which was awarded to my supervisor, is based on deliverables meaning that the funding would be intermittent for the period of my study. So, to make sure I do not struggle financially throughout the period of my study, I applied for additional funding.
The only challenge I had during the application process was getting a proof of residence as I pay electricity and water on prepaid and other things are in the name of my landlord. At first I could not get the letter to confirm my residency from the Ward councillors due to political issues between parties dominating in the City of Tshwane. I was advised to make an affidavit and that was only when my application was processed and successful.
The consultants at BursariesPortal are always available to assist and advise when you are stuck. The bursary provides feedback fast and advises you on exactly what’s needed to be corrected on the application. The bursary also settles fees with your institution.
The bursary has alleviated the level of stress I had in terms of how I was going to settle my tuition fees and how to pay my living expenses throughout the year. This bursary was also a great motivator in my academic commitment. Through community work bursary recipients also improve their interpersonal skills and build relationships.
I was able to complete the application alone without a reference letter or any additional help. I would greatly advise students who are in Gauteng Province to always be on the lookout for GCRA bursary announcements. The application process is not as tedious and time consuming compared to other funding opportunities.