Does NSFAS fund medicine students? It is a big question. I don’t know about you but I faced this confusion for a very long time in my early years of education.
It was only after extensive research that I found out that it funded the complete medicine program. Plus, it also supports one additional year of academia in case you fail to uphold your desired results or grades.
However, that is not the extent of it. There is so much more to it than that. But obviously, I can not discuss each and everything straight away. So, for further details regarding this bursary and its authenticity, I suggest you keep reading the following article and decide for yourself whether or not you want to benefit from this bursary.
With that being said, let’s get down to business, shall we?
Shortage of Medical Students In South Africa
The annual demand for medical doctors in South Africa falls somewhere between three thousand to thirty-five hundred on average. However, the supply is restricted merely to thirteen hundred per annum. In simple words, the number of doctors in South Africa is half the number of doctors required.
Now, there could be multiple reasons behind that however, the biggest reason for this shortfall is the expenses of this graduation program.
A normal person with an average yearly income can not even dream of pursuing this degree. Hence, they decide to pursue some other affordable degree. It is absolutely shocking that over fourteen thousand students apply for this program every year but then get filtered out due to a lack of money to pay the dues.
Bursaries for Medicine Students
However, the government of South Africa has introduced the perfect solution to cater to this problem. They have announced various bursaries that help hundreds of students to achieve their goals.
The main purpose of these bursaries is to provide enough financial support to medical students so that they can easily bridge this financial gap.
Amongst many other bursary programs currently active in the country, one of the most popular ones is the NSFAS bursary. This bursary has helped most students graduate from medical universities to date. The most significant part about this bursary is that it is specifically made to fund the course of medicine.
The N+1 Rule of NSFAS Bursary
Like any other bursary, the NSFAS also has some basic criteria that every student must fulfill in order to keep receiving the fund payments on a timely basis. One of these requirements is that the student passes all his exams and maintains his grades to minimum threshold criteria.
The N+1 rule is that if a student fails an academic year due to any reason, the bursary will only support one additional year of academic expenses other than the normal duration of the course duration. It means that the “N” in the N+1 formula represents the number of normal academic years of medicine. Whereas, “+1” represents an additional year of support by the organization.
Which Courses Does NSFAS Not Fund?
While it is given that the NSFAS bursary should be your go-to if you want funds to support your medical studies, however, there is also a list of some courses that this bursary does not fund. Of course, you can not expect this same bursary to pay for each and every course, can you?
Anyways, the NSFAS bursary does not specifically fund any short courses even if they relate to medicine. It does not either fund postgraduate courses, or the courses being taught at private institutes. So, if you are looking for bursaries to support any such course or program, you must refer to the relevant bursary authorities.
Does NSFAS fund any other courses apart from Medicine?
Even though NSFAS is specifically designed to fund the full five-year medicine course, there are also certain courses other than medicine that you can claim funds for. These courses include Communication studies, Cultural Studies, and Hospitality. Other than that, if you want funds to support any other courses, I suggest you hunt out relevant bursaries.
Will NSFAS support my studies if I fail an academic year?
Yes, NSFAS will definitely support an additional year if you fail to keep your grades up to a certain benchmark. However, it follows the N+1 rule which means that it will only support one additional year other than the normal duration of medical studies. So, I suggest you try to maintain your grades so that you don’t fail any year or risk losing your bursary altogether.
So, this was all from my side. I hope this article provided you with immense knowledge and cleared away any doubts you may be harboring until now. I tried my best to provide you with all the information in the easiest way possible. So, if you found it helpful, make sure to share this article with your friends and family who you think might benefit from it as well.
In any case, I would like to quickly summarize everything in this concluding paragraph so that the important things stick to you when you leave. Keep in mind that the NSFAS bursary is specifically designed to support medical students.
Furthermore, if you fail to keep up your grades and end up failing your academic year, this bursary will only support one additional academic year on top of the regular course duration.