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Tertiary education is a key requirement for securing employment or self-employment.  The Government of Swaziland, in pursuit of equity in the use of  resources in the education sector and the development of the Swaziland economy, continues to provide scholarship loans to students wishing to undertake tertiary education studies in recognized tertiary institutions in Swaziland and as well other African Universities and overseas countries ( mainly through Joint Bilateral Agreements with various countries).

The demand for Government scholarship loans has increased rapidly over the years. far exceeding the funds available for scholarships.  This has put a strain on Government resources consequently resulting in the need for Government to more carefully target priority areas for the award of scholarships to students. Recently, the Minister for Labour and Social Security articulated the Government position with respect to the scholarship awards for 2011/12.

1. Application Procedure

The procedure for applying for scholarship loan is generally the same, whether the student wishes to study in the country, in South Africa or in other recognized Universities.  It is slightly different when the student intends to study abroad, under the Joint Bilateral Agreement programme.  However, in all cases the process involves three major steps, which are as follows:-

(i) Completion of Scholarship Application Form

(ii) Applying and getting a written acceptance letter from a recognized tertiary institution

(iii) Presenting the application form for a scholarship to the Scholarship Secretariat currently housed at the at the Ministry of Education (3rd Floor) with all the necessary attachments as indicated in Section 1.3

N.B. Presentation of the application form and meeting all the criteria stated above does not mean the automatic award of a  government scholarship.

Scholarship to study in Universities overseas are awarded to:-

(i) Students whose parents are diplomats. In this case, the Government provides a fixed award of E21,000.00 towards students’ costs.

(ii) Students who have been successful in contesting for scholarships that have been made officially available to the Government of Swaziland through the Joint Bilateral Agreement programmes,. in this instance, the Governments provides an air ticket and living allowance, while the donor Government  covers the other costs.

In both cases students would still be required to complete the Scholarship Application Form, apply and get a written acceptance letter from the identified university and present their application to the Scholarship Secretariat.

1.1.    Completion of Scholarship Application Form

The Scholarship Application Form should be completed as soon as the student has finished writing his/her IGCSE examinations. The form is normally distributed to all Form 5 students towards the end of the academic year.  It can also be collected physically from any Regional Education Office or the Scholarship Secretariat currently housed on the 3rd Floor of the Ministry of Education Headquarters in Mbabane.  Students are cautioned to start as early as possible to complete the form as it involves consultations with and endorsement of several key witnesses such as the Chief or Indvuna of the students.

1.2.    Application for College/University Admission

Application for college or university admission normally commences as soon as HIGSCE, O’ Level, IGSCE results are out and the students is in possession of an authentic transcript or certificate . Deadlines for submission of applications differ from one institution to the next and students should also note that some universities make their admissions twice in a year.  It should also be noted that admissions policies of universities and/or colleges are de-linked from the Ministry's policies for the award of scholarships.  Government is but one amongst many other sources of tertiary education finance and students are encouraged to apply for funding from other sources as a fall back alternative.

1.3    Presentation of Scholarship Application

Students are expected to submit the Application form, with all the necessary attachments by the 30 June of each year (if requiring scholarships to study in local institutions) or 31st December of each year for those requiring scholarship to study in South Africa and the rest of Africa.

There is no set deadline for students  requiring to study  overseas, as these depend on the Universities they will choose or be required to study at once the scholarship have been made available.  Students should always insist on signing a log book upon submission of their Application Forms to the Scholarship Secretariat at Ministry of Education.  No scholarship applications will be accepted after the deadline.  Applications for the following year will not be received until the 1st November of each year, once students have signed their Agreement Forms.

All Scholarship Application Forms should be accompanied by the following attachments:

  • Certified copies of the applicant’s birth and academic certificates and/or symbols;
  • Certified copies of the applicant’s I.D. Card or Personal Identification Number (PIN) A current passport sized photo
  • An original University/College acceptance letter.
  • A Graded Tax Certificate.

2.    Award of Government Scholarship Loan

All applicants in priority areas (determined by Government from time to time) shall be called for an interview by the Scholarship Selection Board before an award is made.  Once the interviews have been conducted, notification of results shall be done through:

  • Letters addressed to individual applicants.
  • Lists of successful applicants grouped by the programmes they intend to pursue to be sent to the respective Universities or Colleges.

3.    Criteria for the Award of Scholarship

3.1    Scholarship shall only be awarded for pre-service training covering first degree and diploma courses only, with the exception of a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) and an Honours Degree in Psychology.
3.2    Students who were once granted a Government Scholarship loan shall not be considered.
3.3    The scholarship loan to be awarded to students who will be studying at the local institutions shall cover:

•    Tuition
•    Books
•    Accommodation and meals
•    Project and Uniform allowances
•    Personal allowance

3.4    Preferential treatment shall be extended to students wishing to pursue courses in priority areas in local colleges or universities and only students in intending to take up course in priority areas not offered locally shall be considered for scholarship award outside the country.

3.5   Currently, the priority areas for scholarship award to study in local institutions and out of the country are:

Local Institutions

  • Education and teaching programmes with a view to teaching at primary school level and in scarce subject areas such as Mathematics and Science, Information Communication Technology, French and Commercial Studies.
  • Post-graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)
  • BSc. with a view to doing PGCE. Engineering and Environmental Science.
  • Agriculture and Home Economics
  • Nursing (All categories)
  • Technical and Vocational subject areas
  • Tourism and Hospitality.

Local Institutions at which students are awarded Government scholarships are:

The University of Swaziland, Swaziland College of Technology (SCOT), Limkokwing University of  Creative Technology, William Pitcher College, Ngwane College and  Southern Africa Nazarene University.

In South Africa and Rest of Africa

  • Actuarial and Forensic Science
  • Engineering (All categories, save for Electronic Engineering
  • Information Communication Technology (ICT)
  • Optometry
  • Town and Regional Planning
  • Communications Pathology
  • Special Education
  • Bio-Medical Studies
  • Speech and Hearing Therapy
  • Occupational and Physiotherapy
  • Social Work
  • Sports and Science
  • Medicine
  • Surveying
  • Clinical and Dental Psychology
  • Radiography
  • Para-Medical Studies
  • Speech and Hearing Therapy
  • Design and Technology

The Government of Swaziland recognizes the following Universities in South Africa and the rest of Africa:

Tshwane University of Technology, University of North West, Vaal University of Technology, University of Johannesburg, Stellenbosch University, Rhodes University, University of KwaZulu Natal, University of Witwatersrand, University of Cape Town, University of Limpopo (Medunsa) University of  Pretoria, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan, University of Fort Hare and all Universities  in the other SADC countries.

3.6    Students who do not meet the entry requirements for local tertiary institutions will not be considered for a scholarship award to study in South Africa, in Africa and abroad.

3.7    The award will be conditional upon the student committing herself/himself to a contract with Government.

3.8    No student shall be awarded a scholarship before or without appearing before the Scholarship Selection Board.

3.9    Only O’ Level IGCE, HIGSCE, Matric and or A’ Level results shall be considered for scholarship award and a point system shall be used to grade students according to performance.

3.10    The basic minimum requirements for scholarship award shall be five (5) credits obtained  in not more than two sittings for both Diploma and Degree courses offered locally, in South Africa, the rest of Africa and abroad.

3.11    Entry qualifications obtained more than five (5) years ago will not be considered for award of scholarship.  In addition, no scholarship will be awarded to mature entry students.

3.12    Scholarships shall be for the programme/course and duration approved as indicated in the Study Loan Agreement Form.

3.13    Students who wish to change programmes shall be required to appear before the  Scholarship Selection Board.

3.14    The Scholarship Selection Board reserves the right to terminate or not award scholarship in the event the conditions set above are not met.


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