Very few people have the resources to study without some kind of financial aid. Whilst some school leavers choose to work for a few years to save for full-time studies, others work while studying on a part-time basis. Bursaries and scholarships can also provide some relief. Getting a loan from a bank is another way to pay for your education, provided you are willing to pay for it. Here’s how to improve your chances of getting the help you need.
Anyone whose family doesn’t have the financial resources to pay for their studies and can demonstrate academic potential can get financial help. The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) make funding available. The NSFAS operates from the financial aid offices on campus.
The NSFAS aid is a loan, but up to 40% is written off if the candidate passes his or her subjects each year. The loan portion of a NSFAS bursary has to be paid back once you start working, but a lot of leeway is given to enable you to get on your feet. For more information, click www.nsfas.org.za
Tertiary institutions also have bursaries that are financed by donations or companies. These are not always awarded to students in the direst need, but candidates are often interviewed to make sure they suit the future employment requirements of the sponsoring company. The most important step in getting the financial aid you need is to get the relevant forms from the financial aid office at the institution where you want to study. Then fill them in as comprehensively as you can.
Applicants make all kinds of fundamental errors in filling in their applications. Simple errors, such as not providing a copy of your ID document or proof of school results, can jeopardise the chances of someone who would otherwise have been able to receive financial aid.
To obtain a bursary, the following process and criteria apply to students:
If you don’t qualify for a NSFAS bursary but still need financial aid, you may be able to get a bank loan. All major banks offer a student loan package, but it isn’t automatically granted to everyone who applies.
A parent or friend in employment must sign surety, meaning that they will be responsible for ensuring that the loan is paid back. You’ll also have to provide proof of academic progress. After completing your degree or diploma, bank loans are usually paid off in fixed amounts over the same time period as your studies. A period of grace is available for students who qualify in fields of study where they are required to do internships, articles or community service.
Remember that the interest on the loan must be paid during the student’s years of study and any grace period. This to ensure that the student does not pay interest on interest.
|Is usually awarded on merit to the students with the top academic results and have no strings attached. The admissions offices of the universities and colleges will be able to direct you to the scholarships that apply to your chosen area of study. People with a gift for a particular sport may also be eligible for a sports scholarship.||Is usually given based on financial need. Certain bursaries may bind you to work for a specific company for a year or two.||Must be repaid in fixed amounts specified by the bank, once the course is completed.|
If you would prefer to work and study at the same time, contact the training manager of a selected establishment to apply.
There are several national qualifications and learnerships available today, and employers are becoming increasingly involved in implementing these programmes for their existing staff and for new recruits. However the actual opportunities open to you in a company must be discussed with that company beforehand, as nothing is guaranteed.
Again, when approaching an employer who offers inhouse training, it is important to check that that employer is accredited to provide training.
If you would like to study full time toward a career in this field, there are a number of options open to you. The Universities of Technology had a long history in offering practical management qualifications in both Hospitality Management and Tourism Managements. Some academic universities and private higher education institutions also offer these courses.
If you are thinking about studying at a private institution, make sure that they are registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training and are accredited by the Higher Education Quality Committee – HEQC.
Consider which of the following institutions would suit you best:
|Institution||Education||Example||Entry level position|
|University||Higher education, largely academic, with little practical experience||BA in Tourism||Managerial Assistant|
|University of Technology||Academic and practical tuition that includes compulsory experiential education in the industry||National diploma in Tourism Management National diploma in Hospitality Management||Managerial Assistant|
|Technical college||Vocation-specific tuition with a great deal of practical tuition||Certificate in cookery||Operator|
|Private provider||Both HET and FET. Must be accredited with the national authorities, the Higher Education and Quality Committee, or Umalusi||Certificates and diplomas (must be registered with the South African Qualifications Authority)||Depends on the type and level of the course offered|
The following table offers links to some of the well known institutions that offer qualifications in the Tourism and Hospitality field
|Universities of Technology||Academic Universities||Private Higher Education|
|Vaal University of Technology||University of Pretoria||Centurion Academy|
|Tshwane University of Technology||University of the North West (Potch)||Damelin|
|Durban University of Technology||University of Johannesburg||Durban Computer College|
|Central University of Technology||Durbanville College|
|Cape Peninsula University of Technology||Ed-U City Campus|
|Nelson Mandela University of Technology||ICESA City Campus|
|Walter Sisulu University of Technology||Independent Institute of Education|
|Management College of Southern Africa|
|Midrand Graduate Institute|
|Oval International Computer Education|
Choose your institution carefully. Many claim to be registered or accredited with THETA or other ETQA (education and training quality assurance body), but can they prove it?
This can be very confusing when trying to figure out who is responsible for accrediting the trainers and providers of education. The following table may help you to understand this better:
|5 – 8||HEQC: Higher Education Quality Committee||Ensures that the level and quality of provision is suitable for Higher Education|
|1- 4||UMALUSI||Ensures that the level and quality of provision is suitable for Further and General Education|
|All levels||THETA: Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Education and Training Authority||With HEQC and UMALUSI, THETA quality assures all courses falling into their scope: Tourism, Hospitality, Conservation, Sport, gambling and Lotteries|
If the institution is indeed accredited, it will have undergone an accreditation process during which its facilities, learning materials, courses and lecturers will have been evaluated on their ability to deliver appropriate training for the courses offered.
Even once you have established the institution’s accreditation status, consider the following points to ensure that the full-time course you have selected provides the type and quality of training you want:
Does the course give graduates a certificate from a recognised authority, in this case THETA, and is the qualification registered on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF)? If it does and is, you can rest assured that the qualification is legitimate and recognised, and will provide employable skills.
Why don’t you take the ENTREPRENEURIAL QUESTIONNAIRE and find out…
If you’re not sure about the type of job you’d be suited for, or whether or not Tourism could be right for you, take our tourism career quizzes.