National Department of Social Development Scholarship in Social Work

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National Department of Social Development Scholarship in Social Work

Government, through the Draft Scarce Skills and Policy Framework ( 2003 ) recognised social work, among others, as a scarce skill and mandated the development of strategies to facilitate the recruitment and retention of such scarce skills. The Department of Social Development developed the Recruitment and Retention Strategy for Social Workers with the aim of providing guidelines for the recruitment and retention of social workers within the social work profession, the sector and the country. To achieve this aim, the social work  scholarship programme was implemented ( since 2007 ) to recruit young people who will be committed to the social work profession and  render services where they are most needed in the country.

The Social Work Scholarship programme is intended to provide financial assistance to deserving students to enable them to complete the Bachelor of Social Work degree ( BSW ). It facilitate access to higher education and training institutions and ensures development of skills, thereby increasing the capacity of social work professionals. While the programme is open to all eligible students for whom social work is a career of choice, priority will be given to youth between the ages of 18 – 35 years.  This is in line with government’s broad goals geared towards youth development and promoting active participation of youth in socio-economic activities. Social work is a caring and helping profession; therefore young people and students who REALLY want to pursue this noble profession and joint the current social work workforce in making a difference in people’s lives, must apply.

Note : If social work is not your area of interest, there are alternatives in government through which your studies can be funded.  Other government departments also provide bursaries that are in line with their mandate, for example, National Treasury, Human Settlements, Arts and Culture, Health, Energy and Minerals.  Please visit the government website at and peruse each department that might offer what you really need

National Department of Social Development Scholarship Eligibility 

Application for scholarship is open to South African citizens and are :

  • Grade 12 learners who meet admission requirements to study for Bachelor of Social Work degree (BSW) at any South African university. It is therefore the responsibility of students to make applications for admission at various universities of their choice.
  • Students currently studying towards BSW degree at any South African university. In order to be considered for allocation of the scholarship, current students must have passed and be progressing to the next level of their studies as per specific requirements of respective universities.
  • Students who come from disadvantaged communities.
  • Students with financial need based on assessment of financial status of their household.
  • Social Auxiliary workers, child and youth care workers and assistant community development practitioners in the employment of Non-Governmental Organisations who are interested in studying BSW degree.

Since the scholarship is exclusively for BSW degree, any student who chooses to change from BSW to any other degree, drops out or deregisters from the degree will lose benefits as outlined in the scholarship contract.

National Department of Social Development Scholarship Application

Application for the Social Work Scholarship must be made in the attached application form, which must be fully and correctly completed. The application form is obtainable from, the Department of Social Work at various universities and Provincial Departments of Social Development. All applications must be submitted to the Provincial Departments of Social Development ONLY as scholarships are allocated according to provincial needs for human resource capacity (see contact details below).

The following documents must be attached to the application form:

  • In case of first year / prospective BSW students, certified copy of Grade 12 results.
  • In case of current BSW students, certified copy of academic record in the official letterhead of the university.
  • Certified copy of identity document.
  • Certified copy of identity document and proof of income of parent / guardian.

Applications without these documentations will not be considered by the selection panel. The closing date for all applications is 31st October

JEE Main

Application Form Submission 16 Dec 2020 to 16 Jan 2021.