Introduction and background

The Department of Agricultural Economics (UFS), under the leadership of Prof Johan Willemse, introduced a bursary project in October 2009. The aim of the project was two folded; first to assist some of the best students financially with a bursary while they also gain valuable practical experience, and secondly to introduce the participating agricultural businesses to these top students with the aim on future employment.

Previously, the bursary project operated on the principle where an Agricultural Business provided a bursary for a specific student. The student was then employed by the Department of Agricultural Economics as a Research Assistant, provided with office space, a computer, and being paid a salary from the bursary.  The student, due the fact that he/she is employed by the UFS, also qualified for a UFS Board Bursary where he/she received approximately 25% discount on tuition fees. The specific student then usually did some research for the company he/she was linked too, and in some instances worked for the company during UFS holidays to gain some experience. 

Although the bursary project, as described above, worked well in most instances we have found that while some Agricultural Companies were very involved with their student others just supplied the bursary without being actively involved with the student. The result was then that some students gained valuable experience during the course of the bursary, parallel with the intention of the bursary, while others gained no experience. In order to provide all the appointed students with the same level of experience we have decided to change the current bursary project to the new Department of Agricultural Economics’ Bursary Fund.

Guidelines of the Department of Agricultural Economics’ Bursary Fund

 The aim of the new bursary fund remains the same as that of the previous bursary project;

 (a) to assist some of the best students financially with a bursary while they also gain valuable practical  experience, and (b) to introduce the participating agricultural businesses to these top students with the  aim on future employment.

The difference will be that a specific Agricultural Business/Company/Organisation will no longer be allocated a specific student. The contributions to the Fund from the various agribusinesses will be used to appoint a number of students as Research Assistants, and any research tasks needed by the contributing agribusinesses will be divided amongst the appointed students. As times change we need to change accordingly and we believe that the new bursary fund will be of greater benefit to students than in the past. The fund’s guidelines are similar to those applicable to other large multinational companies which provide bursary funds to the UFS.

The basic guidelines of the Bursary Fund are:
  • The agricultural business/company/organisation contributes a minimum of R45 000/annum to the bursary fund (minimum required amount to appoint a student). A higher amount may also be contributed and the remainder will be used to build the fund for years when less contributions are received.
  • The agribusiness will be issued with a Donation Invoice and the BEE certificate of the UFS. The bursary contribution is thus tax deductible and will count for your BEE score.
  • The bursary funds will be paid in, and administered from, a separate bursary entity.
  • Depending on the amount of funds received, a maximum of 12 students (third-year and higher) will be appointed as research assistants in the Department at R3 500/month (the remaining R3 000 of the bursary is for administration costs such as telephone bills and photocopies). 
Benefits for the students and contributing businesses
  • The appointed students will, apart from the financial benefit from their salaries, qualify for an UFS Board Bursary that covers approximately 25% of their tuition fees.
  • The contributing agribusinesses may request that the appointed students, under supervision of permanent academic staff, complete some research projects for them (any additional direct costs related to the research will be the responsibility of the requesting company).
  • We want to encourage the contributing agribusinesses to arrange a tour of your business for the students (at least once a year) so that you can get to know the students and have first pick when future employment opportunities present themselves. These students will also earn valuable experience on the agricultural industry from these sessions.
  • Prominent exposure will be given to the contributing agribusinesses on all possible platforms.

We, as the Department of Agricultural Economics (UFS), will be privileged if you decide to contribute to the bursary fund for 2019. We would therefor like to thank you in advance for your consideration of this proposal that will enrich the life of a current student and maybe one of your future employees. 

Who can apply?
  •  One of your main subjects must be Agricultural Economics
  •  Average in ALL subjects should at least be 65%
  • Proof of leadership qualities/skills
When can I apply?

Application period for this bursary fund is from 1-30 September each year

Where can I find the application form?

Department of Agricultural Economics
  Room 1.102 - First Floor
  Agriculture Building
  Contact person: Ina Combrinck
  T: +27 51 401 9518

What to bring along when I submit my application form and to whom should it be submitted?

  •   Two certified copies of your ID
  •   Recent academic results
Proud sponsors of this program since 2008
Silostrat (Pty) Ltd; New Holland Agriculture; Veeplaas (Plaas Media); Itau Milling (Pty) Ltd; Agriculture Research Council; TWK Agriculture Ltd; Senwes Beperk; Protein Research Foundation; Brahman Beestelers Genootskap of SA; Grassland Agricultural (Pty) Ltd, VKB Group; Suidwes Landbou (Pty) Ltd; GWK, John Deere Finance; BKB Beperk; Rooivleis Produsente Organisasie; Wildeklawer, Beefmaster; Pioneer Foods; ABSA Agri-Business, Corporate Guarantee SA, Bayer SA, National Lucerne Trust, Grain SA, Hollard Insurance, FNB Agriculture, Zoetis South Africa, Agribonus, King Price Insurance, Sernick Shared Group, Monsanto


Elfrieda van den Berg (Marketing Manager)
T: +27 51 401 2531


Dilahlwane Mohono (Faculty Officer)
T: +27 58 718 5284

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