Life Foundation: Education

Life/CMSA doctor sub-specialist bursaries


In South Africa there is a great need for bursaries to support doctors – in particular, specialists and/or sub-specialists.

In 2012, we entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa (CMSA) to provide bursaries for the following recognised universities:

  • University of Cape Town
  • University of the Free State
  • University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • University of Limpopo (Medunsa)
  • University of Pretoria
  • Stellenbosch University
  • University of the Witwatersrand
  • Walter Sisulu University

Bursary details

R78 million committed over a period of six years (2013 to 2018), R13 million per annum.
11 doctor sub-specialist bursaries awarded for the two-year period of 2013 and 2014/2015. (Two retained as full-time supporting specialists.)
2015 intake of another 11 sub-specialists to be trained by 2016/2017.
2017 intake on hold until further notice.

Public Health Enhancement Fund (PHEF)

PHEF-funded projects aim to build human capital to address the challenge of HIV/Aids, and to develop leadership capacity within the public health system.

PHEF projects at a glance

  1. Expansion of the intake of medical students 
    A target of increasing the number of trained doctors from 1,400 to 2,000 per year was set with six participating medical schools.
    On average, 74 students per year have been supported by PHEF. Since 2013, there have been 221 students who have been supported by a financial contribution of R37 million.
  2. The academy for leadership and healthcare management
    PHEF has developed a knowledge-management hub: a web-based teaching and learning platform that offers learning resources to hospital CEOs.
    To date, R1.15 million of a committed R10 million has been given towards the sustainable development of leadership within the state healthcare system.
  3. National health scholars programme
    The programme offers scholarships for South African Master’s and PhD students pursuing research in clinical health systems and biomedical sciences in the fields of HIV/Aids and TB.
    The target is 1,000 PhD and MSc graduates in different areas of expertise over a period of 10 years.
    From 2013 to date, PHEF has contributed R25 million, an amount that has been administered through the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC), and which has supported 41 students.
    In July 2016, PHEF received the Titanium Award for Excellence in Corporate Social Investment at the Board of Healthcare Funders (BHF) conference in Cape Town.