The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) and Standard Bank launched a new Historically Disadvantaged Institutions’ (HDIs’) partnership project that will help students from disadvantaged backgrounds to succeed in the field of Chartered Accountancy. The launch of this project took place on Thursday, 25 April 2024 at the UNIVEN Student Parliament. The project is designed to empower students and transform their lives and aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for quality education and decent work and economic growth. Through this partnership, Standard Bank will fund fourth year BCom Accounting Sciences students at UNIVEN, providing them with the all-inclusive support they need to pursue their dreams and achieve success in the accountancy profession. When welcoming attendees of the launch, the Interim Director of School of Law, Prof Lonias Ndlovu (on the photo above) reminded the audience that most of students who attended the event are beneficiaries of SAICA’s Thuthuka Programme. He further shared that UNIVEN is guided by its Strategic Plan 2021-2025 alongside 4 Strategic Thrusts and 15 Strategic objectives. “If you look at the UNIVEN Strategic Plan 2021-2025, Strategic Objectives 1 to 4 fit well
within this funding project”, Prof Ndlovu said.

SAICA Executive responsible for Stakeholder Engagement and Transformational Projects, Ms Gugu Makhanya (on the photo above) opened her talk by thanking UNIVEN leadership for their commitment and the drive to create future leaders. Ms Makhanya told students that the future is in their hands and advised them to make use of this opportunity. Ms Makhanya also had the following to say: “One particular milestone is the undergraduate programme accreditation which we have already celebrated at UNIVEN, and we are coming back to celebrate the Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting Accreditation soon. We know UNIVEN will not disappoint because we have seen the achievements of this University over the years.” Gugu further thanked Standard Bank, represented by Thembeka, for believing in SAICA’s Thuthuka to drive the HDIs’ funding initiative.

The Standard Bank’s Executive Group Head of Finance, Ms Thembeka Maseko (on the photo above), said it has never been an easy journey for them to be finally partnering with SAICA. She indicated that there are lot of historically disadvantaged young people out there who need financial assistance in order to shine and Standard Bank exists to assist those who need their assistance. Ms Maseko stated that there are many more young people who do not make it to the end of their dream, not because they did not work hard enough, but because they just did not have the privilege to do so. Ms Maseko had this to say further: “A key challenge that our continent faces is financial inclusion. This is something we are passionate about and underpins all we do as an organisation. Our aspiration is to be the enablers of wealth creation and preservation to ensure each generation is better off than the previous one for all Africans. We headed this call to do what we can to ensure the fair inclusion of all in this profession.” She concluded her remarks by highlighting that they chose the CA qualification because it plays a critical role in business and in sustaining our economy.

The Deputy Dean: Teaching and Learning, Prof Tharien van der Walt (on the photo above) thanked SAICA and Standard Bank for their partnership which will also help UNIVEN students. She said UNIVEN students deserve this huge opportunity because they are dedicated to their studies, and they work hard. Prof Van der Walt told students to treasure this opportunity because not many students are privileged to get same. In her conclusion, Prof Van der Walt said: “Your journey is like no one others; your gift must be used but not only by yourself but by the communities where you come from.”

Representing fourth level students, Ms Seani Tshidumo (on the left photo), thanked partners (SAICA and Standard Bank) for partnership that is meant to benefit students to build their bright future. She further thanked SAICA and Standard Bank for their support.
The programme was facilitated by Mrs Mutondi Ramaru CA (SA) (on the right photo), a Senior lecturer and Subject Head-Financial Accounting, Department of Accountancy.

In his Vote of thanks, the newly appointed Head of the Department of Accountancy, Prof Freddy Munzhelele (on the photo above) urged students to study hard and to never give up in their studies. He indicated that this is a very demanding field but once they pass and complete their studies, they will never regret because they would have been sorted for the rest of their lives. He acknowledged SAICA and Standard Bank for availing this opportunity to students; and thanked them for assisting UNIVEN in its quest to offer highly regarded accounting programmes. Prof Munzhelele also thanked Standard Bank for their generosity.

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