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UWC CSSS Colloquium

UWC’s Centre for Student Support Services hosted a colloquium - The articulation of all efforts: Aligning all sources of support for student success

How can universities align all sources to promote student success in their academic endeavours? A recent colloquium hosted by UWC’s Centre for Student Support Services (CSSS) gathered stakeholders to tackle just that topic. The UWC CSSS colloquium was aimed at exploring best practices that could ensure alignment and complementary support for the students at UWC.

Academics from UWC with an interest in thinking about student support joined a range of external supporters, funders, and donors at the university's School of Public Health on Tuesday, 12 May 2015, to participate in a conversation on The articulation of all efforts: Aligning all sources of support for student success. All efforts to support and develop students during their academic career need to be articulated in order to maximise impact on students’ lives - this was a call at the CSSS colloquium.

The session was an opportunity for donors like the South African National Zakah Fund (SANZAF), Allan Gray Orbis foundation, Rural Education Access Programme (REAP), South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), Rupert Foundation and Hosken Consolidated Investments Limited Foundation (HCI) to highlight the strengths and challenges of existing funding models, selection criteria, monitoring, support and student engagement.

“The colloquium is aimed at exploring the best practices to ensure alignment and complementary support for our students at UWC”, explained CSSS Director Dr Birgit Schreiber.

Each funder provided unique opportunities for recipients. At the same time, donor recipients highlighted the positive impact of donor funding on student development and success.

During the panel discussion, Charne September, who graduated from UWC with a BA (Hons) in psychology and now works for the HCI Foundation, emphasised how HCI funding changed her life.

She also reflected on importance of her time as a student:  “My studies at UWC, I believe, taught me to think critically, to give my all in all I do, not to limit myself,” she said, and added, “this has helped to shape me into the person I am today”.

Brenton Booysen is currently doing his post-graduate diploma in accounting at UWC. He recalled how SAICA boosted his self confidence. “I wasn’t able to speak English and lacked confidence in myself.” However, SAICA support boosted his self confidence and he was determined to pay it forward. “I therefore got involved in the Peer Mentoring Programme to show first years that there is hope for everyone”, Brenton explains.

Laetitia Permall, manager of the Office for Academic Support at UWC, noted that the discussion was part of a long-term collaborative effort.

“This colloquium is another step towards enhancing and expanding the collaborations between UWC support services and donors to optimise student support and success at UWC”, she said.