UFH Education Dean secures R10 million funding from ETDP-SETA to clear PGCE students’ debt

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Prof Vusi Mncube, UFH Dean of Education has secured a R10 million grant from the Education, Training and Development Practices Sector Education and Training Authority (ETDP - SETA) to clear the debt of one hundred self-funded Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) students who completed the programme last year.

The benefiting students will now be able to walk the graduation stage, collect their certificates and be well on their way to start their careers as Educators.

The PGCE programme is a teacher training qualification that students can apply for once they have completed a relevant degree with at least two teaching modules. It is a one-year programme.

According to Prof Mncube, annually, about 150 students who register for the qualification at UFH do not qualify for NSFAS and this is because they have been previously funded by the scheme for their undergraduate studies.

“The challenges faced by these self-funded students motivated me to be pro-active and start knocking on doors to secure funding to help clear their debt,” Prof Mncube said.

The beneficiaries were each awarded R100 000 towards their tuition fees (R35 000), accommodation (R37 000), meals (R20 000) and R8 000 for books.

 Prof Mncube said the application and negotiation process for the grant started with the provincial office of ETPD-SETA in 2021.

 “The Faculty of Education was advised to apply for student funding as soon as the registration for 2022 was completed. We submitted a list of 150 PGCE registered students to the SETA’s provincial office requesting funding for these students and the application was followed through with their Head Office.”

 The letter of award was sent to the University in November last year.

 As a Faculty that strives to produce educators who are critical thinkers, creative problem-solvers, initiators and leaders in education, the grant has greatly welcomed by the Faculty and the University.

“We are extremely excited about the awarding of this funding, especially during the University’s Decade of Renewal where stability and cooperation between students and staff is key,” said Mncube who cited an excerpt from the University’s Strategic Plan 2022-2026, which reads as follows:

 “It is important to note that the Renewal will not only be limited to embracing new technologies through digitisation and automation of business systems in general; but will manifest in re-imagining learning and teaching, incorporating blended learning, ensuring the basic foundations of quality are in place and re-curriculating academic programmes to adapt to the new, improved reality at the UFH ……There will be a renewal of the Fort Hare student experience, prioritising the production of employable graduates and graduates of first choice amongst employers. The focus will be brought to bear on work ethic amongst staff and inculcating a service culture to create an institution that staff and students are proud to be associated with”. – Page 11

“We are grateful to the ETDP-SETA. It is always pleasing for parents to see their children graduate to collect the qualification that will become the key to unlock their careers,” said Prof Mncube.