The Citi Foundation, which funds the Enriched Management Studies course, visited UKZN’s College of Law and Management Studies recently to hear about life-changing benefits the programme has made in the lives of students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Foundation representative Ms Rachel Barber listened to personal accounts given by commerce students who have completed the EMS programme.

A Senior Development Officer at the UKZN Foundation, Ms Nicola Latchiah said: ‘The Citi Foundation’s invaluable funding has enabled students from disadvantaged background to access Higher Education in a supportive environment. Their generous support has played a prominent role in assisting towards funding the Enriched Management Studies project, one of the flagship projects of the University’s College of Law and Management studies.’

Students spoke about the advantages of the EMS programme and how it had transformed their lives. They said the academic programme helped them adapt to student life, acquire good study skills and learn efficient time management.

Barber said she was impressed by the students taking the initiative to inform learners in their communities of Higher Education opportunities available to them, such as the EMS programme at UKZN. She commended the students on their hard work and encouraged them to persevere towards achieving their goals.

The Dean of Teaching and Learning in the College, Professor Kriben Pillay said it was a challenging experience for students to adapt to university life. ‘One of the major challenges is making the adjustment from a very prescriptive learning environment to one where there is greater freedom. Also, the emphasis is on taking responsibility for oneself personally, academically, and socially.

‘Many disadvantaged students find this very difficult and need the structures that the university has in place to assist them to make a healthy transition. The other major challenge is having adequate financial resources to sustain their basic needs at university,’ added Pillay.

According to Pillay the Winter School run by the College of Law and Management Studies has been a catalyst for many students who attend university. University visits to schools played an important role believes Pillay. ‘We could also look at providing accessible multi-media coverage of the University that can be accessed via cell phones,’ he said.

IMAGE: Ms Rachel Barber, and Professor Kriben Pillay  (Back row), with staff and students in the College of Law and Management Studies.

Article source: UKZN