13 April 2021 | Story Xolisa Mnukwa | Photo Sonia Small (Kaleidoscope Studio)
Nicole Morris
Nicole Morris

Student Affairs divisions occupies an important role within higher education, and there is a constant need for development and reform in the services and programmes they offer to support students. This was the input from the Acting Dean of Student Affairs at the UFS, Nicole Morris, at a virtual President-to-President dialogue hosted by the Charlotte Mannya-Maxeke Institute (CMMI), commemorating Human Rights Month and #TheRightToEducation on 30 March 2021.

Morris participated with a handful of prestigious panel members, including ANC Headquarters General Manager, Febe Potgieter-Gqubule; Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Buti Manamela; CMMI Brand Ambassador, Musawenkosi Saurombe; author and entrepreneur, Busisiwe Seabe; the leaderships of various student representative councils; and Chairperson of the Charlotte Mannya-Maxeke Institute, Yonela Njisane.

Delegates delved into subjects concerning access to free education, the criteria and measures involved, as well as the proposed methods of implementation needed to operationalise free and equal education.

Morris contributed to the discussion that reflected on the revolutionary spirit and political contributions of renowned political activist, Charlotte Maxeke, identifying her as a “stalwart for the fight of equal opportunities and progress”.

The Acting Dean said Maxeke’s quest for education and the need to use it to support changes in humanity, encouraged the liberation of women in mainstream politics and other leadership roles – developing her fight into one that sought equal opportunities and progress for all.

Morris went on to highlight the importance of student counselling and development, career services, and other student affairs services to support students at university and higher education spaces.

She encouraged student leaders to emulate Maxeke’s methods by continuously employing innovative ways of thinking to ease the challenges faced by students in higher education, ensuring that each of them has an equal opportunity to succeed in today’s society.

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