31 May 2024 | Story Liyabona Gana | Photo Supplied
Financial Literacy Workshops
The UFS and the FSCA hosted Financial Literacy workshops, empowering first-year students with essential financial management skills through practical exercises and expert guidance.

In a bid to equip first-year students with essential financial management skills, the University of the Free State (UFS) – in collaboration with the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) – recently hosted Financial Literacy workshops, particularly targeting first-time entering new (FTEN) students. "This project aims to provide FTEN students with the necessary financial skills to enable them to manage their finances better," explained Puleng Letloenyane, Head of First-Year Orientation in the Division of Student Affairs.

"We wanted to get students to improve their credit record and learn the skills needed to better manage their finances," added Letloenyane.

The workshops featured two main sessions – Debt Management and Wealth Creation and Investment. The sessions included practical exercises, such as creating a budget based on a student allowance and exploring investment opportunities. The FSCA provided tools and resources to help students maintain a healthy financial state, concluding with a question-and-answer session and group discussions to address individual financial concerns.

The response from students who attended the workshops was overwhelmingly positive. "The workshops sparked students’ interest in investing and the different channels for investing their money. They felt empowered and more confident about managing their finances in the future," Letloenyane noted.

Letloenyane said about the broad appeal of the workshops, "Financial literacy is for everyone and although our target market is first-year students, we do not exclude the rest of the university from attending." This inclusive approach also saw participation from senior students, highlighting the universal importance of financial education.

The Gateway Office plans to continue its partnership with the FSCA, with more workshops scheduled for August 2024 aimed at the entire student body. Additional initiatives include recruitment for the 2025 Gateway Amigos and collaborative events with other university stakeholders, ensuring continuous support for student financial literacy.

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