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27 August 2018 Photo Sonia Small
Prof Thuli Madonsela persuades women to pursue their purpose
Discovering that she was “pretty” for her purpose gave Prof-Adv Thuli Madonsela’s life direction.

What does embracing womanhood mean? For Prof Thuli Madonsela it is about loving yourself and whatever you believe is your purpose in life. 

“All of us are designed for our purpose and are fit for our purpose, you should embrace that and make the best of it,” said South Africa’s former Public Protector in her keynote address to the Women’s Breakfast. In commemoration of Women’s Month, the University of the Free State (UFS)’s Employee Wellness Division hosted the annual event on 21 August 2018 where 900 women gathered under the theme: ‘Embrace your womanhood.’ 

Being a woman today


Law Professor and Law Trust Chair in Social Justice at Stellenbosch University, Prof Madonsela, urged the audience to look beyond the exterior and recognise “that we as individuals have a lot in common”. Speaking of unity in diversity, she praised some of the giants on whose shoulders modern women stand, such as Charlotte Maxeke, Olive Schreiner, Una Wookey, Albertina Sisulu, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Helen Joseph, Pam Golding, Bessie Head, and Ellen Khuzwayo.

These leaders are the epitome of following the purpose of “embracing everyone’s humanity and challenging things that diminish the humanity of others”, according to Prof Madonsela.

Remaining resilient and resolute 

Despite having to contend with a patriarchal system and face challenges such as gender-based violence, femicide, poverty, inequity, media stereotypes, as well as poverty, women continue to rise. Prof Madonsela called for women to capitalise on positives such as freedom and possessing a certain degree of power, legal equality, playing a role in political spaces, economic progress, and owning a public voice.

Drawing inspiration from her humble beginnings and the lessons learnt in leadership, Prof Madonsela conveyed a simple message to all women: “You are exactly as you should be. You are a perfect expression of your creator’s magnificence. You were created for a purpose and whatever you do, just step up and pursue your purpose.”

A word from an inspired woman

It was a memorable event for Burneline Kaars, Head of Employee Wellness. “This year it was an honour to host Prof Madonsela who could share both her academic background and professional experience. She accomplished this by skilfully incorporating lessons from our country’s history and her passion for justice,” she said.

News Archive

UFS discontinues one Masters programme
2006-07-26

As from next year, the University of the Free State (UFS) will no longer offer one of its specialist master’s degrees in education – the M Ed in Education Management.

 The other six M Ed programmes that are currently being offered at the UFS will continue as normal.

 The decision to discontinue one of the M Ed programmes follows a national review of M Ed programmes in Educational Management and Leadership by the Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC) of the Council on Higher Education (CHE).

 Of the 23 tertiary institutions whose M Ed programmes in Educational Management and Leadership were reviewed by the HEQC, only 7 received full accreditation.   

 “The findings of the HEQC affect only one of our M Ed degree programmes, namely the M Ed in Educational Management,” said Prof Magda Fourie, Vice-Rector: Academic Planning at the UFS

 “We will be paying full attention to the findings of the HEQC with a view to correcting some of the shortcomings that have been identified by the HEQC and will consider submitting a reviewed proposal for such a qualification in two years time,” she said.

 According to Prof Fourie, the programme currently has 30 students enrolled.  “These students – spread across their first and second years of the degree programme – will be allowed to complete their studies with the full support of the UFS and the School of Education,” said Prof Fourie.

 “The qualification that has been awarded to students who have already completed their studies for this specific M Ed in Education Management degree programme remains a valid qualification and is not affected by the HEQC review,” said Prof Fourie.

 She said the UFS welcomed the efforts of the HEQC to ensure that all academic programmes offered by higher education institutions meet certain standards.

“One of the primary problem areas in the M Ed in Educational Management offered by the UFS identified by the HEQC, was that the programme is too practice orientated and must be more theoretical to comply with the academic requirements of a master’s degree.  This was a result of the fact that the programme was initially compiled in consultation with principals and the provincial Department of Education to address their needs,” said Prof Fourie.

“The UFS will in the mean time offer an advanced certificate in Educational Management and Leadership from next year.  This is a new course that will stretch over a period of two years and will ensure that we can still address the needs of teachers and principals,” said Prof Fourie.

 “The UFS remains committed to providing top quality degree programmes in all its six faculties and will continue to work with the HEQC in ensuring that this actually happens,” said Prof Fourie.

Media release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Media Representative
Tel:   (051) 401-2584
Cell:  083 645 2454
E-mail:  loaderl.stg@mail.uovs.ac.za 
25 July 2006

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