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R12-million to train black chartered accountants
2008-10-09

The Centre for Accounting at the University of the Free State (UFS) will receive about R12-million over the next four years from the Thuthuka Bursary Fund to train black learners as chartered accountants.

The bursary fund is managed by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) and is aimed at increasing the number of black students who obtain the Bachelor degree in Accounting.

Prof. Hentie van Wyk, Programme Director of the Centre for Accounting at the UFS, says that the membership of the chartered accounting profession (SAICA) does not currently reflect the demographics of the country. The aim of the bursary fund is to straighten this imbalance.

“The first intake of 50 first-year students is in 2009. The bursary fund makes provision for about R60 000 per student. This amount covers the student’s class fees, residence fees, meals and the financing of tutors. We will also make use of tutors and guest lecturers who will teach the students life skills, among others. The centre will appoint a co-ordinator to assist students with this,” says Prof. Van Wyk.

The UFS is accredited by SAICA to handle the Thuthuka training. During a monitoring visit from SAICA in 2007 the centre was the first in South Africa to obtain a 1-grading. The centre also obtained an outstanding pass rate of 94% during the recent national qualifying exam.

“We especially want to focus on the training of students from the central region. This means that the UFS will become a feeder institution of black chartered accountants for the business community in the central region of the country,” says Prof. Van Wyk.

According to Prof. Van Wyk, SAICA will do the recruitment of the students and they will be subject to a selection test. A list of possible students will be submitted to the centre, of which 50 will be chosen. One of the prerequisites is that learners must have a good mark in Mathematics. During their four years of studying students must have an average pass mark of 70%.


Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@ufs.ac.za  
9 October 2008

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