Mental health of students at Unisa to be placed at top of agenda by new dean at varsity

Dr Moses Hlongoane has been appointed dean of UNISA’s accounting faculty. Picture/supplied.

Dr Moses Hlongoane has been appointed dean of UNISA’s accounting faculty. Picture/supplied.

Published Apr 4, 2024


The newly appointed executive dean of the College of Accounting Sciences (CAS) at Unisa, Dr Moses Thabang Hlongoane, plans to increase the pass rate at the institution – and the mental health of students will be among his top priorities.

A pundit in the accounting industry, Hlongoane emphasised that establishing a strong support system for students’ mental health would be a contributory factor to inspire a hike in the pass of accounting candidates, especially for their Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) board exams.

“I believe in students’ support. Our students are offered counselling services that include mental support. The additional support that we are providing to our students, if maintained, will take our students a long way,” said Hlongoane.

He prides himself as an ethical leader holding a senior position, which has played a major role in his successful career.

Hlongoane has cemented himself in the accounting profession. He rendered his accounting skills in various notable companies in the public sector, worked as an accounting lecturer for first, second and fourth year modules at the University of Johannesburg (UJ); he authored various accounting study material, including co-authoring a Grade 11 textbook “VIVA Accounting”, published by Vivlia Publishers.

Hlongoane said that the CAS would provide additional support to students, especially for financially disadvantaged students, to ensure students are mentally healthy; hence, there will be an increased pass rate of candidates.

“It is not a secret that over 60% of our students are from previously disadvantaged communities. Therefore, our students’ support initiatives are structured in such a way that they should address the needs of our students, especially from the previously disadvantaged communities,” he said.

Last year’s APC board exams recorded a 52% pass rate, a 6% decrease from 2022, which recorded 58%.

In addition, he added: “Our student support initiatives include classes facilitated by our lecturers, additional support from both e-tutors and face-to-face tutors, funding given to our students in the form of bursaries to cover tuition, books/laptops and monthly allowances.

“The college is also engaging various stakeholders from industry and professional bodies to contribute to the increase of accountants. The college has established the ITC (Initial Test of Competence) board course to assist students in preparation for the assessment.”

Hlongoane explained that his other plans in CAS include, UNISA’s accounting faculty to offer quality qualifications of the profession and develop the research skills for students.

“I will continue with the commitment to contribute towards the advancement and transformation of the accounting profession in South Africa, and to support growth and development of the financial and economic sectors, by ensuring that we continue to offer qualifications that are quality assured in producing quality graduates that are relevant to the industry,” he said.

This would “enhance research, engage scholarship and academic citizenship, and promote governance and compliance”.

Hlongoane also prides himself as an advocate for developing education in local communities, with maths, accounting and English as his focus area. He was honoured with the Outstanding Career Development Project award by the College of Economic and Management Sciences in Unisa for his stellar contribution to career development in local communities in 2013.