School of Accountancy
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Ex-Cell upskilling workshop


The Ex-Cell project, funded by the Social Impact grant, launched in May 2021. The Ex-Cell project is a collaborative project between Stellenbosch University, the School of Accountancy, and the Department of Correctional Services. Its aim is to rehumanise learning by focusing on learning's social, ubuntu-focused dimensions – collaboration, community-building and connectedness. This workshop has a theme of empowering participants to be better prepared for the business world by upskilling incarcerated persons and parolees to find employment and developing business plans to allow them to earn a living in the business world after their release. The programme is a free access initiative, open to the general public and therefore to people who are not attending the University. Th​e educational component pilot project entails SU lecturers and incarcerated participants learning with and from each other through dialogue and the sharing of experience.

By promoting educational and economic opportunities for the youth parolees, the project is further guided by the values and strategic themes embedded in SU's Vision 2040 as well as the National Development Plan. Similarly, all stakeholders benefit by learning from one another and sharing ideas, experiences, and knowledge.​

Further in​formation

Interested parties can obtain further information about the project in this regard, from:

Ms. Sher-Lee Arendse

Tel: +27 21 808-9941

Mr. Juan Ontong

Tel: +27 21 808-9230

Postal address: School of Accountancy, Stellenbosch University, Private Bag X1, Matieland, 7602.

Ex-Cell Workshop 2021

A partnership between the School of Accountancy (within the EMS Faculty at Stellenbosch University) and the Department: Correctional Services (DCS) 

Background to the establishment of the workshop

  • 2019 SOTL conference >> Ubuntu Learning Community (by Dr Mary Nel)
  • SU students and students in prison studying together under SU academics, learning with and from each other through dialogue and the sharing of experience.
  •  A transformative learning experiences by allowing interaction with academic peers that they would not normally have come into contact with. Academic colleagues from law, history, economics and English are involved in the design and presentation of the module
  • The pedagogical approach - Combination of critical pedagogy, social justice pedagogy and transformative pedagogy, with a focus on critical citizenship​​.

Rationale behind the establishment of such a workshop


•Provision of skills training by a higher education institution at a correctional service facility is limited.

•The workshop is provided free of charge and participants receive a certificate of attendance for completing the workshop.

•Lunch and snacks, as well as books, are provided to workshop participants free of charge.

•Simultaneous mandate of Social Impact and Higher Education.

•Empowerment through skills to aid employment problems.

Criminal record hinders employment post release & thus hinders reintegration into society.

•Business Acumen skills based on SOA skills (CA academics).

•Why Drakenstein? Facilities and access to youth.​​

Design of the workshop 


•Business plan

•Finding employment

•Preparing for an interview​

Method of presentation

Augmented Learning


Business plan presentations & mock job interviews​


Delivery model: Augmented learning 

  • Augmented learning (AL) is the use of real-life experiences, objects and elements that have been recreated on a computer or mobile device to enhance specific educational concepts. An important goal of augmented learning is to align the instructional platform with each learner's individual needs.
  • Utilisation of DCS facilities – Classroom & Equipment.
  • Presentation of the workshop consisted of in person sessions (with the necessary COVID protocols being followed) as well as virtual presentations in the form of live Teams meetings and
  • pre recorded videos.
  • Provision of learning material and stationery to participants and interactive learning experiences.​


Business plan presentations: Workshop held in June/July 20​21​


Business plan presentations:Workshop held in June/July 2021

Business plan presentations:Workshop held in June/July 2021​

Mock Interviews

•After the presentation on interview skills and advice on the do’s and don’ts of the interview process, participants were given the opportunity to participate in a mock interview.

•Setting created to demonstrate what a typical interview would be like covering some common interview questions.

•Those who were “interviewed” were evaluated by their fellow participants on their performance.

•The group was asked to identify the aspects of the participants’ who were interviewed that went well and what aspects they thought were not good and could be improved on.

•This not only gave participants insight into what can be expected in an interview but provided practical experience on preparing for an interview.​