13 September 2019 | Story Cornelius Hagenmeier (Director: UFS International Office)

The management of the University of the Free State (UFS) is deeply concerned about the xenophobic and afrophobic attacks presently occurring in our country. Xenophobia is the ‘fear and hatred of strangers or foreigners or of anything that is strange or foreign’ (Merriam-Webster Dictionary), whereas afrophobia can be understood as the ‘fear and hatred of the cultures and people of Africa’.

The UFS strongly condemns all forms of xenophobic and afrophobic actions and thought and expresses its solidarity with the members of the University community hailing from other regions of the African continent and the world. The UFS is committed to promoting diversity, social justice, inclusivity, and transformation. Its University community is united in its diversity. The UFS cherishes diversity as a catalyst for positive change, innovative research, and cutting-edge teaching and learning. Xenophobic actions, threats or statements will never be tolerated at the UFS. The UFS is committed to nurturing and entrenching a human-rights culture and advocating human rights both within the context of the University and beyond.

Xenophobia, afrophobia and discrimination jeopardise the process of internationalisation at the University. They limit the international and multicultural exposure of our students, which are important to achieve graduate attributes and specifically to develop students’ international and intercultural competence. The UFS is strategically strengthening its collaborations and partnerships in Africa and beyond. It recognises the positive force of diversifying the knowledge paradigms with which it interacts. International staff members, postdoctoral fellows, and students make a significant contribution to the academic project, scholarship traditions, and intellectual diversity of the University. The management of the UFS will do all in its power to ensure the wellbeing of all members of its international University community.

Released by:
Lacea Loader (Director: Communication and Marketing)
Telephone: + 27 51 401 2584 | +27 51 401 2454
Email: news@ufs.ac.za | loaderl@ufs.ac.za
Fax: +27 51 444 6393

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