Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Previous Archive
22 August 2018
Prof Coetzee is retelling old stories in a new book
"Failing to Learn Doomed to repeat" was one of the bookworks on display.

The title of Prof Jan K Coetzee’s latest book, Books & Bones & Other Things, says it all. The book looks into the many aspects that have built our society by presenting in a new way the stories contained in old books collected over the years. 

Prof Coetzee is a Senior Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of the Free State (UFS). Books & Bones & Other Things was launched on 14 August 2018 and coincided with an exhibition of various “bookworks”   art installations by Prof Coetzee that feature old books, sculptures, artefacts, and fossils.
 
Book resulting from research programme 
   

“This is a book on books so the library is the perfect venue to launch a book on old texts as documents of life,” said Prof Coetzee.

For the past seven years he has been directing a Master’s and PhD programme in Sociology called The Narrative Study of Lives. His project, Documents of Life, from which this book came, focuses on a collection of old texts the oldest of which dates back to 1605.

“We live in storytelling societies and for as long as we can remember we have been telling stories. Over time the ability to produce books was born. Any collection of books can tell you a lot about your own life and the society you live in."

“I cannot read the stories of many of these old books because their narratives are closed. I have to re-narrate the books, change the narrative convention and present them in a way that makes sense to me. By combining the books with art and artefacts I want the books to tell their ancient stories in new ways.”

Book launches and intellectual discussions

At the book launch, Prof Corli Witthuhn, Vice-Rector: Research said: “What we have achieved with this launch and exhibition is unbelievable. We always try to create an intellectual space in the library.

“A book such as this is the pinnacle of an academic career. It is multidisciplinary and it looks at the world in a different way. That is what scholarship is about.”

A painting by Robert Hodgins was also handed over to the Johannes Stegmann Gallery, home of the corporate collection of the UFS, at the event. 

News Archive

UFS researcher selected as emerging voice
2016-11-03

Description: Andre Janse van Rensburg  Tags: Andre Janse van Rensburg

André Janse van Rensburg, researcher at the
Centre for Health Systems Research and Development
at the University of the Free State, will be spending
almost three weeks in Vancouver, Canada. He will be
attending the Emerging Voices for Global Health programme
and Global Symposium on Health Systems Research.
Photo: Jóhann Thormählen

His research on the implementation of the Integrated School Health Programme (ISHP) in rural South Africa led to André Janse van Rensburg being selected to become part of the Emerging Voices for Global Health (EV4GH) group.

It is a collection of young, promising health policy and systems researchers, decision-makers and other health system professionals. A total of 222 applications from 50 countries were received for this programme, from 3-19 November 2016 in Vancouver, Canada.

The EV4GH is linked to the fourth Global Symposium on Health Systems Research (HSR2016), from 14-18 November 2016. It also taking place in Vancouver and Janse van Rensburg will be taking part, thanks to his research on the ISHP in the Maluti-a-Phofung area. He is a researcher at the Centre for Health Systems Research & Development (CHSR&D) at the University of the Free State (UFS).

The theme of the HSR2016 is Resilient and Responsive Health Systems for a Changing World. It is organised every two years by Health Systems Global to bring together roleplayers involved in health systems and policy research and practice.

Janse van Rensburg also part of Health Systems Global network
The EV4GH goals relate to the strengthening of global health systems and policies, particularly from the Global South (low-to-middle income countries with chronic health system challenges). The initiative involves workshops, presentations, and interactive discussions related to global health problems and solutions.

As an EV4GH alumni, Janse van Rensburg will become part of the Health Systems Global network. Partnering institutions include public health institutes from China, India, South Africa, Belgium, and the UK.

“The EV4GH is for young, promising health
policy and systems researchers, decision-makers
and other health system professionals.”

Research aims to explore implementation of schools health programme
In 2012, the ISHP was introduced in South Africa. This policy forms part of the government's Primary Health Care Re-engineering Programme and is designed to offer a comprehensive and integrated package of health services to all pupils across all educational phases.

Janse van Rensburg, along with Dr Asta Rau, Director of the CHSR&D, aimed to explore and describe implementation of the ISHP. The goals were to assess the capacity and resources available for implementation, identify barriers that hamper implementation, detect enabling factors and successful aspects of implementation and disseminate best practices in, and barriers to, ISPH implementation with recommendations to policymakers, managers and practitioners.

“A lot of people were saying they don’t
have enough resources to adequately
implement the policy as it is supposed to
be implemented.”

Findings of project in Maluti-a-Phofung area
Janse van Rensburg said the ISHP had various strengths. “People were impressed with the integrated nature of the policy and the way people collaborated across disciplines and departments. The school team were found to work very well with the schools and gel well with the educators and principles.”

He said the main weakness of the implementation was resources. “A lot of people were saying they don’t have enough resources to adequately implement the policy as it is supposed to be implemented.

“Another drawback is the referral, because once you identify a problem with a child, the child needs to be referred to a hospital or clinic.” He means once a child gets referred, there is no way of knowing whether the child has been helped and in many cases there is no specialist at the hospital.

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. To better understand how they are used, read more about the UFS cookie policy. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.

Accept