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18 April 2019 | Story Rulanzen Martin

The Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice IRSJ) has initiated a Social Justice Week at the University of the Free State (UFS), which started on Friday 12 April  until Wednesday 17 April 2019. 

Ten key events took place during the week. It ranged from dialogues, workshops, talk shows, debates, and interactive displays and events on issues of multilingualism and diversity, social innovation, engaged scholarship, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, gender sensitisation, sexual consent, sexual preparedness, universal access, disability, anti-discrimination, and security.

There was also a round-table discussion on 17 April 2019 with various UFS stakeholders on off-campus student security as well as an inter-institutional discussion on the same topic. The UFS Debating Society will take on the topic of the UFS Language Policy, while Olga Barends from the Free State Centre for Human Rights will host a dialogue on sexual consent.

The IRSJ has also designed and implemented SOJO-VATION: Social Innovation/ Social Change, which strives to create a foundational platform where ideas of social justice, innovation, and engaged scholarship at the UFS and in society can be hosted. SOJO-VATION partners with the Office for Student Leadership, Development, and Community Engagement.

The collaborating partners for the Social Justice Week includes various UFS stakeholders such as the Sasol library, the Gender and Sexual Equity Office, UFS Protection Services, the Free State Centre for Human Rights, the Student Representative Council (SRC), the Office for Student Leadership Development, Kovsie Innovation, GALA, the FFree State Centre for Human Rights, SRC Associations, the Office for Student Governance, Kovsie Innovate, Start-Up-Grind, EVC, EBL, Community Engagement, the Institutional Transformation Plan (ITP) Dialogues Office, Residence Dialogues, UFS Debating Society, Debate Afrika!, the Center for Universal Access and Disability Support (CUADS), and the Gateway Office. 

News Archive

Visiting UK professor presents research project at CRHED
2017-04-12

Description: ' AM Bathmaker CRHED  Tags: AM Bathmaker CRHED

Prof Ann-Marie Bathmaker, University of Birmingham,
during her presentation at the UFS.

Photo: Eugene Seegers

Paired Peers: Pathways to social mobility—Investing in the future? Moving through HE and into employment was recently presented to staff and postdoctoral students by Prof Ann-Marie Bathmaker, from the University of Birmingham, during her visit to South Africa while working on the Miratho Research Project with CRHED. Prof Bathmaker’s research interest particularly focuses on issues of equity, social mobility, and social class inequalities. Her presentation, the second in the Higher Education Research Seminar series presented by CRHED, was based on research resulting from a seven-year project in England.

In the UK, higher education (HE) is considered a key route to social mobility. Interest has grown in graduate destinations, particularly the prospects and obstacles faced by graduates from different social backgrounds. Paired Peers followed 70 students throughout their undergraduate studies and into the working world.

The project explored the processes of social mobility, highlighting different orientations and practices towards investing in the future, which ranged from investing in the present to cultural entrepreneurship for the future.

Participants were selected from two universities in Bristol, England. The research team focused on three key themes: “Getting In” (access to HE), “Getting On” (financial limitations, friendships, accommodation), and “Getting Out” (holiday work, internships, and finding suitable graduate employment).

Prof Bathmaker was able to highlight key research findings, many of which resonated with those attending. From the question-and-answer session, it was clear that many issues regarding inclusivity, whether across gender, ethnic, or language barriers, find their parallels in the South African context and can be of benefit to higher education practitioners here.

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