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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

New Rector and Chancellor inaugurated at UFS
2003-02-07

NEW RECTOR AND CHANCELLOR INAUGURATED AT UFS

 Newly inaugurated Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Free State, Prof Frederick Fourie, has recommitted the university to the service of the broader community, through the pursuit of academic excellence and contributing to building a non-racial, democratic and just South Africa.

To make this a reality Prof Fourie proposed a social contract or accord between university constituencies and the community to chart the way forward to establishing a university that can meet the challenges of a developing democracy.

Prof Fourie was speaking at his inauguration ceremony on the Bloemfontein campus, where the former Ambassador to the United States, Dr Franklin Sonn, was also inaugurated as Chancellor of the UFS.

The twin inauguration ceremony – the first in the history of the UFS - was attended by former President Nelson Mandela, Education Minister, Kader Asmal, Free State Premier Winki Direko, and the executive mayor of Mangaung, Mr Pappie Mokoena, who all endorsed the appointments as evidence of the transformation of the UFS.

According to Prof Fourie, the greatest contribution that any university could make to social and economic development in South Africa was by being an excellent university that encouraged critical inquiry, scientific knowledge as well as community service.

“So whilst we cherish and foster the continuity of the university as part of the ageold international tradition of universities, this University embraces its particular role in this country now, embraces the changes in the form and scope of its role in this crucial period of our history. We are committed to making a real difference to the new nation,” he said.

His vision for the UFS was “to be a university of excellence, equity and innovation – a leader in research, teaching, community service, adult learning, transformation, non-racialism, non-sexism, multi-culturality and multilingualism – a contributor to our country and our continent’s growth and development – a truly South African university”.

Prof Fourie said the recent incorporation of the Qwaqwa campus of the University of the North into the University of the Free State, which is the first such incorporation to take place, would contribute to broadening access for poor communities to higher education. Introducing an innovation to the inauguration ceremony, Prof Fourie and the UFS staff pledged to their commitment to excellence and justice, quality and equity. Fourie is the 13th Rector of the University of the Free State, succeeding Prof. Stef Coetzee, and Dr Sonn is the 6th Chancellor, succeeding Ms Winkie Direko, Premier of the Free State.

In his inaugural address, Dr Sonn said the significance of today’s ceremony was that the UFS - as a former institution of the Afrikaner – had chosen to walk the path of justice and not merely survival. “This university has seemingly liberated itself. It is inclusively South African.

He said the academic community must play its role of vigilance and not indifference”. Referring to the stature of former president Mandela in international affairs, Dr Sonn said: “We must bring the weight ot science and critical analysis and interpretation to bear in support of Madiba and other moral giants.”
 

 

Inauguration Speech by Prof. Frederick C.v.N. Fourie  (PDF format)

Inauguration Speech by Dr Franklin A. Sonn (PDF format)

Statement by the Minister of Education, Professor Kader Asmal (PDF format)

Speech by Prof. Viljoen (PDF format)

Speech by Executive Mayor Mokoena - Mangaung Local Municipality (PDF format)

 

 

 

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