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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

UFS receives R3,284 million to research biosafety of genetically modified crops
2009-03-17

A testing facility at the University of the Free State (UFS), which is the only one of its kind in South Africa and a leader in its field in Africa, has received a grant of R3,284 million from the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) to do research on the biosafety of genetically modified crops in South Africa.

Prof. Chris Viljoen of the Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) Testing Facility at the UFS says the grant forms part of a collaborative agreement between South Africa and Norway on the biosafety of GMOs.

The grant also makes provision for two M.Sc. bursaries as well as a regional biosafety workshop.

The research will focus on gene flow between genetically modified (GM) maize and non-GM maize and the potential impact thereof on the development of insect resistance.

Prof. Viljoen, who is head of Human Molecular Biology in the Department of Haematology and Cell Biology, says it is an honour to be selected to take part in the project and is groundbreaking in terms of GM maize on the environment. The project was initiated in 2009 and will run until the end of 2010.

The multi-institutional research include partners from the UFS, research groups from the University of North-West, the University of Fort Hare as well as SANBI and GenØk, the Norwegian centre for Gene Ecology. The GMO Testing Facility at the UFS was established in 2003 to perform routine GM detection for grain and food products in South Africa. The activities also include research into GM detection and biosafety of GM crops.

Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@ufs.ac.za
17 March 2009
 
 
Prof. Chris Viljoen of the Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) Testing Facility at the UFS.
Photo: Supplied

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