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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 becomes the first university in Africa to sign a memorandum of understanding with the United Nations University
2009-12-01

 During the signing of the memorandum of agreement between DiMTEC and the United Nations University in Bonn, Germany were, from the left, seated: Prof. Konrad Osterwalder, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Rector of the United Nations University; and Prof. Herman van Schalkwyk, Dean of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences at the UFS; back: Prof. Dusan Sakulski, Academic Officer, UNU Cooperative Unit for South Africa; and Mr Andries Jordaan, Director of DiMTEC at the UFS.
Photo: Supplied
 
The University of the Free State (UFS) has become the first university in Africa to sign a memorandum of understanding with the United Nations University. The memorandum of understanding was negotiated by Mr Andries Jordaan, Director of the UFS's Disaster Management Training and Education Centre for Africa (DiMTEC).

Mr Jordaan negotiated with the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) to foster a relationship and combine their pool of resources for training in different aspects of Disaster Management. A triangular agreement between DiMTEC, UNU-EHS and the University of Novi Sad in Serbia will be established in three phases. The first phase is the signing of a memorandum of understanding between DiMTEC and UNU-EHS. This phase was completed in September 2009, when Prof. Konrad Osterwalder, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Rector of the United Nations University, and Prof. Herman van Schalkwyk, Dean of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences at the UFS signed the memorandum in Bonn, Germany. The second phase is a memorandum of understanding between UNU-EHS and the University of Novi Sad.

The memorandum of understanding entails among others joint projects between DiMTEC and the UNU-EHS, research for specific projects, exchange of lecturers and that the UNU will assist DiMTEC with external evaluation. As a result of this memorandum, the two universities have already combined their pool of resources by presenting a vulnerability short course and a visitation to the Republic of the Congo.

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