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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 appoints top academic
2010-05-13

 
Prof. Kwandiwe Kondlo


The University of the Free State (UFS) has acquired the services of a well-known political analyst, Prof. Kwandiwe Kondlo, as a Senior Professor in the university’s Centre for Africa Studies (CAS).

Prof. Kondlo, who worked for the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) prior to this permanent appointment, is an accomplished researcher and a well-heeled scholar in issues of transitional democracies, governance and social justice.

“I joined this university particularly because of its difficult history and what I have observed to be a sincere orientation to transform,” he said.

“I think that under the leadership of Prof. Jonathan Jansen (Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS) and his team we are going to see a very interesting rebirth of the University of the Free State. And some of us who believe in ideas of reconciliation in negotiated democracies as part of nation formation actually feel we should throw the best we have into the transformation process and support this great guy.”

“I see my appointment as part of the excellence aspect of the transformation journey because the UFS, even though it does good work in certain areas, is not highly rated in terms of academic excellence and publications. That is why I was glad to be appointed to make a humble contribution,” he said.

“I think it is going to be useful to the UFS to have more people of high academic standing because the idea to improve scholarship is very central and of course shifts the focus to scholarly discourse. Let scholarly excellence reclaim the centre of the debate as the leadership deal with legacy issues and genuine transformation.”

“Let us see academics from this institution stand up to articulate key issues that are relevant to state formations and transformation in the country. Let us debate our role as academics in supporting the consolidation of our young democracy”

Prof. Kondlo sees his key role within the CAS as improving research output.

“In other words, I see myself as leading the way in the generation of journal articles, books and also national and international seminars,” he explained.

He said a lot of work still needed to be done, though, to profile the CAS nationally and on the continent as it was still a new initiative and thus relatively unknown.

“We will need to be very innovative in terms of research initiatives and identification of research associates in order to profile the work of the Centre,” he said.

“I think the UFS will claim its seat in the greater African academic family by virtue of the quality of its products. We do not want to re-invent the wheel; we want to come up with products that are unique and in that way help this university to claim its rightful position within the greater African academic family.”

Prof. Kondlo has also worked for, amongst others, the Department of Land Affairs, the National Prosecuting Authority and the South African Chamber of Commerce, as well as being involved with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Media Release
Issued by: Mangaliso Radebe
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2828
Cell: 078 460 3320
E-mail: radebemt@ufs.ac.za  
13 May 2010
 

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