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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

Number of NRF-rated researchers increases in 2012
2012-10-29

29 October 2012

Three researchers at the University of the Free State received B-ratings for 2013 from the National Research Foundation (NRF). Prof. Johan Henning, Dean of Law, obtained the highest rating in his field of mercantile law in South Africa, a B1.

Prof. Jackie Naudé from Classical and Near Eastern Studies and Prof. Dingie Janse van Rensburg, Professor Extraordinary at the Centre for Health Systems Research and Development, also obtained B3-ratings. Prof. Naudé is the first B-rated researcher in the Faculty of Humanities.
Prof. Helene Strauss obtained the highest rating (Y1) for a UFS young scholar in the Humanities.
In total, the NRF rated researchers at the UFS grew from 95 in 2011 to 109 in 2012, a growth of almost 15 percent.
The NRF ratings committee consist of three reviewers from South Africa and three from abroad. A rating is valid for six years and researchers must reapply for rating before the end of that period.
For a B1-rating all reviewers must be firmly convinced that the applicant enjoys considerable international recognition for the high quality of the researcher’s recent output, with some indicating that the researcher is a leading international scholar in a field. For a B3-rating most of the reviewers must be convinced that the researcher enjoys international recognition for the high quality and impact of the research.
Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector, said in the UFS Research Report “The UFS now has among the highest number of NRF-rated scientists per size of the academic faculty and we have seen the productivity graph bear witness to a record growth in our funded research outputs; we have won our first-ever NRF/DST Research Chairs. In each of these achievements, the excellence we seek comes with and through the diversity we celebrate.”
More ratings and renewals were expected by the time of Bult went to print.. More than 35 researchers applied for ratings or renewal of ratings.
  • Colleagues who were admitted to the prestigious Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) are Profs. Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, Driekie Hay, Heidi Hudson, Lodewyk Kock, Odireleng Ntwaeaborwa, Hugh Patterton, Ian Phimister and Melanie Walker. ASSAf was established in 1996 with the mission of using science for the benefit of society. New members are elected after nomination by four existing members (at least two of whom do so from personal knowledge of the candidate). ASSAf has some 350 members and represents South Africa in the international community of science academies.
  • Dr Marieka Gryzenhout of Plant Sciences became a member of South African Young Academy of Science (SAYAS). SAYAS celebrated its first year in 2012. It was launched as a means to enable South Africa’s young scientists to fully participate in locally and internationally relevant research and development agendas. Prof. Aldo Stroebel, Director: Internationalisation, is also a member of SAYAS.

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