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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

University publishes its Integrated Report
2013-08-23

23 August 2013

The university is proud to have published an integrated report in line with the King III requirements on corporate governance. The university is one of the first universities – if not the first – in South Africa to do so. The UFS sees integrated reporting as a public process through which we report to all our stakeholders, using evidence-based data, on the achievements and challenges of a public university.

Our first Integrated Report reviews the overall performance, non-financial and financial, of the UFS for the 2012 academic year. It is the first report of its kind delivered to stakeholders and guided by the King III framework which recommends integrated, sustainable performance that is reported in a way that enables stakeholders to make an informed assessment of an institution.

The Integrated Report notes that the conditions under which higher education institutions operate have become more demanding in the last two decades and there is a growing need for universities to be more explicit and transparent about the manner in which their core functions (teaching, research and public duty), as well as its administrative operations, are defined by and support good governance, sustainability and corporate citizenship.

The university welcomes this opportunity to present in public an integrated account of itself. In particular, the UFS sees this report as an opportunity to align more strongly its financial and non-financial reporting in pursuit of organisational sustainability and social transformation in South Africa.

Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector, notes in the report that in the past four years the university has made significant progress in respect of its two foundational commitments, the Academic Project and the Human Project.

There are now more students entering the university who satisfy the higher requirements set for admission. “This will improve the throughput and graduation rates of incoming students, ensuring their personal success and satisfaction with higher education.” The establishment of a state-of-the-art Postgraduate School, for example, is expected to increase the number, quality and success rates of postgraduate students.

The research output has increased steadily and the contribution of the new Senior Professors project, as well as the five research clusters, have helped to improve the quality of research and the spread of postgraduate recruitment beyond South Africa.

On transformation, the Vice-Chancellor observes that “We have made significant progress in building inclusive, democratic and embracing campus cultures which affirm the value and dignity of all students and staff. With the steady increase of black students in a majority black campus, our goal remains to retain our diversity in a university that serves as an experiment in teaching students to live and learn and love together.”

Financial sustainability is a major commitment and the UFS has not only maintained its record of unqualified audits, but has steadily built a culture of risk management and performance evaluation throughout the system. Internal auditing is a strong instrument in our arsenal to secure financial and operational compliance in every department of the university.

“What integrates the systems and functions of the university is the alignment of everything we do with our two pillars, the Academic and Human Projects, built on a solid foundation of professional support services as described in the Strategic Plan adopted in 2012. In the process of preparing the Integrated Report we discovered how much still needs to be done to align the still disparate and independent activities of the three campuses, seven faculties and more than 100 departments of this large university,” according to the Vice-Chancellor.

The report is available at: http://www.ufs.ac.za/content.aspx?id=184.

 

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