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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

Distinguished Kovsie medical student bestowed with Abe Bailey Bursary
2013-10-14

14 October 2013

Residence head, SRC member, Golden Key International Honour Society member and now: Abe Bailey scholar as well. These are some of the achievements and leadership titles that Michael van Niekerk, a fourth-year MBChB student at our university, has under his belt.

One of 18 South Africans countrywide, Van Niekerk is to visit institutions in England and Scotland as a recipient of the prestigious Abe Bailey Travel Bursary for 2013. The scholarship acknowledges excellence in academics, leadership and community service and is awarded annually to third-year students and/or junior lecturers not older than 25 years of age.

The recipients of the 2013 Abe Bailey scholarship leave for Cape Town on 20 November 2013 to attend a two-day orientation process. Following this, they will then travel to London and Edinburgh, where they will visit universities, as well as places of interest such as London’s House of Lords.

Van Niekerk, who recently visited the USA as part of the Golden Key International Honour Society’s International Scholar Laureate programme, says it is an incredible honour to be this year’s Abe Bailey recipient for the UFS. "I am very blessed to not only excel in the medical field, but also in leadership and other aspects and I believe that this is absolutely grace from Above. I believe that this is an opportunity and a step to a better future. I don’t believe in being average and believe that this is an opportunity to prove myself and achieve more."

This Kovsie student says he has great plans for the future. "If it is God’s will, I would very much like to specialise in neurosurgery, cardiothoracic surgery or trauma surgery. I would like to be part of the Rhodes Scholarship and would strive to reach it."

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