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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 Council unanimously approves two senior appointments
2014-11-24

The Council of the University of the Free State (UFS) unanimously approved the appointment of Dr Lis Lange as Vice-Rector: Academic and Prof Sechaba Mahlomaholo as Dean: Education during its meeting on Friday 21 November 2014.

Dr Lis Lange is currently Acting Vice-Rector: Academic at the University of the Free State, where she holds a substantive position as Senior Director heading the Directorate for Institutional Research and Academic Planning (DIRAP). Prof Mahlomaholo is Head of the School of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology Education at the UFS.

“These are two exceptional and trusted academics with international stature and I am delighted to welcome them as part of the senior leadership of the UFS. Dr Lange’s skills set pertaining to academic management and quality assurance make her one of only a few people with similar skills in the country, while Prof Mahlomaholo is a leading expert in community-based education,” says Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS.

Dr Lange joined the UFS in 2011. Before this, she was the Executive Director (2006-2010) of the Higher Education Quality Committee of the Council of Higher Education (CHE), and Acting CEO of the same organisation between August 2007 and April 2008. She has been involved in the development and implementation of science and technology and higher education policy in South Africa for a decade and a half, working in different capacities in the Human Sciences Research Council, the National Research Foundation and the Council on Higher Education. Dr Lange has served as a member of the board of the International Network of Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE) and has participated in several international initiatives on quality assurance. She is the editor of an academic journal focused on the humanities, Acta Academica.

She has undertaken research and published in the fields of history, higher education and quality assurance. Her major concern in both research and practice is the role of higher education in the development of democratic societies, based on social justice. Dr Lange studied in Argentina, Mexico and South Africa, where she obtained a PhD in South African history from the University of the Witwatersrand.

Prof Mahlomaholo is a graduate of the Universities of the North, Western Cape and Harvard University in the United States. He is a National Research Foundation (NRF)-rated Professor of Education.

Before joining the UFS, he worked at six other universities where he was Deputy Dean in the Faculty of Education (UNIN-QwaQwa), Head of Professional Education (Vista University), Professor and Director of Research and Postgraduate Studies (MEDUNSA), Professor and Director of Curriculum Development (Central University of Technology), and Research Professor (North-West University).

His research interests lie in designing strategies mounted on Bricolage, Participatory Action Research and Critical Emancipatory Research as theoretical bases. He leads the NRF-sponsored project on the creation of Sustainable Learning Environments in schools. In this Participatory Action Research project, 28 PhD and 22 MEd students participate under the guidance of 15 academics. The project has relationships with the Global Network project (St Petersburg University), the Post-Colonial Education project (West Indies University) and the Discourse, Power, Resistance project (Plymouth University and now University of London). He has served as guest editor in the following ISI-indexed, peer-reviewed and accredited journals: the South African Journal of Higher Education (2010 and 2014), the South African Journal of Education (2011), Communitas (2012), the Journal of New Generation Sciences (2012), the Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa (2013) and the Journal of Education Studies (2013).

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