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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

Young academic receives BRICS research funding
2017-04-13

Description: Dr Thulisile Mphambukeli  Tags: Dr Thulisile Mphambukeli

Dr Thulisile Mphambukeli and Dr Victor Okorie
from the Department of Urban and Regional Planning
at the University of the Free State.
Photo: Rulanzen Martin

“It means a lot to me, as I am a young academic embarking on my postdoctoral research project. To be able to lead a team of researchers from various research institutions in South Africa is humbling.” This is what Dr Thulisile Mphambukeli had to say on being awarded a research grant by the South African BRICS Think Tank.

The think tank, in collaboration with the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS), awarded the lecturer in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of the Free State (UFS) R150 000. She will spearhead a research project between BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) universities. “They have awarded me a three-month grant to facilitate a process of combining various research projects under the BRICS Academic Cluster,” Dr Mphambukeli said.

Platform provides collaboration

“The academic cluster provides a platform for researchers and academics to engage in ongoing collaboration,” she said. The grant will enable her and her research partner, Dr Victor Okorie, postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the UFS, to put together a research proposal to be submitted at the end of May 2017. If successful, her team will conduct a research study across BRICS countries over a period of three years. It will be done in collaboration with various South African universities, who will form a team to collaborate with researchers from BRICS universities.

Great accomplishment for UFS
“The funds we have received are quite a great accomplishment for the UFS and our department,” Dr Okorie said. The UFS has become a force to be reckoned with when it comes to emerging issues in BRICS politics and policies. “Our project looks at the provision of ecosystems, agriculture, and security and the UFS was chosen as the host institution.”

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