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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. 

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International visitors present session in good practice in undergraduate education


Three visiting professors from the United States of America (USA) presented sessions on principles for good practice in undergraduate education and blended and active learning for the division Teaching, Learning and Assessment and Staff Development at the University of the Free State’s (UFS) Centre for Higher Education Studies and Development (CHESD). Proff. Meghan Millea and Jon Rezek from the Mississippi State University and Prof. Claudia Parliament from the University of Minnesota are on sabbatical to work with Prof. Klopper Oosthuizen from the Department of Agricultural Economics, and the Free State Department of Education. The basis for their collaboration is to develop a stronger relationship between the UFS and the Department of Education in the advancement of economic education. At a discussion on educational matters were, from the left, front: Prof. Parliament, Mr Francois Marais (Director: CHESD), Prof. Millea; back: Dr Saretha Brüssow (Head: Teaching, Learning and Assessment at CHESD), Prof. Oosthuizen, and Prof. Rezek.
Photo: Leonie Bolleurs

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