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07 May 2019 | Story Valentino Ndaba | Photo Charl Devenish
Noko Masalesa
Noko Masalesa, Director of Protection Services, in conversation with students and stakeholders to plan a safe way forward.

Safety and security are human rights that constitute social justice. At the centre of the agenda at the University of the Free State’s (UFS) Social Justice Week held on the Bloemfontein Campus from 17-22 April 2019 were discussions about off-campus safety. Stakeholders agreed on an upgrade to security measures in order to ensure the success and wellbeing of the student population.

A call to students

Prof John Mubangizi, Dean of the Faculty of Law, in his capacity as representative of the UFS Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Francis Petersen, expressed his view on institutions of higher learning no longer functioning as ivory towers. “For any initiative to succeed, collaboration is necessary between key roleplayers,” he said.

He aptly pointed out that: “We cannot underscore the importance of safety and security, not only for the university but also for the communities around us. What the university does benefits the community and vice versa. I pledge the university’s commitment to play a leading part to ensure that the collaboration works,” said Prof Mubangizi.

Beefing up security: Who is involved?

In view of the collaborative effort Prof Mubangizi alluded to, the engagement was twofold. First was the roundtable discussion facilitated by Protection Services which then escalated into a public dialogue where students had the opportunity to interact with external delegates.

The South African Police Services, Community Police Forum, Private Security, Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality, Provincial Commissioner, and Deputy Minister of Police were well represented in this critical conversation. Internally, members of Protection Services, Housing and Residence Affairs, Student Affairs, Institute for Social Justice and Reconciliation, Student Representative Council, and the Department of Criminology heard the plight of off-campus safety faced by students.

Changes in the horizon

The discussions culminated with recommendations which will see the future of student safety take a different direction. According to Skhululekile Luwaca, former SRC president, these include “the municipality’s commitment to immediately address issues such as street lights and enforcing by-laws, ensuring an integrated accreditation system, and drafting a policy for off-campus accommodation, running more crime awareness campaigns, and giving police patrols more visibility.”

In addition to resolving to set up a student safety forum with all the stakeholders, the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality has invited the UFS to join Reclaim the City – a safety forum where practical solutions to crime are devised and implemented on a weekly basis.


News Archive

Department of Architecture receives unconditional validation
2017-08-30

Description: Arch SACAP  Tags: National and International validation, South African Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP), Commonwealth Association of Architects (CAA) 

In the 2017 validation portfolio was the
dissertation: Revealing the Invisible
by Laura-Anne Fox
. Photo: Supplied



Earlier this year the Department of Architecture at the University of the Free State (UFS) received unconditional validation nationally from the South African Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP) and internationally from the Commonwealth Association of Architects (CAA). SACAP aspires towards people-centred architecture for South Africa.

Register as professionals in the industry
The broad aim of the validation session is to safeguard standards in architectural education and for professional registration. 

Accordingd to Jako Olivier, Programme Director of the Department of Architecture at UFS, unconditional validation sanctions that the three professional oriented degrees are aligned with national and international education standards. The degrees, BArch, BArch Hons and MArch (Professional), then also meet the prescribed national standards of registration compatible with international standards. 

Department proud of calibre students
The validation is effective for five years; from 2017 to 2022. 

The department is proud of the calibre of students they guide towards employment in the architectural field. Graduates from the department find employment at leading architectural firms nationally and internationally.  

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