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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

UFS ICT Services mentioned among global PeopleSoft pioneers
2017-10-23

 Description: Andrew read more Tags: ICT services, technology, innovations, PeopleSoft, Oracle, students, IT, awards 

Andrew Jusjong, Chief Officer: ICT, one of the main drivers
of PeopleSoft at the UFS. 
Photo: Rulanzen Martin

At the beginning of his term, the Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Free State (UFS), Prof Francis Petersen, mentioned to parents and prospective students the importance of the UFS being recognised globally as innovators. 

This month, Information and Communication Technology Services (ICT Services) were recognised by Oracle as one of the PeopleSoft Innovators at the Oracle OpenWorld (an international conference regarding all Oracle products) for deploying student self-service, using PeopleSoft Campus Solutions’ new Fluid user interface.  

Andrew Jusjong, Chief Officer: ICT, says, “This solution allows dynamic administrative setup regarding available degrees, customised messages, dynamic required degree-specific documentation, and integration with the Applications and Admissions module.”  He says it also includes self-service functionality that allows students to track the status of their applications, and provide additional documentation required for their study choices.

“The UFS is the only innovator in the European, Middle-Eastern and African region. Considering that the development team at the UFS is much smaller than their international counterparts, this illustrates that we do not have to stand back for our international peers regarding service delivery and the quality of service to our customers,” he says.

The PeopleSoft Innovator awards are presented to companies that are taking advantage of the latest capabilities and technologies provided by Oracle PeopleSoft in order to transform their businesses and their IT practices, while also providing benefits to the business and end users. The UFS has been making use of PeopleSoft applications since 2004. It currently makes use of three applications:

- PeopleSoft Financials for procurement, budgeting, billing, asset management, general ledger, journals, provisioning, payroll, commitment control, ad hoc claims, travel and expenses, and maintenance management.
- PeopleSoft Human Capital Management for HR data processes, recruitment, workforce management, remuneration management, leave management, employee self-service, and other HR activities; and 
- PeopleSoft Campus Solutions for student lifecycle management, applications and admissions, curriculum management, programme enrolment, student records, student financials (accounts), financial aid, graduation, alumni management, graduate research management, residences, and student self-service.

In the Higher Education sector, PeopleSoft is being used by over 900 campuses in 34 countries, across six continents. “This means that recognition was given to the university on a global platform,” says Jusjong.

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