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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

Prof Lis Lange appointed as Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning at UCT
2017-12-11


 Description: Prof Lis Lange appointed as Deputy Vice-Chancellor UCT Tags: Prof Lis Lange appointed as Deputy Vice-Chancellor UCT 

Prof Lis Lange, Vice-Rector: Academic at the UFS. 
Photo: Stephen Collet 

Prof Lis Lange, Vice-Rector: Academic at the University of the Free State (UFS), has been appointed as Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning at the University of Cape Town (UCT) as from 1 February 2018.

Significant contribution at the UFS 

"Prof Lange has played a significant role in developing and transforming the academic profile of the university. She has done outstanding work, inter alia, in developing a robust framework for academic planning; assisting with developing the Integrated Transformation Plan (ITP) which was recently approved by the UFS Council, as well as the newly approved Strategic Plan of the UFS for 2018-2023; driving the work of some of the Vice-Chancellor’s Task Teams; and various other strategic projects," says Prof Francis Petersen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS.

Portfolio at UCT

"On behalf of the executive management, I wish her all success in the new portfolio. She brings to her new portfolio at UCT a wealth of experience in the higher-education sector. Prof Lange is a well-known specialist in South African higher education and has made an important contribution to the study of systemic and institutional transformation, academic freedom, and curriculum," says Prof Petersen.

Prof Lange's portfolio at UCT will entail developing, implementing, and monitoring programmes and progress towards the teaching and learning goals of UCT's strategic plan; promoting the use of technology in education and the advancement of online learning; oversight of academic planning, quality assurance, and quality promotion through the Department of Institutional Planning, as well as having oversight over the six faculties at UCT.

Prof Hendri Kroukamp, Dean of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, will be acting Vice-Rector: Academic as from 1 February 2018 until a suitable appointment is made.

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