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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 Council wishes outgoing rector well
2008-09-05

Statement by Judge Faan Hancke, Chairperson of the UFS Council

The Council of the University of the Free State (UFS) hereby expresses its heartfelt thanks and appreciation to Prof. Frederick Fourie for his contribution to building and developing the UFS. His association with the UFS stretches over a period of 40 years – first as a student, later as a lecturer, dean, vice-rector and finally as rector and vice-chancellor.

When the University was operating at a loss during 2000 and it was in a financial crisis, he came up with a financial turn-around strategy which took the UFS out of this crisis to a position where it can annually spend considerable amounts on strategic projects. This led to large amounts being invested in the academia and especially research. As a result, the UFS’s research capacity and research equipment has been expanded. Since 2003 research outputs increased with about 50%, which is a great achievement for the UFS’s researchers and its faculties.

Progress was also made with diversity, the UFS’s balanced multilingualism policy in the academia as well as administration, employment equity, the transformation plan and the institutional charter. Under his leadership there was an upgrading and extension of the infrastructure, academic buildings and facilities as well as support services and student facilities.

Prof. Fourie has an excellent intellect and exceptional abilities which can still make a huge contribution to the improvement of the South African society. As a result of personal consideration and after 4 decades’ association with the UFS including 5 years in a leading position, Prof. Fourie decided to step down. The Council respects this decision and wishes him success and best wishes.

The process of appointing a new rector and vice-chancellor will follow the normal recruitment procedure of the UFS. In terms of this procedure a representative committee of Council, which includes all stakeholders of the UFS, will consider applications that are received.

Applications will be invited through an open and targeted process of recruitment advertising, locally, nationally and internationally to broaden the pool of applicants.

Within this process Council has expressed the view that applications from the designated groups in terms of Employment Equity must be encouraged.

It is also Council’s wish that this process be completed as soon as is possible, within the approved procedure.

Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@ufs.ac.za  
12 September 2008
 

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