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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

Spring graduation ceremony
2008-09-15

Law awards largest number of doctorates 

The Faculty of Law at the University of the Free State (UFS) this week awarded four doctorate degrees during the spring graduation ceremony, which took place on the Main Campus in Bloemfontein. This is the largest number of doctorates awarded by the faculty during one graduation ceremony. Here are, from the left: Dr Tjaart Maré, Dr Ilze Keevy, and Dr Pierre Rabie. Dr Daniel Mekonnen was absent when the photo was taken. Photo: Leonie Bolleurs

 

UFS awards degrees
 

The University of the Free State's (UFS) spring graduation ceremony took place on the Main Campus in Bloemfontein this week. Altogether 840 diplomas and degrees were awarded. Here are, from the left: Mss Mamokete Marokane, who obtained a B.Com. Human Resource Management degree, Elzaan Jacobs, who obtained a B.Com. Accounting degree, and Mmanyefolo Mosia, who also obtained a B.Com. Accounting degree. Photo: Leonie Bolleurs

 The University of the Free State's (UFS) spring graduation ceremony took place on the Main Campus in Bloemfontein this week. Altogether 840 diplomas and degrees were awarded. Here are, from the left: Mr Roger Potgieter, M.B.A. degree, Ms Amanda Share, M.B.A. degree, Zarita Naudé, B.Com. Accounting, and Mr Kobus van den Berg, M.B.A. degree. Photo: Leonie Bolleurs

 

UFS awards extraordinary degree 

Prof. Ivan Horak, extraordinary professor at the University of the Free State's (UFS) Department of Zoology and Entomology, this week became the third person in the history of the UFS to receive the D.Sc. degree. The degree was awarded to him during the spring graduation ceremony which took place on the Main Campus in Bloemfontein. Here are, from the left: Prof. Jo van As, Head of the Department of Zoology and Entomology, Prof. Horak, and Ms Ellie van Dalen, Lecturer at the UFS Department of Zoology and Entomology.
Photo: Leonie Bolleurs

 

UFS awards doctorate degrees 

Altoghether 29 doctorate degrees were awarded this week during the University of the Free State's (UFS) spring graduation ceremony on the Main Campus in Bloemfontein. During the chancellor's dinner are, from the left: Dr Anabela Da Silva, a student from Mozambique who obtained a Ph.D. in Plant Breeding, Prof. Maryke Labuschagne, UFS Department of Plant Sciences and promoter of Dr Da Silva, Dr Edward Jurua, a student from Uganda who obtained his Ph.D. in Astro Physics, and Dr Pieter Meintjes, from the UFS Department of Physics and promoter of Dr Jurua.
Photo: Gerhard Louw

 

Spring graduation ceremony
 

Dr. Meshach Aziakpono (middle) is one of the students of the University of the Free State (UFS) who obtained a Ph.D. (Economics) during the spring graduation ceremony on the Main Campus in Bloemfontein. Here he is with Prof. Phillipe Burger (left), Head of the Department of Economics at the UFS and mentor of Dr Aziakpono, and Prof. Stan du Plessis (right), Department of Economics at Stellenbosch University and co-mentor of Dr Aziakpono.
Photo: Gerhard Louw

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