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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.


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Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences gives a warm welcome
2010-02-17

From left: Sanet Snoer and Elanie van der Westhuizen, two of the coordinators of the Academic Support Programme at the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences.
Photo: Supplied


The Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences at the University of the Free State (UFS) recently held a welcoming event for their B.Com four year curriculum students.
The event focused on the Academic Support Programme that is initiated by the Teaching and Learning division of the faculty. The programme is coordinated by Dr Liezel Massyn, Sanet Snoer and Elanie van der Westhuizen from the Faculty and a large group of around 350 students attended the welcoming event.

According to Me Snoer, the aim of the support programme is to improve throughput rates amongst students. A programme such as this one will help all the students form part of an ever-growing academic culture.

At the event the importance and purpose of the programme was put under the spotlight.
One of the objectives of the programme is to help the students learn how to apply the skills that they learn in the Skills for Lifelong Learning module on the content of two academic modules (Human Resource Management and Business Management).

The students were introduced to the facilitators and faculty staff involved. They had the opportunity to ask questions about any unclear aspects of the programme. Afterwards, the students received guidance whilst registering for the support sessions.
- Lize du Plessis

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