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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

Academic addresses financial planning leaders at world summit
2010-05-04

Adv. Wessel Oosthuizen, Director of the Centre for Financial Planning Law at the University of the Free State (UFS), addressing financial leaders at the World Financial Planning Summit.


Adv. Wessel Oosthuizen, Director of the Centre for Financial Planning Law at the University of the Free State (UFS), is chair to four Financial Planning Standards Board (FPSB) expert panels that guide the global Certified Financial Planning (CFP) certification programme. At the recent World Financial Planning Summit, held in Taipei in China, he challenged a group of global financial planning leaders to support the formation of a global financial planning body of knowledge with sustainable career-path development opportunities.

He said: “For financial planning to be recognised as a distinct professional practice and a global profession, the financial planning community must establish a universal body of knowledge that is supported by applicable in-depth research.

“We need to establish how professional bodies should collaborate with academia to integrate a more competency-based education and training environment that combines theory with practice. Fostering and promoting comprehensive research in financial planning topics is another key challenge that must be addressed in order to develop a tertiary knowledge framework for the financial planning profession.”

Adv. Oosthuizen, who is playing a big role in providing consistent and rigorous education and assessment tools for financial planning in 2010, said that a bachelor’s degree should be a compulsory minimum requirement for practising financial planners.

About the learning curve between the academic and work environments in the financial planning profession, Adv. Oosthuizen said: “Implementing a career-path model that supports a more structured approach to apprenticeships and supervised practice would complement a specialised financial planning body of knowledge and provide entrants to the profession with the necessary theoretical knowledge and practical experience to offer competent and ethical financial planning.”

The World Financial Planning Summit engaged global leaders of more than 17 financial planning standards-setting bodies, as well as regulators, financial planning educators and other invited guests in a dialogue about the steps needed to gain recognition for financial planning as a distinct, global profession.
 

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