Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Years
2017 2018 2019
Previous Archive
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 supports SAASTA in science initiative
2010-08-27

Romeo Motsie, Michelle Baadjies, Puleng Phalole and Thato Ntsebeng from the winning school, Unicom Primary School (Tweespruit) with Susan Usher, their teacher.

The National Astronomy Quiz for Grade 7 learners was recently hosted at the Boyden Science Centre, which is managed by the University of the Free State’s (UFS) Department of Physics. It was also Boyden and the UFS’s Department of Physics that coordinated the Free State leg of the competition. The Free State Department of Education was also on board to ensure smooth arrangements for the preliminary, as well as the first two official rounds of the competition.

The competition is hosted by the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement (SAASTA), an agency of the National Research Foundation (NRF).

Ninety schools from all over the Free State took part in the first official round. Eighteen schools qualified for the second round, once again with a balanced geographic coverage of the province.

During the second round, eight schools made it to the third round. Two of these schools were from Bloemfontein and the other six from other towns and rural areas in the Free State.

The third round and provincial finals took place at the Boyden Science Centre. The schools qualifying for the final round were Hennenman Primary School, Unicom Primary School (Tweespruit), Voorwaarts Primary School (Kroonstad) and Fichardt Park Primary School (Bloemfontein).

As a pleasant surprise, Unicom Primary School, a less well-known school from a smaller town, won the Free State finals. It was the first time this had happened since the inception of the competition.
 

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful, to better understand how they are used and to tailor advertising. You can read more and make your cookie choices here. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.

Accept