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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

Kovsies first with Clinical Skills Centre for the allied health professions
2011-10-27

 

First Clinical Skills Centre in South Africa on our Bloemfontein Campus
Photo: Rian Horn

The School for Allied Health Professions within the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of the Free State (UFS) recently opened the first Clinical Skills Centre for the allied health professions in South Africa.

The multifunctional centre will be used for the practical training of undergraduate students in the allied health professions, which include occupational therapy, physiotherapy, dietetics and optometry.

The concept for the Clinical Skills Centre was the brainchild of the Head of the School for Allied Health, Dr Santie van Vuuren. According to Dr Van Vuuren, the Clinical Skills Centre not only addresses specific needs within the South African context, but also fits in with the current curriculum of the programmes within the School for Allied Health. She says the Centre is a symbol of quality and excellence in the training of undergraduate students.

The Clinical Skills Centre was designed in such a way that it can be converted into one or more lecture halls. It boasts the latest technology such as interactive computer screens which can be used for lectures. Most of the equipment students will use during their practical training is on wheels and can be used between different classes. The centre also has a stair lift attached to a banister to transport disabled people from one floor to another in his/her wheelchair.
 

Media Release
27 October 2011
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Director: Strategic Communication
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: news@ufs.ac.za

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