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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

UFS receives record number of applications
2011-12-31

The University of the Free State (UFS) is looking forward to the start of the new academic year in January 2012, when thousands of new students will be joining the Kovsie family.

The UFS received almost 13 000 applications for studies in 2012. This is an increase of about 80% compared to the total number of applications received in 2010 for studies in 2011.

This increase is partly attributed to the university’s new method in approaching prospective students and the marketing initiatives followed during 2011. These included visits to various schools in the country by the Vice-Chancellor and Rector, Prof. Jonathan Jansen.

“This shows that the UFS is becoming a preferred place of study. Unfortunately, we can only take in about 4 000 first-years from these applications. We will, of course, choose the best and most diverse class of students,” says Prof. Jansen.

The university’s marketing initiatives will be intensified next year where students will take part as ambassadors in the university’s student recruitment campaigns for 2013.

Mr.Rudi Buys, The Dean of Student Affairs at the UFS, says Prof. Jansen’s visit to various schools in the country was very successful. This will be continued in 2012 and student leaders from residences, associations as well as the Student Representative Council will accompany him on these visits during the course of the year.

“These learners, just like our students, are part of a new generation of new democratic South Africans. Our students are excellent examples of youth leadership in the country and we are very excited about all our initiatives,” Mr Buys said.

The UFS is aware of the fact that learners will only receive their final Grade 12 results in January 2012. Final admission will therefore only be granted upon the submission of a certified copy of the matriculation results. Fax these results to 086 586 8947 or e-mail to applications@ufs.ac.za  as soon as it is available.

Important dates for Bloemfontein students

  • Friday and Saturday 13 & 14 January 2012: Welcoming of new first-years
  • Sunday 15 January: Gateway College life programme (Bloemfontein edition) begins)
  • Monday 16 January 2012: Registration starts 

Important dates for Qwaqwa students

  • Thursday 12 January 2012: Arrival of first-years
  • Friday 13 January 2012: Gateway College Life programme (Qwaqwa edition) begins.
  • Monday 16 January 2012: Registration starts

For more information, Bloemfontein students can contact Student Affairs at 051 401 9102 or send an e-mail to Cornelia Faasen at faasenc@ufs.ac.za . Qwaqwa students can contact Dulcie Malimabe at 058 718 5018 or send an e-mail to malimabedp@qwa.ufs.ac.za  

Media Release
Issued by:
Lacea Loader
Director: Strategic Communication
Telephone: +27 (0) 51 401 2584
+27 (0) 83 645 2454
E-mail: news@ufs.ac.za
Fax: +27 (0) 51 444 6393
Web: www.ufs.ac.za
 

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