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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

Autumn graduation ceremony one of the biggest yet
2012-03-23

12 March 2012

The autumn graduation ceremony is set to be one of the biggest yet. This will be the most diplomas/certificates up to and including honours degrees that will be awarded at one ceremony.

A total of 629 diplomas/certificates and 2856 degrees will be awarded at the ceremony. The diplomas/certificates and degrees will be awarded in eight different ceremonies in the Callie Human Centre on the Bloemfontein Campus from 27 to 30 March 2012.
 
Unlike other years, master’s degrees, doctorates and honorary doctorates will not be awarded during this year’s autumn graduation ceremony. These degrees in all the faculties will be awarded during one ceremony on 14 June 2012.
 
The programme for the respective ceremonies is as follows:
  • On Tuesday 27 March 2012, the Faculty of the Humanities will award 646 qualifications. The Faculty of Education will award 471 qualifications.
  • On Wednesday 28 March 2012, the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences will award 812 qualifications.
  • On Thursday 29 March 2012, the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences will award 781 qualifications.
  • On Friday 30 March 2012, the Faculty of Health Sciences will award 322 qualifications, the Faculty of Law 148 qualifications, and the Faculty of Theology 25 qualifications. On the same day, the School of Open Learning will award 261 qualifications.
The graduation ceremony of the Qwaqwa Campus will take place on 12 May 2012. Diplomas/certificates up to and including doctorates will be awarded during the ceremony.

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