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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

Spotlight on Excellence in Teaching and Learning
2012-10-30

30 October 2012

The Centre for Teaching and Learning is hosting the first Excellence in Teaching and Learning Week from 29 October to 1 November 2012 in the Centenary Complex. Some of the top academics at the university will exhibit and present their scholarly contributions in the form of presentations, short videos and electronic posters. These will form part of the academics’ entries for the Innovation awards.

Lunch-hour presentations will be held daily and speakers include Dr Liezel Nel, 2011 winner of the Vice Chancellor Teaching and Learning award, Prof. Driekie Hay, Vice Rector: Academics, Dr Francois Strydom and the UFS101 team. 

On Thursday 1 November 2012, five academics will present their Scholarship of Teaching and Learning approach along with their teaching philosophies. This is done in the quest for the Vice Chancellor's Teaching and Learning award.

Personnel are encouraged to visit the Centenary complex to view the quality work of their colleagues. They can also vote for the best video or electronic poster by visiting the CTL portal at https://intranet.ufs.ac.za/sites/ctl

See programme for more details about the presentations throughout the week.

 

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