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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 awaits applications for a full scholarship
2013-01-07

The office of the Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the University of the Free State, Prof. Jonathan Jansen,  offers a full scholarship to one learner  to study at the UFS in 2013.  

This scholarship will cover the tuition, residence, stationery and any specified course-related costs.  

All students who are passionate about  education and wish to contribute towards developing the South African education system, are encouraged to apply for this scholarship. The student may choose which education course he/ she would like to study and will be advised by our Dean of Education, Prof. Dennis Francis.  

The scholarship is a continuation of the Great Teachers Project headed by Prof. Jansen and research assistants, Nangamso Koza and Lihlumelo Toyana, who edited the book, Great South African Teachers.  

The editors have decided to donate the proceeds from the book towards the scholarship, and in partnership with our Faculty of Education, produce the country’s best teachers.  

This scholarship will also look at the holistic development of the learner, and thus award him/her with experiences of shadowing some of the country’s best educators, and take up internships in some of the country’s best schools in both the urban and developing communities.  

To apply, learners should provide their June and December gr. 12 results and also write an essay of 1 000 words titled: Educating a South African Citizen in the 20th Century.  

Applications must reach the UFS before 11 January 2013.
Please forward applications to: greatteachers@ufs.ac.za or fax to (051) 401 2705. Applications can also be mailed to: Office No. 26, Main Building, UFS, Nelson Mandela Drive, Bloemfontein 9301

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