Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Years
2017 2018 2019 2020
Previous Archive
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 multimillion rand international funding for Advancement
2013-01-21

21 January 2013

We are one of four South African universities that have been selected to take part in a multimillion-rand programme to bolster private fund-raising and Advancement efforts.

The UFS will receive US$640 000 (R5 612 800) over a period of five years to use in advancement efforts.

In total, the US-based Kresge Foundation will make US$2.5 million available to the four universities, which includes the UFS, Durban University of Technology (DUT), Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) and the University of Johannesburg (UJ), over the next five years as part of a joint initiative with Inyathelo: The South African Institute for Advancement, to support the long-term financial sustainability of higher education institutions in South Africa.

Kresge will also provide programmes and support aimed at enhancing student access to universities and improving graduation rates.

Bill Moses, who directs Kresge’s education programme, says declining government support means that South African university officials need to tap into diversified philanthropic and private funding if they want to enhance their institutions’ ability to serve students better. “Stronger Advancement skills are critical to their success and ultimately to getting more South African students into universities and completing degrees. Advancement is not just about raising funds. It is the practice of building, maintaining and improving support, skills and other resources to ensure the sustainability of an institution,” explains Moses.

 This latest Kresge initiative follows the success of a five-year partnership with Inyathelo that helped five high-profile South African institutions - the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits); the University of Pretoria (UP); the University of the Western Cape (UWC); the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) and the Children’s Hospital Trust - increase their private fund-raising revenue threefold. The four universities will receive additional funding over the next five years and will serve as mentors to the new group of institutions.

In April last year, Kresge announced a new commitment to South African higher education that builds on its efforts in the United States to improve university access and help students succeed academically. Their ‘Promoting access and success at South African universities’ programme will seek to strengthen pathways to and through universities, especially for students who are often unprepared for university study. Moses says enhancing the ability of universities in South Africa to graduate the next generation of knowledge workers, will make it possible for the country to compete more effectively in the global economy. “Access to higher education in South Africa has improved dramatically since the end of Apartheid. A doubling of enrolment since 1994 has, however, contributed to serious challenges, including under-prepared students and disappointing graduation rates. We are confident that our programme will help address some of these obstacles to success,” says Moses.

Kresge has already funded several efforts that support its interest in strengthening pathways to and through universities this year, including a grant to the University of the Free State to expand the South African Survey of Student Engagement, as well as funding to the University of Pretoria to support a conference in January, which will highlight opportunities to promote access and success at South African universities.

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. To better understand how they are used, read more about the UFS cookie policy. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.

Accept