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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

International universities, funding agencies and foreign missions exhibit at Study Abroad Fair
2013-04-18

18 April 2013

Representatives from more than ten international partner universities will take part in a Study Abroad Fair to be hosted on our Bloemfontein Campus on Tuesday 23 April 2013. They will be joined by representatives of international funding agencies and foreign missions who will give information on funding opportunities to study abroad.  The fair is hosted by the Office for International Affairs.

Ms Sulet du Plessis, senior officer in the Office for International Affairs, says the primary objective of the fair is to create a platform where the university community can highlight international academic mobility opportunities. It also gives opportunity to establish networks with international partners and highlight available funding opportunities.

Below is a list of exhibitors that will take part in the Study Abroad Fair.

The fair will be opened by Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector and Dr Choice Makhetha, Vice-Rector: External Relations.

Venue: Centenary Complex
Time 09:00 - 15:00

List of Exhibitors

1. Funding Agencies

Embassy of USA
Embassy of France
Embassy of The Republic of Azerbaijan
European Union
Embassy of Canada
National Research Foundation (NRF)
Embassy of Switzerland
Embassy of Indonesia
Czech Republic Embassy
Research Africa
British Council

2. Partner Universities Abroad

Mahasarakham University (Thailand)
Appalachian State University (USA)
University of Brussels
Radboud University Nijmegen
The Hague University of Applied Sciences
University of Bremen
VU University Amsterdam
University of Groningen
University of Antwerp
University of Leuven
Jönköping University

3. UFS Representation

Postgraduate School (UFS)
Office for International Affairs (UFS)
Faculty of Education (UFS)
Department of Plant Sciences (UFS)
Department of Social Work (UFS)
 

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