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

Strengthening ties with Belgium ally
2013-10-31

 

From the left are: Prof Dr Johan Meeusen signing the agreement with Prof Nicky Morgan, Vice-Rector: Operations.
Photo: Hannes Pieterse
31 October 2013

The UFS signed a formal agreement with the University of Antwerp, strengthening the two institutions’ existing collaboration. Prof Dr Johan Meeusen, Vice-Rector and Professor of European Law and Private International Law at the University of Antwerp, visited the Bloemfontein Campus to sign the agreement. This arrangement will ensure that the two institutions work in close conjunction on research and additional projects.

Dineo Gaofhiwe-Ingram, Assistant Director: Internationalisation, says the new relationship between the two universities will have a strong research focus. "It’s evident and known that we want to become a research-intensive university.” She emphasises that the relationship with Antwerp as well as partnerships with a variety of other institutions are crucial. These will ensure that young emerging scholars, like those taking part in the Vice-Chancellor's Prestige Scholars Programme, are exposed internationally during their development. “We hope that some of the scholars in the new cohort of the PSP will be able to find scientists to host them at Antwerp," Gaofhiwe-Ingram adds.

In addition, she explains that this formal agreement will augment pre-existing collaborations with the Unit for Language Facilitation and Empowerment, as well as the Centre for Health Systems Research and Development. It will also open up cooperation between other faculties and disciplines. “Through Eurosa/Erasmus Mundus Project, which awards scholarships to South African students and staff to study in Europe, the 2014 project will now also award scholarships to European students and staff to come and study in South Africa,” Gaofhiwe-Ingram announced.

The University of Antwerp is one of the European associates that participates in the Leadership for Change Programme and hosted a group of first-year Kovsie students during 2011. In 2012, representatives from the University of Antwerp attended the Leadership Summit presented on the Bloemfontein Campus. Another group of first-year students from the UFS took part in this year’s programme.

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