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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

Better education automatically leads to employment, right?
2014-07-24

 
The book ‘Education, Economy and Society’, by Salim Vally and Enver Motala, is about to be launched on the Bloemfontein Campus. The Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice will be hosting the event.

"In South Africa and elsewhere there exists an unquestioning acceptance of simplistic claims related to the link between education and economic growth and that more and better education and training will automatically lead to employment," states a quote from the cover of the book.

The contributors to this book systematically challenge these assumptions and set out the basis for an alternative vision. This vision embraces a much broader valuing of knowledge and skills that lead to an inclusive and transformed society. They also put forward different approaches to understanding the connections between education, unemployment, inequality and poverty.

‘Education, Economy and Society’ rigorously critiques conventional wisdom and offers a revised version of the relationship between education and society.

The public is welcome to attend the book launch.

Date: Friday 25 July 2014
Time: 14:00 – 15:30
Venue: DF Malherbe House, the Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice, Bloemfontein Campus
RSVP: vannestel@ufs.ac.za  


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