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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

Nine Kovsie students awarded NAC bursaries
2015-02-19

The UFS is proud to announce that nine of our Drama and Theatre Arts undergraduate students have been awarded National Arts Council (NAC) bursaries for their studies in 2015.

From the left in the photograph, these students are:

• Mbuyiselo Nqodi (first year)
• Marike Jonker (second year)
• Monique de Klerk (second year)
• Aldine van der Merwe (third year)
• Kado Cloete (third year)
• Rondo Mpiti (third year)
• Magnus McPhail (third year)
• Olivia Wyngaard (third year)
• Marica Laing (second year)

This year the amount awarded for the NAC busaries is R70 000.

Since 2005, the NAC has given bursaries to the UFS for the last 10 years. The amount varies from year to year.

“The number of undergraduate students who benefit varies depending on the amount allocated each year,” said Prof Nico Luwes, Head of the Drama and Theatre Arts Department at the UFS.

“Some years, the NAC prescribes how many students will be awarded a bursary and provides a profile of gender and academic prerequisites. Other years, such as the present one, there is no prescription and the UFS was able to cater for the applications submitted, and the number of students who will benefit, within the amount awarded. Normally, it is divided between successful candidates.”

The criteria according to which NAC bursaries are awarded to students every year include academic merit and, of course, their financial situation.”

“The full information of applicants from the Department of Drama and Theatre Arts is checked by the selection committee – all permanent members of staff in the department. The names are then sent to the NAC for approval.
UFS Finances ensures further that the bursary money is paid into the student’s class fees account. During the year and at the end, I report to the NAC on the progress shown by bursary holders. This, in turn, contributes to the excellent co-operation with the NAC so that the following year’s application is then generally successful,” says Luwes.

Bursary monies cover mainly registration and class fees for some or all modules, depending on the amount awarded.

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