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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

FASSET funding bid secures R54 million for black accounting students
2015-08-28

The Centre for Accounting in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences has made great strides with its INTRABAS projects, which support the development of black student enrolment and performance in Accounting Studies.

Recently, the university won four bids that have secured R54 million in funding from the Finance and Accounting Services Sector Education and Training Authority (FASSET) for 2016.  This funding will  support the teaching and learning initiatives of 960 black accounting students enrolling for the following four accounting programmes: BAcc, BCom(Acc), BAcc(Hons)/PGDipCA and BCom(Hons in Acc)/PGDipGA.The benefit to these students is the envisaged increase in throughput rates by 10% from year- to- year until the Honours year.  This covers tuition fees, text books, and extra tutorials, including autumn, winter and spring boot camps.

“FASSET funding will give the Centre for Accounting an opportunity to strengthen our current student-centered teaching model” said Prof Hentie van Wyk, Programme Director: Training of Accountants at the UFS.

The Centre for Accounting has a “1” accreditation grading from the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), and has achieved an 80% average success rate over the past three years in the Initial Test of Competency (ITC) of SAICA.

Download the application form for FASSET funding or collect one at the Centre for Accounting at the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences.  The closing date for applications is 31 October 2015.

For more information, contact Dirkelien de Beer on +27(0)51 401 3688 debeerdb@ufs.ac.za /Prof Hentie van Wyk vanwykha@ufs.ac.za

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