Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Years
2017 2018 2019 2020
Previous Archive
29 May 2019 | Story Valentino Ndaba | Photo Pexels
Prof Melanie Walker
Fostering human capabilities in universities may potentially transform education, says Prof Melanie Walker.

Education is at the centre of human life, and has the potential to be a crucial support for democratic life. Prof Melanie Walker’s recent research paper strikes a balance in dealing with people, education and the implications for democracy through the lens of human capabilities theory and practice and her own research.

People and papers

In her capacity as the SARChI Chair in the Higher Education and Human Development Research Programme at the University of the Free State (UFS), Prof Walker recently published a paper titled: Defending the Need for a Foundational Epistemic Capability in Education. It appeared in the special issue of the Journal of Human Development and Capabilities in honour of renowned Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen’s 85th birthday.

Nurturing epistemic justice

Within the context of existing literature such as that of Sen’s concern with the value of education on the one hand, and public reasoning on the other, Prof Walker argues for a foundational epistemic capability to shape the formal education landscape – as well as quality in education – by fostering inclusive public reasoning (including critical thinking) in all students. It would contribute to what Sen calls the ‘protective power of democracy’ and shared democratic rights, which, he argues, are strongly missed when most needed.

“Sen’s approach asks us to build democratic practices in our university and in our society in ways which create capabilities for everyone. If our students learn public reasoning in all sorts of spaces in university, including the pedagogical, they may carry this into and back to society,” she said.

Educating for equality

Empowering society and fighting for justice are some of the crucial contributions made possible through fostering the epistemic capability of all students. “The capability requires that each student is recognised as both a knower and teller, a receiver and a contributor in critical meaning and knowledge, and an epistemic agent in processes of learning and critical thinking,” states Prof Walker.

In a young democracy like South Africa’s, inclusive public reasoning becomes all the more essential in order to achieve equality, uphold rights and sustain democracy as enshrined in the constitution, thereby improving people’s lives. 

News Archive

UFS Council approves name change of buildings and centres on the three campuses
2016-02-23

During its meeting on 4 December 2015, The Council of the University of the Free State approved a list of name changes and new names for several buildings and academic centres.

In continuing to express the value of human togetherness and solidarity across social and historical divides, the following names will come into effect:

Bloemfontein Campus
CR Swart Building: Equitas Building
Building housing the media studio: Visual Media Hub
Centre for Financial Planning Law: School of Financial Planning Law
Centre for Accounting: School of Accountancy

South Campus
Arena: Madiba Arena
VIP Lounge: Madiba VIP Lounge
Conference Hall: Ukubizana Centre
Old Education buildings: Bohlale A, Bohlale B and Bohlale C
Library: Neville Alexander Library
Cafeteria: Southern Café
Lecture venues: Isifundo A, Isifundo B, Isifundo C, Isifundo D, Isifundo E and Isifundo F
New residence: Legae

Qwaqwa Campus

Library: TK Mopeli Library

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