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UFS to provide ‘intensive English tutorials’ after ConCourt ruling

The court on Friday ruled in the institution’s favour that the university council’s approval of the new language policy was lawful and constitutionally valid.

FILE: The Health Sciences faculty at the University of the Free State. Picture: @UFSweb/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - The University of the Free State (UFS) says it doesn’t see the Constitutional Court ruling on its language policy as a victory against Afrikaans as a language.

The court on Friday ruled in the institution’s favour that the university council’s approval of the new language policy was lawful and constitutionally valid.

The university says it will support Afrikaans students by giving them intensive tutorials on English as the language of instruction.

The university’s vice chancellor professor, Francis Petersen, says they will do the same in two other languages, including Sesotho and isiZulu, as they are largely spoken on their campuses.

“I do see this as a mechanism of bringing people closer together and also allowing the University of the Free State to operate on a global sphere through our intellectual work. We hope the language policy will do that and also bring some international students.”

Meanwhile, AfriForum says the court judgment is a clear indication that languages of the minorities have been marginalised in the country.

The organisation has expressed its disappointment at the judgment.

It says it will continue to highlight what it calls “language rights violations in South Africa” on all possible international platforms.

AfriForum says it will also encourage the establishment of private institutions of higher learning which offer instruction in Afrikaans and other indigenous languages.

Deputy CEO Alana Bailey says: “AfriForum will focus a lot on encouraging support for private institutions, like Akademia, a private Afrikaans university. We hope there will be more universities that will develop South African indigenous languages.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)