Chapter of Ethical Principles and Values

In lumine tuo videbimus lumen
In Thy light we see light


The University of Fort Hare recognizes that any institution or community is ultimately governed by norms, values and belief systems that reflect its distinctive identity, traditions and orientation.  The University believes that knowledge is a positive force only if integrated with values and that it should provide a nurturing context of strong ethical norms and principles.  In the absence of such values, knowledge could be a destructive force.  This Charter therefore presents the crucial value-framework that defines the ethos of Fort Hare.  It guides the University's Vision, Mission, Corporate Goals and Strategic Objectives.  It serves as a reference point for all its academic and administrative policies, programmes and procedures and it binds the entire university community by shared ethical principles and values.  The Charter is relevant to our rights and responsibilities, as Fort Harians, in relation to each other, the wider society and the environment.  Ultimately, it seeks to inspire all people to live with nobility, dignity and an active conscience.

Fort Hare University will always be the crucible where many of the critical ideas on South Africa's democracy, liberation, reconciliation and forgiveness germinated, grew and strengthened and from where it eventually reverberated throughout the country, the continent of Africa and around the globe.  The Charter therefore naturally resonates with the principles and values that underlie the Freedom Charter, the South African Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

The Fort Hare Charter has grown out of an inclusive developmental process that involved the entire university community.  It offers to all its members the ethical principles and values listed below, in order to guide us on our journey of discovery, exploration and realization of our intellectual and unique human potentialities. Without such ethical guidelines all teaching, learning, research and community service are of little value.


The University of Fort Hare Community:

Inspired by the heritage of the University and the contribution it has made to leadership, liberation and service to humanity;

Accepting that the purposes of education include the realization of our humanity as well as responsibility to the self, family and community;

Recognizing that in the pursuit of truth and knowledge, the University, as an institution of higher learning, shall maintain in all that it does an unwavering focus on excellence.

Affirming that a crucial role of education is to instill in learners respect, tolerance and social responsibility in an environment of academic freedom, dialogue, friendship and understanding;

Hereby accepts this Charter and commits itself to living by and promoting the principles and values listed below:


Principles and Values

To ensure that the universal values of justice, integrity, discipline, love, kindness, non-injury and concern for the wellbeing of others shall serve as a source of our thought, speech and action.

To respect and affirm the dignity, equality, freedom and rich cultural diversity of all human beings as the basis for peace and social justice.

To commit ourselves to the pursuit of truth, intellectual honesty, openness to ideas and excellence through the attainment of the highest professional and ethical standards in teaching, learning, research and community service.

To endorse and encourage the endeavour for academic success as being critically linked with the striving towards an ever deeper expression of our humanity.

To uphold and honour the dignity of the University, to preserve its heritage, spirit and assets and to observe its statute, rules and regulations as well as the laws of the country.

To encourage an orientation of imaginative, collaborative, problem-solving and entrepreneurial thinking in addressing the challenges that we face.

As a staff member, to be a responsible, caring mentor in all dealings with our students and with each other.

Not to discriminate, directly or indirectly, on the grounds of birth, race, colour, national, ethnic or social origin, gender, age, illness or disability, language, culture, political or other opinion, religion, conscience, belief, marital status, pregnancy or sexual orientation.

To be ever conscious of the need to develop a responsible relationship with the earth and to understand our critical role to protect and preserve it for future generations.

To undertake teaching and research that will responsibly harness the benefits of all the sciences for the well-being of humanity, being conscious of the harm inherent in  the irresponsible use of knowledge.