The University of Bedfordshire is flying the flag of South Africa in honour of Nelson Mandela.
The gesture is to celebrate the life and leadership of the former South African president, who died yesterday at the age of 95.
The flag will be flown at the University’s Luton, Bedford and Putteridge Bury campuses from today until after the state funeral for Mr Mandela, which is likely to be on December 14.
Vice Chancellor Bill Rammell said: “As a mark of celebration for the life and leadership of Nelson Mandela, the University will fly the flag of South Africa at our main campus sites today and through the next few days.
“Nelson Mandela was the world’s leading light for the values of respect, social justice and equality of opportunity. President Mandela once said, ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.’ As a University, we have the opportunity to live up to that promise every single day.
“Our thoughts go to his family and citizens across South Africa.”
Jasvinder Singh Nagra of Luton Gurdwara temple was one of the local people who paid tribute to Nelson Mandela.
He said: “Mandela showed the value of good leadership. He united people behind a cause. His struggle was not just won in S Africa but on the streets and parliaments of every major democracy. He showed that an individual with a heart in the right place and unflinching perseverance has the ability to change the world, forgiveness and not retribution is the answer otherwise there is no difference between you and the oppressor. In the Sikh scriptures the Sufi saint Fareed writes ‘O Fareed, answer anger with goodness, do not fill your mind with anger. Your body shall not suffer from any disease and you shall obtain everything.’”