A university eager to pursue excellence in the community
The University of Pretoria is one of the largest contact and residential universities in South Africa, with its administration offices located on the Hatfield Campus, Pretoria. This 112-year-old institution is also the largest producer of research in South Africa.
Spread over seven campuses, it has nine faculties and a business school, the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS). It is the only university in the country that has a Faculty of Veterinary Science, and overall has 120 academic departments; as well as 92 centers and institutes, accommodating more than 55,000 students and offering about 1,100 study programs.
The University of Pretoria recognizes that in a resource‐constrained world where vast disparities remain, they must endeavor to produce graduates who appreciate the importance of community service, entrepreneurial endeavors and innovative actions in generating employment and development in their local communities.
Serving the community is part of UP’s DNA. UP’s students involved in community outreach programs are making a difference in their home communities. Per year, UP has at least 15,000 students who are out in the real world, doing real work that benefits the communities around their campuses, and in the places where the need for this work is greatest. UP faculty and students help maintain numerous community programs and service initiatives.
- The Faculty of Engineering, the Built Environment & Information Technology (EBIT) offers a compulsory community-based learning offers students the opportunity to put their work into practice, teaches students valuable life skills and empowers local communities.
- High levels of youth unemployment is one of the biggest challenges facing South Africa today. The University of Pretoria (UP) Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences supports the Mamelodi Business Clinic to help township entrepreneurs grow their businesses.
- The Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Pretoria is recognised nationally and internationally for its outstanding education of health professionals, research and clinical service. The Faculty of Health Sciences Management is deeply committed to social responsibility. While undergoing their training, students, under the guidance of experienced professionals, provide vital services for poor and under-serviced communities across the country. The Daspoort Clinic stands as a proud testament to this. Established as a University of Pretoria Student Initiative in 1964, it continues to serve the medical needs of the local community. While a lot has changed over the last fifty years, the ethos that first drove students to volunteer their time to do community service in this working class suburb of Pretoria remains the same. The clinic is staffed by students drawn from the different disciplines in the Department of Medicine. Students are provided with invaluable real world experience, and have an opportunity to do real, meaningful work, that can shape the direction they take once they graduate.
- The Centre for Child Law, which celebrates its 20th Anniversary in 2018, was set up to create excellence around child law as a field of study. In addition to this, the Centre aims to ensure that the constitutionally guaranteed rights of children are realised through litigation, research and advocacy. Through teaching child law and children’s rights the Centre hopes to encourage young lawyers to become child rights experts. The Centre is globally recognised for its ground breaking work, in compelling government to abide by its own laws, but it is it is in the lives of its clients that the impact is really felt.
Furthermore, UP is building considerable capacities and strengths for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, by preparing students for the world beyond university and offering work-readiness and entrepreneurship training to its students.