The University of Pretoria is a university in Pretoria, South Africa, with a total of about 57,409 students being enrolled in 2008. This makes it one of the country's largest residential (contact) universities.
The Pretoria branch of the Transvaal Universiteitskollege (TUK)(Afrikaans for Transvaal University College) was the fore runner of the University of Pretoria. (The nickname for this university - Tuks or Tukkies - is derived from the TUK acronym.)
The college commenced its activities as an Afrikaans language institution in 1908 with a staff consisting of four professors and three lecturers. Thirty-two students were enrolled for courses at the first campus, Kya Rosa, a house in the centre of Pretoria.
The University of Pretoria became a fully fledged university in 1930.
Considerable transformation has taken place here since the end of apartheid in 1994. This attributed to the transformation of the university from a mainly white, and Afrikaans institution to a national, multi-racial university.
Of this number, 28 282 were undergraduates (compared to 20 211 in 2000), and 10 353 were postgraduates (compared to 7 882 in 2000). The gender composition was 47% male and 53% female students. There were 60% white students and 40% black students.
Thus, the total student population (residential and non-residential) was 53 063, of which 56% was black.
In 2007 there were more than 2 500 international students on campus, representing 60 countries.
There are 30 registered sport clubs at the University of Pretoria, in which more than 10 000 students take part on a competitive and recreational level, and more than 1 000 volunteers are involved in sport in various designations and capacities.
The Music Department of the University of Pretoria maintains the UP Symphony Orchestra, the Pretoria University Concert Ensemble (PUCE), the UP Chorale and the Tuks Camerata.
The Music Department of the University of Pretoria has maintained a symphony orchestra for most of the forty-four years since the Department was founded. The Orchestra achieved particular prominence in the 1990s while under the direction of Alan Solomon. It was reorganized in 2002, giving performances of both well-known works and rarities under the baton of Lance Philip and Walter Mony. Since the appointment in 2003 of Eric Rycroft as permanent guest conductor and Philippa Kotzé as manager, the orchestra has further expanded. It is today the only large-scale orchestra in Pretoria that performs the symphonic repertoire on a regular basis.
During the past year, the stabilisation of the network infrastructure was almost finalised. A network management system was purchased and is currently being implemented. A strategic decision was taken to eventually replace the current ATM network with Gigabit Ethernet. Negotiations with providers are currently under way.
The process of control of change within the Information Technology Department has been further refined and is functioning well. Progress was made with the specification and implementation of IT standards. A Standards Committee was convened within the Information Technology Department. The processes at IT User Support, including those of the IT Client Service Centre and the centralised IT procurement function, are being expanded and refined. The backbone of these processes is software from HP OpenView ServiceCenter, which requires further implementation.
Tenet replaced Uninet as the University's Internet service provider. There was a great improvement in the available bandwidth for Internet users on the University's network. In September 2005, GEN2 further replaced Tenet as the ISP. Measures have also been put in place to limit the total Internet access by students, mostly undergraduates. Students are allocated an initial bandwidth of 200MB free access per year; once exhausted, they can purchase additional bandwidth from the Client Service centre. This policy has been met with some complaint by the technical students, such as those studying Computer Science and Engineering, who claim that it is far behind the access provided at other universities in the country. Stellenbosch and Rhodes are often cited as examples; these campuses provide far more open bandwidth to students, even going so far as to provide free Internet access from dormitories. The University of Pretoria states that the limitations are necessary in order to recoup the costs of the connection.
An Intranet portal initiative was launched by the Department Information Technology to standardise and facilitate intranet access, available services and access to information. To this end, the Department works closely with the Info portal project of the Academic Information Services. A communal technology platform is used. The Java-based portal is vested in open standards and is aligned with the IT architecture principles developed to meet the University's current and future IT needs. This portal technology forms the platform for the IT systems of the new Client Service Centre with which the Department of Information Technology is closely involved. As part of the portal initiative and the Client Service Centre project, web interfaces are being developed for mainframe programmes and other intranet applications. The call centre technology that will be deployed at the Client Services Centre is integrated with the portal technology. The Department of Information Technology controls centralised computer laboratories that are efficiently managed and structured. On the main campus, the laboratories are concentrated in the Informatorium complex and the Natural Sciences II Building. In the NW II Building there are four labs with 96, 44 and two with 30 computers, all of which is only for the engineering students. These facilities are mainly maintained by Industrial Engineering students. There are also centralised computer laboratory centres at Onderstepoort and at the Prinshof and Groenkloof campuses. The laboratories are used for student training, including formal teaching and the administration of tests.
There are currently 1 300 computers in the laboratories. They are linked to the Internet and to the University's intranet, which allows access to, among others, the Virtual Campus and the Academic Information Services.
The Information and Technology Committee is currently co-ordinating the interaction between the Information Technology Department and other role players, particularly the Academic Information Services, Telematic Learning and Teaching Innovation and the Client Service Centre. This Forum a useful means of keeping the Department of Information Technology strategically aligned with the University's business processes and academic needs.
The main campus of the University is east of the city centre, close to the now famous Union Buildings where the new democracy of South Africa was born in 1994. This campus with more than 60 buildings, covers about 240,000 m², with jacarandas, cycads and other indigenous trees in abundance. Two satellite campuses, in Witbank and Hammanskraal, were established in 1988 and 1993 respectively. Training is not limited to the main campus. The veterinarians are trained at the world renowned Onderstepoort Campus and the medical sciences are taught at the Prinshof Campus, adjoining the Pretoria Academic Hospital.
The University of Pretoria incorporated the Mamelodi Campus of the defunct Vista University on 2 January 2004 upon the instruction of the Minister of Education Kader Asmal. The importance of the formulation of a long-term institutional vision for the Mamelodi Campus was already noted in the pre-incorporation phase. However, until now the emphasis was on short-term operational aspects, particularly the alignment of policy and procedures. These aspects have however now been normalised to such an extent that space exists to consider the future of the Campus.
Information will be exchanged with other universities into which Vista campuses were incorporated in order to share valuable experience gained from the respective processes.
When deciding on the future of the Mamelodi Campus, the University Council will, among other things, be guided by the Higher Education Act and other applicable legislation, the reasons for the incorporation initially provided by the Minister of Education as well as the University’s Vision, Mission and strategic priorities, which include aspects such as quality and sustainability.
Concurrent with the process to decide on the future of the Campus, proposals regarding the academic programmes that will be offered at the Mamelodi Campus in 2006 will be made by the Senate Committee.
A structure for campus enterprises was established in 2000 so that the University of Pretoria could position itself as a true leader in the fields of research, training and consulting, in this way promoting contact with the private and public sector, as well as the broader community. The University currently has 100% shareholding in Business Enterprises at University of Pretoria (Pty) Ltd (BE at UP).
BE at UP is the facilitator between the business world and the vast pool of multidisciplinary brainpower and resources in the University. It is aimed at creating an environment for entrepreneurship, which includes the commercialisation and marketing of viable products and services in the following fields: • Economic and Management Sciences • Education • Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology • Health Sciences • Humanities • Law • Natural and Agricultural Sciences • Theology • Veterinary Science.
Three affiliate companies fall under the company's portfolio: Consulta Research (Pty) Ltd specialising in marketing and communications research, Stratoscience (Pty) Ltd specialising in Client Conservation Management and lastly Izandla Zethu Consulting (Pty) Ltd that offers Information and Communications Technology solutions.
A selected profile of available services: • Economic input/output models for local government, local and international investors • Statistical data-mining solutions • Business and professional ethics strategies • Consultation and research in the fields of the community, public health and health systems • Forensic analysis of drugs of abuse • Actuarial risk management solutions • Corporate wellness intervention programmes • Environmental impact studies • Gender audits and related research activities • GIS methods and procedures, such as spatial analysis and map production • Macro-economic modelling • Water quality assessments for livestock, game, domestic use and irrigation purposes • Organisation and work behaviour assessment • Business strategy services • Conducting clinical trials • Tourism development and planning • Cultural resource management and grave relocations • Consultation and research in Information Communication Technology (ICT) • Implementation of the Client Conservation Model • Local economic development strategies • Agribusiness management solutions • Assessment of various skills for the skills development of staff • Sensory research and evaluation of food products • Packaging and shelf-life solutions.
Continuing Education at University of Pretoria (CE at UP (Pty) Ltd) is responsible for managing the University's continuing education courses. Continuing education is delivered mainly in the form of short courses, year programmes and so-called in-house courses, and many of these serve as Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses for the various professions. The current online course catalogue may be viewed at www.ceatup.com
As far as TuksSport (Pty) Ltd is concerned, it is envisaged that, in addition to several business initiatives related to sport, centres of excellence will be established in identified sports such as rugby, soccer, tennis, swimming, hockey and athletics. The aim is to establish high quality sporting facilities for students and to develop and utilise the business opportunities that sport offers.
A campus enterprise to facilitate professional activities and research in the Health Sciences is currently being considered. A faculty committee is conducting an in-depth study in this regard.
Co-operation with other tertiary institutions is a high priority for the University of Pretoria. Various consortia of universities and technikons have been established in the country, of which the Foundation of Tertiary Institutions of the Northern Metropolis (FOTIM), is the largest. The aim of FOTIM is to promote and facilitate collaboration between member institutions through a range of important projects.
The Gauteng and Environs Library Consortium (GAELIC) remains the largest and most prominent project of FOTIM. As a result of the work of this project, all member institutions have now implemented the INNOPAC library system, which is funded by the Andrew W Mellon Foundation. A major challenge will be the rationalisation of purchasing policies through agreements of collaboration between member institutions that now have access to each other's holdings.
The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) project, under way in all member institutions of FOTIM, has as two of its major aims the fostering of flexible learning and the building of capacity through human resource training and skills development in the information technology area.
Other FOTIM initiatives include matters pertaining to access, quality assurance, disability, HIV/AIDS and regional clearance of academic programmes. A number of workshops and meetings addressing these topics took place in 2001.
On the issue of academic programme collaboration, FOTIM commissioned two consultants to investigate opportunities for collaboration in the region. A report entitled Academic Programme Collaboration in the FOTIM Region is being examined and discussed by the senior management of member institutions. A meeting will be convened early in 2002 to consider the consultants' recommendations.
The year 2001 saw a significant increase in the importance and recognition accorded by the Department to the regional consortia at a time when the tertiary sector faces some of its greatest challenges in recent decades. The University of Pretoria remains committed to full participation in FOTIM to assist it in achieving its objectives.
Community service and outreach programmes, which are integrated into the University's teaching and research programmes, are an integral part of the commitment to teaching and research excellence. In principle, community service is performed in the fields in which the University has proven competencies. These fields include professional associations, business, management and underdeveloped or developing communities.
Some examples of community service include projects that fall within the scope of the research carried out by the Centre for Indigenous Knowledge (CINDEK) and the departments of Agricultural Economics, Extension and Rural Development, Economics and Consumer Science.
The Centre for Indigenous Knowledge (CINDEK) was established as a SERA initiative, with the task of linking postgraduate research programmes and praxis-orientated community development by way of multi-disciplinary research programmes. In 2001, CINDEK established several comprehensive research and development programmes. Projects focused mainly on indigenous knowledge and African heritage, rural development, indigenous property rights, appropriate technology and sustainable environmental development. With regard to the latter, two focus areas received special attention: the Thembe Tribal Area in Maputaland, KwaZulu-Natal and the Mabunda Tribal Area in the Giyani district of the Limpopo Province.
The Department of Agricultural Economics, Extension and Rural Development collaborated with the Northwest Province Department of Agriculture to build capacity in extension methodology and management among seconded extension officers. Four of the University's field extension officers were seconded to the province as part of a launch project.
The Department of Economics provides an extended economic consultation service to the Limpopo Province. As part of a research project a comprehensive database was compiled on key macro-biological economic variables per region and per economic sector, which for the first time made use of a regional and sectional analysis in the province.
The Department of Consumer Science undertook a multi-disciplinary research programme on the development, marketing and consumption of specific foods, clothing and interior goods and services to promote small business undertakings, retailers, community development and tourism.
The University has taken the lead in becoming the first South African institution to provide accredited training in music therapy, and the first university in southern Africa to provide full-time postgraduate training in this form of therapy. As part of their training students do practical work in the community, for example at the Kalafong and Weskoppies hospitals, the UNICA School and the Baby Therapy Centre.
Research and community service at the Centre for Recreational Studies of the Department of Biokinetics, Sport and Recreational Studies, focuses on the human science and management dimensions of the sport and recreation industry. In 2001 a research report was produced on the impact of recreational programmes on Atteridgeville's social indicators. Contract research for Government looked at the impact of a physical activities programme on the functional status of older people. In 2001, various community programmes in the form of participating and training projects were also undertaken. In addition, three sporting publications were published as supporting study material.
As far as interaction with schools is concerned, the University's Department of Psychology reached out to schools by means of a project known as "Peer Counselling for Peer Support". This programme, which was undertaken at three schools in Atteridgeville and involved 51 learners, was aimed at providing selected learners with the necessary knowledge and skills to counsel peers who experienced emotional problems. Problems such as drug and alcohol abuse, HIV/AIDS, violence, poverty and crime are rife in these communities, while there is a desperate shortage of trained cousellors. The ultimate aim of the programme is to provide trained counsellors to establish support and counselling services at the schools that have the greatest need. The programme was undertaken in collaboration with the Gauteng Department of Education and was sponsored by Grintek Telecom.
The cultural treasures of the SASOL Mapungubwe African Heritage Collection were made accessible to as many people as possible in 2001 by providing free entrance to the museum. School groups from as far afield as Reitz and Bethlehem, as well as from Shoshanguve and the Mamelodi Technikon, have viewed the collection. The large number of tourists who have visited the museum is an indication of the important academic value of the collection.
Research undertaken by the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology is aimed at supporting the development of the tourism potential inherent in the cultural heritage of the Limpopo Province. To ensure the sustainability of tourism development, the Limpopo Province Directorate of Tourism has developed the Golden Horseshoe concept. The Golden Horseshoe is an area in the province bordering Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Ecotourism within this region is implemented through the African Ivory Route project. The strategy used is to involve communities as tour operators and managers of products within the tourism industry in the region. Generic "cultural villages" were designed, in collaboration with the provincial Directorate of Tourism, for the Venda, Pedi and Tsonga. This has highlighted some of the fascinating issues involved in tourism development. The villages were intended purely as tourist accommodation, but their development has generated a number of problems that need to be further researched. These problems include conflict over the distribution of the income they generate, the use of land and places of religious significance.
During the year under review, a new facility, the Leadership Centre, was officially opened to provide a home for two of the University's dynamic partnership programmes: the Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP) and Leadership Regional Network for Southern Africa (LeaRN). The IRDP is one of the main intitiatives of the Africa portfolio of the WK Kellogg Foundation. The aim is to break established patterns of poverty that are immobilising large parts of southern Africa by providing rural communities with the means to facilitate their own development in an integrated and sustainable way. The IRDP endeavours, inter alia, to increase the capacity of individuals and communities to follow healthy lifestyles, to equip people with skills and family and community values, and to develop sensitive, responsive leadership.
The Water Research Commission, among others, supported underground water research aimed mainly at providing drinking water to rural communities. The research demonstrated that unsaturated zones (rock and soil above the underground water level) are important as barriers against the pollution of underground water. Geophysical methods were successfully used to identify areas with a high potential for bringing underground water under cultivation.
Activities at the Centre museum include a digital planetarium, an exploratorium that focuses on various aspects of physics and technology, a unique "Camera Obscura", a biological science exhibit, a botanical garden route on the campus and environmental exhibits which also include the built environment. There is also an indigenous technology exhibit and various other exhibits that illustrate aspects of engineering and technology, such as mechanics, alternative sources of energy, chemistry, space, the cyber world, telecommunications, electronics, transport, mines and minerals, innovation and creativity.
The SERA partners share a vision for a world-class, innovative and market responsive business that delivers appropriate information, facilitates knowledge connectivity through knowledge workers, links the best minds to create a global network, and protects intellectual property. Through their co-operation the alliance partners aim at fostering a non-exclusive academic, scientific and technological environment that will benefit all participants and the country as a whole.
The alliance partners have identified a number of areas of common interest, ability and capacity. Within these areas, themes have been identified and task teams have been put together to explore the possibility of co-operation. Education, research, market related activities, intellectual property and venturing are to be the focus of this co-operation. The teams have examined the current reality and market opportunities in each of these fields, and have developed proposals for a variety of activities, such as the joint offering of graduate programmes, the development of joint institutes or centres of expertise and ad hoc projects .
Venturing opportunities have been referred to SERA (Pty) Ltd, a company that was set up as the technology exploitation branch of the alliance. Its primary focus is the pursuit of the best, most profitable means of bringing technologies to the market through venturing, commercialisation and the protection and exploitation of intellectual property.
Mr. Johan Hattingh has been appointed Managing Director of SERA (Pty) Ltd and the company has moved into offices on the CSIR campus. The company already has a functioning Intellectual Property Division, with Mr Gerrie Mostert as Intellectual Property Manager, and contact has been made with researchers both in the CSIR and UP with a view to disclosing intellectual property within the company. Mr Steyn du Plessis has been appointed as Commercialisation Manager.
During 2001 good progress was made in finding synergies and identifying opportunities to work together. As a result of the alliance, for example, SERA now has significant, internationally competitive and locally relevant intellectual capital and capacity in the field of water resource management. Research projects in this area exceeded R2 million during the year under review and included a water supply and sanitation study in rural areas funded by the Netherlands.
SERA and the Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG) have joined forces to establish The Innovation Hub through the Blue IQ initiative, a multi-billion rand initiative of the GPG to invest in the development of economic infrastructure in identified mega projects in tourism, smart industries and high value-added manufacturing, to create a truly "smart" province.
The Innovation Hub was launched in March. It will be situated on a knowledge axis between the University and the CSIR and will offer an environment conducive for technology-driven businesses and high-technology entrepreneurs, and will also attract anchor tenants, stimulate research and development and provide incubators for start-up businesses. The development will include the establishment of a high-technology incubator. This partnership will create a new dimension that combines the strengths of the University and the CSIR with those of business and the government in order to stimulate economic activity and offer opportunities to commercialise local, innovative technologies. The planning phase of the Hub development is currently looking at matters such as an environmental impact study, urban planning and traffic studies.
The Interim Governance Committee, established between SERA and the GPG earlier developed a business plan and a budget for the roll-out of activities over a period of three years, which has been accepted by the Gauteng Government.
The Innovation Hub Management Company (Pty) Ltd, owned jointly by SERA and the GPR, has been set up to develop the bulk infrastructure of the Innovation Hub. Its Board of Directors has been appointed, with Dr Neville Comins as Chief Executive Officer. Project managers for the development of the Hub have also been appointed. Task teams from all participating parties assist in this development, covering topics such as public infrastructure, private infrastructure and information technology.
Currently SERA (Pty) Ltd has a 50% shareholding in The Innovation Hub Management Company (Pty) Ltd and The Innovation Hub Incubator Company (Pty) Ltd and is the sole owner of SERA Hub Investments (Pty) Ltd. Negotiations for the establishment of a venture fund are ongoing, while both the University and the CSIR have subscribed to the formation of the new Department of Trade and Industry Innovation Fund.
In the interim, the HUB2B, a pilot incubator, has been established in the same building as the Management Company. The CSIR has made a contribution to SERA that includes the conference centre and some surrounding land. The land thus held by the alliance is held for the benefit of the SERA partners, and is completely separate from any other Hub considerations.
A strategic decision to establish technology platforms in response to national priorities led to the establishment of the biotechnology and the information and communications technology (ICT) platforms with the potential for two more in energy and human settlements. These platforms are not exclusive to the alliance partners but are open to others who are willing to contribute appropriate resources. The biotechnology platform has become the centre for the development of biotechnology between the partners, with substantial investments by both parties. From this platform, the African Centre for Gene Technologies has been established. The ICT platform will take cues from initiatives such as NEPAD and the Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology's ICT research strategy, and will build on learning from the biotechnology platform process.
The strategic alliance between the University and the CSIR continually seeks synergies and domains of mutual benefit for both organisations. A number of benefit schemes, including a staff study rebate scheme, a prestige undergraduate bursary scheme, extraordinary professorships, the appointment of fellows and continuing education benefits for both partners have evolved from the alliance.