Introduction by the Vice-Chancellor and Principal
The University of Pretoria has retained its position as the top ranking university in terms of the number of accredited publication units. Especially pleasing is the fact that the number of UP researchers with ratings from the National Research Foundation (NRF) increased from 223 in 2008 to 251 in 2009, and so too has the University’s visibility in Thomson Reuters (ISI) indicators.
Although the University gives attention to bibliometrics as a means of tracking its own research performance, assessing research in quantitative terms only gives a rather narrow perspective of the University’s wide-ranging research activities. Therefore, this report contains feature articles that go beyond the numbers by giving a richer, more qualitative account, rather than just a sample of the range of excellent research projects conducted by its staff and students.
University reputations and prestige are dependent on people. The numbers, the citations and the rankings are an outcome of hardworking, talented people who are in an enabling environment where they can ask questions, pursue answers and push the boundaries of knowledge, thereby contributing to the development of humanity. The University of Pretoria’s biggest asset, as it continues to expand and deepen its research endeavours, is its people – its staff and its students. There are highly talented and hardworking people at UP.
I am deeply appreciative to all the academics and students who have contributed to UP’s research output over the past year.
Thank you for your contribution to the academic standing of the University of Pretoria. Thank you, too, to Prof Robin Crewe, Vice-Principal: Research and Postgraduate Studies, for his leadership, and to the Director of Research and Innovation Support, Mr Dhesigen Naidoo, and the Research Office team for providing invaluable support and for producing this 2009 research report. The research showcased in this report would not have been possible without the generous support of numerous funding agencies, sponsors and donors, to whom we are most grateful.
Prof Cheryl de la Rey
Vice-Chancellor and Principal