Introduction by the Vice-Chancellor and Principal
The University of Pretoria is not only one of South Africa’s leading
universities, it is also one of the largest. The University has been growing
for a number of years and in 2010 the contact enrolment figure reached
43 667 students. With growing student enrolments, the volume of
teaching has also increased. However, it is pleasing to note that the
University’s research productivity continues to be strong, positioning the
University of Pretoria as one of the country’s major research-intensive
universities. Prof Robin Crewe, Vice-Principal responsible for research
and postgraduate studies, has played a significant leadership role in the
research-related achievements showcased in this report.
Over the past year, the University of Pretoria has maintained its position as one of the country’s best producers
of published research, with 1 187.53 research units being accredited by the Department of Higher Education and
Training. Another manifestation of research output is the number of research degrees awarded by the University.
Of the total number of contact students in 2010, 27.7% were postgraduates and the output of master’s and doctoral
degrees was very pleasing. Furthermore, the total number of scientists rated by the National Research Foundation
(NRF) has been increasing steadily.
Although quantitative indicators are important in assessing the impact of a University’s research, numbers tell only
part of the story. The University of Pretoria’s academics and students make a considerable difference locally and
globally through the vast array of research projects they undertake. The fact that the University of Pretoria offers the
widest range of academic programmes of any university in the country also means that its research covers a wide
scope of disciplinary and knowledge domains. The Vice-Chancellor’s UP Expert Lecture Series was launched in
2010 to showcase UP’s scholarly breadth and to provide a public platform for its academics to engage with a general
audience on significant developments in their fields of expertise. Prof Robin Crewe, Vice-Principal for Research and
Postgraduate Studies, delivered the first lecture in this series. His presentation was entitled Doomsday scenarios and
the fate of African honeybee populations. The second lecture in the series was presented by Prof Christof Heyns,
Dean in the Faculty of Law. Prof Heyns focused on human rights as a set of norms that is applicable to everyone,
everywhere, and which has been described as “the idea of our time”.
Through its research activities, the University is able to advance its commitment to community engagement, while
enhancing its objective of being globally connected. The University has about 150 international agreements with
universities across the world, which include partnerships with 21 universities on the African continent. Nearly all
of these partnerships and agreements are grounded in joint research projects that involve postgraduate students.
Community engagement is an integral part of the University’s academic mission and many of the research outputs
reflected in this report emanate from work done in collaboration with local communities.
The University’s research depends heavily on the ongoing financial and moral support of numerous granting
agencies, industry partners and donors, to whom it expresses its sincere appreciation. The research presented in
this report is due to the hard work, commitment and passion of the University’s academic staff and the administrative
teams that support their scholarly activities. On behalf of the University, thank you for enabling the University of
Pretoria to meet its objective to make a difference locally and globally through knowledge creation and innovation.
Prof Cheryl de la Rey
Vice-Chancellor and Principal