The University of Pretoria: A Premier Destination for Academic Excellence and Innovation

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 About and History

The University of Pretoria (UP), located in Pretoria, South Africa, is one of the largest and most prestigious research universities in Africa. Established in 1908 as the Pretoria campus of the Johannesburg-based Transvaal University College, UP has grown from its humble beginnings with just 32 students into a leading academic institution with a vibrant student population of over 53,000.

Throughout its history, the University of Pretoria has been dedicated to academic excellence, innovation, and a commitment to social impact. Initially offering courses in languages, sciences, and law, the university has expanded its offerings to encompass a wide range of disciplines across nine faculties.

 Chancellors and Leadership

The governance of UP is overseen by a Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, and Principal, supported by an executive team and the University Council. The Chancellor acts as the ceremonial head of the university, while the Vice-Chancellor and Principal handle the day-to-day operations and strategic direction.

Notable Chancellors:

- Prof. Wiseman Nkuhlu (Current Chancellor): A renowned academic and business leader, Nkuhlu has held numerous significant positions, including being the first black chartered accountant in South Africa.

Vice-Chancellor and Principal:

- Prof. Tawana Kupe (Current Vice-Chancellor and Principal): An accomplished academic and media studies expert, Prof. Kupe has been instrumental in advancing UP's strategic vision and global partnerships.

 Awards and Achievements

The University of Pretoria is recognized for its academic excellence and research contributions. It consistently ranks among the top universities in South Africa and Africa, with numerous accolades highlighting its achievements:

- Research Excellence: UP is a leading research institution, with numerous NRF-rated researchers and several research centres of excellence.

- Academic Achievements: The university has produced Rhodes Scholars, and its graduates are well-represented in various professional fields globally.

- Community Engagement: UP's commitment to social responsibility is demonstrated through its various community outreach programs and projects.


UP is consistently ranked among the top universities in Africa. Some of its notable rankings include:

- QS World University Rankings: UP is often placed within the top 500 universities globally and among the top 10 in Africa.

- Times Higher Education World University Rankings: Recognizes UP for its strong performance in teaching, research, citations, international outlook, and industry income.

- Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU): Highlights UP's research impact and academic excellence.

 Open Days

The UP Open Day is held annually in April, during this event, Grade 11 and 12 students are introduced to both the practical and theoretical aspects to help them make informed career choices. As part of the programme, students also gain industry exposure either on-site or off-campus. The EBIT Open Day provides prospective students with an in-depth look at the various qualifications offered in the School of Engineering, Built Environment, and Information Technology, guided by academic experts.

Why Choose UP?

Choosing the University of Pretoria offers several advantages:

- Academic Excellence: UP is known for its high academic standards and comprehensive range of programmes.

- Research Opportunities: As a leading research university, UP offers numerous opportunities for undergraduate and postgraduate research.

- Diverse Community: With a large and diverse student body, UP fosters an inclusive and multicultural environment.

- State-of-the-Art Facilities: The university boasts modern facilities, including advanced laboratories, libraries, and sports complexes.

- Global Recognition: A degree from UP is recognized and respected worldwide, enhancing employability and career prospects.

 Facilities and Departments

UP's facilities are designed to support a holistic educational experience:

- Libraries: Extensive libraries with vast collections of academic resources.

- Laboratories: State-of-the-art laboratories for science, engineering, and medical research.

- Sports Complexes: World-class sports facilities, including the High Performance Centre.

- Accommodation: Comfortable and secure on-campus housing options.

- Health Services: Comprehensive health and wellness services for students.

 Faculties and Departments

UP comprises nine faculties, each housing various departments:

1. Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences

2. Faculty of Education

3. Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology

4. Faculty of Health Sciences

5. Faculty of Humanities

6. Faculty of Law

7. Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences

8. Faculty of Theology and Religion

9. Faculty of Veterinary Science

 Courses Offered

UP offers a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes across its faculties. Some popular courses include:

- Bachelor of Commerce (BCom)

- Bachelor of Education (BEd)

- Bachelor of Engineering (BEng)

- Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (MBChB)

- Bachelor of Arts (BA)

- Bachelor of Laws (LLB)

- Master's and Doctoral programmes in various disciplines

Minimum Admission Requirements

Admission requirements vary by programme, but general requirements include:

- Undergraduate Programmes:

  - National Senior Certificate (NSC) with university endorsement

  - Minimum Admission Point Score (APS) of 30-35 (varies by programme)

  - Specific subject requirements for certain programs (e.g., Mathematics and Physical Sciences for Engineering)

- Postgraduate Programmes:

  - Relevant undergraduate degree

  - Minimum academic performance in the undergraduate programme

  - Additional requirements as specified by the faculty

Here is an example below;

At the beginning of any of the three degrees offered by this Department (Electrical, Electronic, or Computer Engineering), students may choose either the four-year program or the five-year program for their chosen degree. To be admitted to any of these undergraduate degrees, students must meet the following requirements:

 Admission Requirements

The minimum requirements for formal admission to the Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology are:

- Matriculation Exemption

- English or Afrikaans (Higher Grade) (first language) - Score of 5 (60-69%)

- Mathematics (Higher Grade) - Score of 6 (70-79%)

- Physical Science (Higher Grade) - Score of 6 (70-79%)

- Life Orientation - Score of 4 (50-59%)

- Two Additional Subjects

- Minimum Admission Point Score (APS) = 35 (Life Orientation is excluded from the APS calculation)

 Admission to the Engage Programme

Admission to the Engage Programme will be determined based on:

- Faculty Selection

- Results of the Institutional Proficiency Test

- The National Senior Certificate:

  - Mathematics (Higher Grade) - Score of 5

  - Physical Science (Higher Grade) - Score of 4

  - Afrikaans or English - Score of 4

  - Minimum APS score = 25

 How to Apply

Documents Required

- Completed application form

- Certified copies of academic transcripts and certificates

- Proof of payment of application fee

- Identification document (ID or passport)

- English language proficiency test results (if applicable)

   Application Process

1. Online Application: Complete the online application form available on the UP website. Click here to apply.

2. Submission of Documents: Upload the required documents.

3. Payment of Application Fee: Pay the non-refundable application fee.

4. Application Review: The university reviews the application and notifies applicants of the outcome.

Application Dates and Closing Dates

Applications open on April 1st. All study programmes at the University of Pretoria have limited spaces. It is recommended to submit your application as soon as possible after April 1st. The application deadline for programs in the Faculty of Veterinary Science is May 31st, while the deadline for programs in all other faculties is June 30th.

Application Fee

- The application fee for undergraduate programmes is R300. Postgraduate application fees vary by programme. Please note that the application fee is non-refundable.

Housing and Transportation


The Department of Residence Affairs and Accommodation, commonly known as TuksRes, consists of various management teams committed to serving students in university residences. With an extensive residential community of nearly 8,000 students and over 10,000 accredited student accommodation beds, the University of Pretoria is the largest residential university in South Africa. The comprehensive framework of TuksRes ensures effective management of the diverse needs of the student population residing in university housing.

UP offers several on-campus accommodation options:

-  Residence Halls: Cater to undergraduate and postgraduate students, offering various room types and amenities.

-  Apartments: Self-catering apartments for senior students.

-  Student Village: Provides a communal living environment with modern facilities.


- Campus Shuttle Service: Provides transportation between campuses and to key locations in Pretoria.

- Public Transport: Buses and taxis are readily available for commuting within the city.

Contact Details

For more information, prospective students can contact UP through the following channels:

- Website: UP website

- General Enquiries:

  - Phone: +27 12 420 3111

  - Email:

- Admissions Office:

  - Phone: +27 12 420 4111

  - Email: [](

- Postal address: University of Pretoria, Private bag X20, Hatfield 0028, South Africa

- Physical address: University of Pretoria, Cnr Lynnwood Road and Roper Street, Hatfield, South Africa

The University of Pretoria stands out as a beacon of higher education in Africa, offering quality education, cutting-edge research, and a supportive environment for students to thrive. Whether you are a prospective student or simply interested in learning more, UP provides ample opportunities for academic and personal growth.


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