The University of Pretoria (UP) is ranked in the top 300 in the world for arts and humanities, according to the latest Times Higher Education World University Rankings, published earlier this week. UP was placed in the 251–300 bracket worldwide for arts and humanities subjects, and in the 601–800 bracket for all subjects. This is the first time UP has been included in the survey.
In compiling this survey, the judges assess the quality of teaching, research, research influence (measured by citations), international outlook and industry income for arts and humanities subjects. Each indicator may be weighted differently for each subject.
The following subjects were considered:
- Art, Performing Arts and Design
- Languages, Literature and Linguistics
- History, Philosophy and Theology
'We are pleased and proud that UP has been recognised in this category. Arts and Humanities subjects are valuable precisely because they help us to examine and understand the human condition on many levels. We congratulate our Humanities teaching and research staff on this vote of confidence in their work,' said Vice-Principal for Institutional Planning Prof Anton Ströh.
'This achievement recognises the powerful and potent contribution made by staff, students and alumni in both creative and scholarly terms to living in one of the most diverse and exciting societies in the world. Even better when this happens in the capital city, within a world-class university where we delve into our past by looking into our future,' said Professor Vasu Reddy, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities.
Archaeology offerings at UP take students into the Iron Age, where they learn about Mapungubwe, Great Zimbabwe and other sites and cultural identities, as well as water and social formation, community-based heritage, and cultural developments in the last 500 years connected with African-European contact and interaction.
Despite current economic challenges, the University of Pretoria has maintained vibrant archaeology, art, music, drama, language, history and philosophy departments. Students can choose to study languages and literatures ranging from Ancient Greek to contemporary Sepedi and Zulu, within a proudly South African context.
Now more than ever, the Faculty of Humanities' ongoing commitment to excellence is informed by its understanding that, in Lyndon Johnson's words, 'Art is a nation's most precious heritage. For it is in our works of art that we reveal to ourselves and to others the inner vision which guides us as a nation. And where there is no vision, the people perish.'