At UP we firmly believe that we are a resource and an asset to South Africa, Africa and the world. We take pride in our locally and globally relevant programmes which produce graduates who are socially conscious, active citizens who address societal issues and positively impact on our communities. We know that even more important than knowledge production is the wisdom and responsibility to apply our knowledge and skills to the benefit of all.
Through our array of community engagement activities, some of the brightest young minds are meaningfully engaged in using their skills to find solutions to community problems arising from South Africa’s historical and contemporary socio-economic challenges. Community engagement is part of our holistic curriculum for which students earn credit, but is also supported by active volunteerism. We are an anchor institution within the various communities in which we have campuses. We have a direct impact on the local economy, safety and security, upkeep and sustainability of our surroundings and infrastructure and improving the general conditions of the city.
UP is environmentally conscious and committed to sustainable growth, greening and earth-friendly initiatives which give back to the planet rather than having a harmful impact. More than this, we know that the actions we take today have a ripple effect and impact on our future. At UP, personal growth and broadening the minds of our students and staff are part of our way of life.
At UP, we collaborate with communities. The knowledge and skills of our students can help to solve problems identified by communities. Our students apply their knowledge in the context of the community and transfer their skills. Mutual respect and benefit are at the core of what we do.
Our efforts have not gone unnoticed. Two international university associations that are committed to strengthening the civic roles and social responsibilities of higher education have acknowledged our work. We are the first (and only) African university on the University Social Responsiveness Network (USRN), and we are represented on the Talloires Network. We are also involved in Europe through the Erasmus Programme in developing programmes at their universities, mainly to deal with the humanitarian refugee crisis.
We believe that UP can make a positive and lasting difference in our society and the environment.