Excitement was the order of the day as about 14 000 prospective students (grade 12 learners), their families and friends from across the country attended the University of Pretoria’s (UP) #ChooseUP Day on Saturday, 17 August.
The grade 12 learners who have been conditionally accepted into their first year of study in 2020 visited the Mamelodi, Groenkloof, Prinshof and Hatfield campuses where they were provided with information on why they should choose UP as their place of study. They were given tours of lecture halls as well as of the residences. The Faculty of Law students held moot court training sessions and mock lectures for guests to observe. The deans and senior staff of each faculty held information sessions. There were also bursary draws in the faculties.
Prospective students do the robot dance with UP staff member Libby the robotic library assistant
The prospective students were not shy to show off their moves in a robot dance with Libby, UP’s library client service robot who is believed to be the first of her kind to be employed in any university library in Africa. She represents UP’s embracement of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Meanwhile, the prospective students were awestruck by Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering students showing off the Baja cars they had designed and built. These rugged, small, single-seat off-road vehicles have to survive the severe punishment of rough terrain, steep rocky hills and mud when the Tuks Baja team competes against other universities.
Addressing prospective students and their parents at two sessions in the amphitheatre, UP Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Tawana Kupe said: “UP provides quality education and strong teaching support. It is rated number one in research outputs in the country”, while its academics produce world-first discoveries that are transforming lives.
Furthermore, UP has “pioneered hybrid learning which is face-to-face teaching and support for online learning”.
“We teach you to be independent and to learn on your own… while the university’s Ready for Work Programme prepares you for the world of work,” said Prof Kupe. He urged prospective students to finish their degrees on time, explaining that UP has a Finish Line is Yours (FLY) campaign that offers them support, while there is the option of taking an online entrepreneurship course.
Thousands of prospective students (grade 12 learners), their families and friends from across the country attended #ChooseUP Day
Riddni Patel (18) from Johannesburg said she had chosen to study at UP “because it’s pretty cool”, something she had heard from students already at the university. She said she also liked the fact that the university is globally ranked. Riddni said she would be studying towards a BCom Business Management degree, which she hopes will give her an edge in the workplace.
Eighteen-year-old Elaine van den Berg from Centurion will be studying for a Bachelor of Education degree next year. “I have a special place in my heart for UP because I sang in the UP Youth Choir so I fell in love with the spirit of the university, and I am looking forward to coming here and starting a new chapter of my life,” she said.
UP students entertain the crowd
Tyrese Makhubele travelled four hours from Giyani with his father, Norman, to visit UP. He intends studying for a Bachelor of Information Science degree with a speciality in multimedia. “I am so passionate about programming and making apps, because the future lies in technology and the opportunities are huge,” he said.
His father said it was ideal for Tyrese to study at UP as he would be exposed to a variety of cultures. “I have seen this experience, it is wonderful. I brought him here all the way from Giyani, we woke up at 03:00 today in order to get here. We have walked around the campus and I am happy to say it looks like a beautiful place,” he said.
Learners were also excited to visit the Mamelodi Campus to hear about the Extended Curriculum Programme. The campus provides students with a strong foundational basis for their studies in the Faculties of Natural and Agricultural Sciences and Economic and Management Sciences.
UP students held a moot court to provide prospective students with insight on what it is like to be a lawyer in court
Alumnus Johan Steenkamp, who has a BSc in Mathematical Sciences, took a trip down memory lane with his family when he visited the Faculty of Economic Management Sciences. His son, Chris, will start his BSc degree in Medical Science in 2020. Steenkamp, who works for a mining company, said graduates “from UP are more professional and inclined for the business world”.
“They are ready to go, while graduates from other universities still need to grow up.”