On Saturday, 17 April 2021, the Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology (EBIT) at the University of Pretoria (UP) hosted an online EBIT Open Day to introduce its traditional EBIT Week, which has been a regular biannual event for more than 20 years. During this time Grade 10–12 learners are invited to spend four days at Tuks residences while they get a glimpse of student life on campus. Due to the exceptional circumstances brought about by the COVOD-19 pandemic in 2020, the Faculty decided to take advantage of technology to host the EBIT Week online. This year, technology enabled them to also extend the invitation to learners in Grades 8 and 9.
In his opening speech the Dean of the Faculty, Prof Sunil Maharaj, said: ‘In this Faculty, we change the world through innovation and technology. We prepare you for an unimaginable future and hope to assist you in making great choices!’ He added that the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) has brought the future to our doorstep and that the Faculty has now put its money where its mouth is by collaborating with an external company, Spatial Multimedia, to present a high-tech programme that attracted more than 300 learners from across South Africa and its neighbouring countries. Using technology, the Faculty’s first mascot, EB, was introduced to the public and welcomed learners to the EBIT Faculty.
EBIT students who were involved in presenting this webinar were very proud to be part of such an innovative event and enjoyed interacting with prospective students on social media while answering their questions on live chat. Ms Sizwile Dlamini, a PhD student from the School for the Built Environment, managed the question sessions with the assistance of Mr Charles Ncubuka, an honours student from the School of Engineering, while Taylor van der Westhuizen and his mentee Tyron Beverley represented the School of Information Technology.
Valuable information on the various undergraduate courses offered by the Faculty was shared with the learners. We would like to thank all the learners who managed to join the session and congratulate the deserving Grade 12s who received bursaries to assist with the payment of their UP registration fees, as well as those who received goody-bags to thank them for their participation.
According to recent rankings, EBIT is a globally competitive and leading faculty and has been singled out as one of the world’s Top 50 preferred places for studying mining and mineral engineering.
- The Faculty enrolled more than 8000 undergraduate students in 2021.
- It produces 28% of all qualified engineers in the country, which is more than is produced by any other institution in SA.
- In 2020 alone, 2 292 students successfully completed their undergraduate studies in this Faculty, which is believed to have some of the best laboratories on the African continent.
- The Departments of Engineering and Technology at UP are ranked in the top 1% worldwide, based on the Essential Science Indicators (ESI) citations.
- EBIT was the first faculty in South Africa to introduce a master’s degree in Data Science.
- It was also the first faculty at a South African university to establish Artificial Intelligence and Computational Intelligence research groups.
- EBIT’s Computer Science and Information Systems programme is one of only two South African programmes in this field (and the only one in Gauteng) that is ranked in the Top 500 in the world.
The Faculty’s Architecture and Built Environment programmes are internationally recognised and are among the best in the country. Its active collaboration with international universities, government departments and industry involved in high-quality research has contributed towards making UP a leading research-intensive university in Africa and beyond.
We look forward to strengthening our relationship with learners and encourage them to visit our YouTube channel where important questions are answered by experts from the 13 undergraduate EBIT departments.
Prof Maharaj assured the learners that the Faculty staff are excited to work with them and to see them grow and prosper in the future. In closing, he stated: ‘We realise that the way we work, study, play, socialise and live will never be the same after COVID-19, but EBIT is ready to empower you to embrace this new disrupted future and achieve success for yourself, your loved ones and humanity.’
EBIT—innovating our tomorrow!