UP Sight Initiative

Reading, writing and studying are crucial components that a student needs to successfully complete their degree and #FLY@UP. Teaching and Learning take place in a hybrid format which requires students to not only use traditional ways of studying but also incorporate the use of technologically enabled devices to progress in their studies. Students’ learning expectations requires good vision. Good vision is increasingly compromised due to the increased time spent on online learning.

The UP Sight project was initiated by the Deputy Dean of Teaching and Learning, Professor Vanessa Steenkamp, after she realized that there was a significant increase in the number of students starting off at university not wearing spectacles, but as the degree progressed, especially for the longer courses, many students were wearing spectacles. “When I approached Prof Makunyane, Head of Department of Ophthalmology, and asked whether the department would be interested in collaborating in the initiative by evaluating donated spectacles for reuse, she immediately welcomed the idea” shared Professor Vanessa Steenkamp.

Staff in the Ophthalmology Department, based at the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, will categorize the donated lenses and frames and will re-purpose them by assembling spectacles to suit the need of the specific person. This initiative is specifically targeted at persons who do not have medical aid or the funds to purchase them. Students who have problems will be referred to the Ophthalmology Clinic at Steve Biko Hospital for screening, after which the required procedures will be arranged.

The Faculty of Health Sciences and FLY@UP encourage staff and students to contribute to the UP Sight initiative by donating spectacles or informing people that have reading or prescription glasses that are no longer used to please donate them. By donating you are contributing to improving the quality of life of University of Pretoria students, by helping them to have a clear vision and succeed academically. Be part of this University-wide initiative! Be a #LifeChanger.

Students who struggle with vision or suffer from chronic headaches should contact their respective Faculty Student Advisor, who will then refer the student to the Department of Ophthalmology, where trained staff will carry out an eye screening test. The screening test is free to all registered students of the University of Pretoria. After diagnosis, students without access to a medical aid will be assisted with a pair of spectacles.


Donation boxes are available for all Faculties at the sites listed below.

  • Faculty of Health Sciences: Reception, HW Snyman Building or Entrance of BMS Building or Student Administration Building, Tswelopele Building

  • Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Science: Between the Dean's office and Student Administration, Ground floor, Agricultural Building

  • Faculty of Economic and Management Science: Room 1-5.7, EMS Building

  • Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, Onderstepoort: Level 1, Lesedi Complex

  • Faculty of Theology: Front of the Stairs, Student Administration Building

  • Faculty of Law: Foyer, Law Building

  • Faculty of Engineering: Room 6-19, Floor 6, Engineering Building 1

  • Faculty of Humanities: IT Building 2-9, Student Administration

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