UPCT celebrates 20 years with a reunion

Posted on July 05, 2023

The University of Pretoria Campus Tours (UPCT) class of 2023 organised and hosted the 20-year reunion of UPCT on the 1st of July 2023 in the Glass Foyer at the Musiaon. The event was a great success, with over 40 alumni in attendance - almost a third of the 180+ graduates that have completed this postgraduate degree since its inception in 2002. Included among the guests was Cassie Carstens, a founding  UPCT member and currently the Secretarybird Conservation Officer at Birdlife South Africa. Those who could not attend the function indicated that it was primarily due to the success associated with this Honours degree, as many of them are employed in countries across the globe as well as in provinces across South Africa.

UPCT was initiated in 2003 by Prof Karen Harris (Head of the Department of Historical and Heritage Studies - DHHS) and has grown to become an excellent example of a “live project” for the Heritage and Cultural Tourism Honours students in DHHS. It forms part of the practical component of the module EFK 752 in the Honours degree. Essentially, UPCT is a simulated tourist guiding organisation where students are tasked to set up an agency and run the marketing, administration, coordination, management, planning and financial aspects of UPCT. This provides the Honours students with hands-on experience vital for their future careers. UPCT offers customised tours across the University of Pretoria’s (UP) Hatfield campus to a wide range of visitors, including academics, foreign dignitaries, alums, exchange students, prospective students, parents, new academic and administrative staff, and school groups.

These students, who also qualify as accredited cultural tourist guides for Gauteng Province after completing their UP three-year Heritage and Cultural Tourism degree, also do in-depth research on the UP’s history and development in the UP Archives to uncover the university’s rich yet diverse heritage. As an entrepreneurial initiative, UPCT is affiliated with Enterprises UP, which sponsors the UPCT students’ branded gear.

Prof Harris commended the 2023 group of students comprising Marli Rheeder, Elmien Viktor, Anelisiwe Dinizulu, Monique Olivier and Kaylin Kemsley for organising a “seamless event”, dubbing them the “platinum girls”. UPCT guides are also known as the “ambassadors of the University” and are persistently saluted for their work.

Anyone interested in taking a UPCT tour, please get in touch:

012 420 5155 or Email: [email protected]

From left to right: Monique Olivier, Marli Rheeder, Elmien Viktor, Cassie Carstens, Anelisiwe Dinizulu and Kaylin Kemsley

From left to right: Monique Olivier, Kaylin Kemsley, Marli Rheeder, Elmien Viktor, Zimkhitha Tsotso, Prof Karen Harris and Anelisiwe Dinizulu

- Author Elmien Viktor

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