About Us

LLITUP establishment

LLITUP (Living Lab for Innovative Teaching at the University of Pretoria) is a research unit in the Department of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, Faculty of Education, University of Pretoria.  The research unit was formally established during November 2014.  The Living Lab research paradigm focuses on collaborative and interdisciplinary research into solutions for challenges in the teaching community, in partnership with other stakeholders, such as different sections in the University (other Faculties, Department of Education Innovation, the Library, Department of Research and Innovation support, Enterprises at UP, Information Technology Services), the Departments of Education, Industry and private companies, the CSIR, the NRF, and other Universities.  Research opportunities within the LLITUP research unit manifests in or stems from projects, training, networking opportunities, communities of practice, as well as different support-opportunities for stakeholders.

The living lab research Paradigm provides a natural structure for this unit, as the purpose of a living lab is to create an open, user-centric, multidisciplinary research environment, driven by user-communities and their real life experiments. Living labs create the opportunities for collaboration in the different stages of the research, development and innovation.  Key principles in Living Labs are openness, influence, realism, value and sustainability.  Innovation, collaboration and sustainability therefore feature highly in this research paradigm and the stakeholders are seen as the source, collaborators and co-creators of innovation. 

Vision and mission


The vision of the research unit is to be

  • The leading hub for research into solutions for the challenges in the Southern African teaching environment - recognised for its quality, relevance and impact;
  • An open, user-centric, multidisciplinary research environment, driven by user-communities and their real life experiments, fostering innovation and sustainability in teaching interventions in South Africa; and
  • Developing people, creating knowledge and making a difference in education locally and globally.


The mission of the research unit is to

  • Create a multi-disciplinary collaborative research environment focusing on and seeking solutions to the unique challenges in the Southern African educational environment;
  • Create a virtual research community and networking opportunities through an online organisation as well as in face-to-face capacity growth opportunities regionally, nationally and internationally;
  • Formalise and manage a knowledge collection (database of people, projects and resources), partnership / collaboration opportunities, as well as funding; and
  • Disseminate knowledge through research reports to the Faculty and UP Research Committee, the electronic organization pages of the unit, teaching, workshops and training, seminars, conferences, publications and other suitable entities.


The following figure summarises the stakeholders and governance of the Research Unit.  The unit is coordinated by a manager, who reports to the Head of the Department SMTE, as well as the Dean of the Faculty of Education.  The manager coordinates the work of the Collaboratorium staff, as well as activities within the unit. 


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