UP-Pre-University Academy (UP-PUA)

University of Pretoria Pre-University Academy (UP-PUA)

The University of Pretoria Pre-University Academy (UP-PUA) has a multi-level, data-led, and collaborative approach, being well aware that the education crisis cannot be solved by one institution. Our collaboration with our internal and external partners has allowed us to service a number of cohorts.

Level 1 intervention

  • Learners – 450 per week, Grades 8, 9 and 10 STEM from all 20 schools in Mamelodi and surroundings. E-learning is supplemented with traditional chalkboard teaching provided by our partner Kutlwanong.
  • Teacher Development – A structured memorandum of understanding with the Department of Education provides a developmental opportunity to Mathematics and Science teachers across grades 4 - 12.

Level 2 intervention (Pilot Studies)

This allows for information gathering that can inform the future scalability of similar programs. 

  • Pre-University Academy

The purpose of the courses is to complement what learners learn in school and to further develop their skills in order to assist them to increase their chances of success and prepare effectively for their examination and admission for tertiary studies. The Pre-University Academy presents 7 courses on a Saturday morning for Grade 8 - 12 learners.  These courses include:

  • Mathematics
  • Physical science
  • Natural science
  • Creative writing
  • Language and literacy skills
  • Computer literacy
  • Examination preparation

Learners also have to option to join the science club and art club.

  • Parental guidance

In order to better assist parents in guiding their children to secure futures, the Mamelodi Campus has embarked on a career interest awareness for 1000 grade 9 learners through online testing. Test results were shared with parents through a dedicated parents meeting. Through this forum, parents were made aware of the career opportunities that their child could pursue and how best to position their children through correct subject choices. The positive response from parents has warranted a decision to make online testing an annual event.

  • Individual Mentoring

In partnership with the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME), we have extended this mentoring opportunity to 3 high schools in Mamelodi. Learners get opportunities to receive guidance from knowledgeable others who have already navigated the difficulties that they might be experiencing at that moment. The exposure that learners receive through the program allows them to know themselves better and discover their own strengths, making them more prone to demonstrate leadership abilities.

International Comparative Studies RU-Newark (Sunshine Programme)

  • Robotics training for grade 8-10 learners from Tsako Thabo has seen the most unexpected children shining and discovering their talents. This e-twinning initiative with a USA school Barringer High exposes learners to the thinking skills like problem-solving and critical thinking embedded in coding. The e-twinning helps the learners develop a global perspective which will help them understand local issues within its global context.
  • The STEAM project combines arts and science through architectural influences to create conducive environments for learning and the performing arts. Learners are sharing images of Mamelodi with their USA counterparts. Biodiversity project links the arts and science through a global citizen lens in partnership with learners from Newark.
  • Sports and recreation by partnering with a local cycling club expose learners to pursue opportunities in the sporting field.

Level 3 intervention

Opportunities for all learners in collaboration with multiple providers through structured Memoranda of Understanding with the different partners in engendering a college (post-secondary school) going culture including tertiary institutions, schools, Education departments, business, non-government organisations. Itsotseng Psychology clinic as such an example assists parents with children at risk of failing or dropping out, by providing counseling services for both parties.  Mae Jemison science reading library exposes learners in the community to career fields and individuals in the sciences. Committed Artists for Cultural Advancement (CAFCA)  allows children to explore their musical talent and personal creativity in a safe and supportive environment. CAFCA, through its commitment, has created many post-secondary school opportunities for its participants.


Published by Martina Jordaan

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