University of Pretoria launches its new Mining Industry Study Centre

Posted on November 01, 2013

Key to achieving this goal is the support offered to engineering students by the University and partnerships with government and industry. Such partnerships bear fruit this week when the University launches its new Mining Industry Study Centre.

The centre was made possible through major support from Glencore Xstrata and Anglo American to augment the new Engineering 3 facilities. The cement for the Study Centre was sponsored by PPC and the electrical switchgear by CBI Low Voltage.

“The centre provides computer-supported, individual and group work facilities for more than 800 students and is a vital part of the Faculty’s strategy to increase the success rate of its students by providing facilities to support learning,” says Prof Roelf Sandenbergh, Dean of the Faculty. “The need for such a facility has developed due to the changing demographics of UP’s engineering students, with many travelling far on a daily basis and thus in need of study facilities to make the most of their time on campus,” he explained.

Prof Sandenbergh says that the relatively low number of engineers in South Africa is a limiting factor in the development and maintenance of technology intensive services and industries. South Africa’s government and industry are well aware of the need to increase science and engineering human resources and has supported various initiatives to improve the situation. It includes backing the growth of science and engineering education at tertiary level, and more specifically that of engineering education, facilities and laboratory equipment at UP. “Fortunately there is significant interest amongst learners in engineering education, but as many of these students come from disadvantaged backgrounds they need extra support and guidance to be successful.”

UP’s School of Engineering has embarked on a growth path, supported by the University Council, government and key industry stakeholders. Numbers in most engineering programmes have increased significantly over the past decade, firmly establishing UP as the biggest educator of engineers at a professional level in the country. UP’s research output in engineering is also the highest in the country.

“Access to our programs in engineering is further broadened by our extended and augmented programmes through which we offer talented but underprepared learners the opportunity to succeed through intensive guidance and support utilizing facilities such as the new Study Centre,” says Prof Sandenbergh.

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