The University of Pretoria bids goodbye to its Vice Chancellor and Principal, Prof Calie Pistorius

"Since his appointment, the number of residential students grew with 37,6%. This was manifested in a growth of undergraduate students from a total of 21 297 in 2001 to a total of 30 326 in 2009 (a growth of 42,4%) and a growth in postgraduate students from 8 914 in 2001 to 11 257 in 2009 (a growth of 26,3%).

The number of black and white undergraduate students grew from 5 937 and 15 360 respectively in 2001 to 13 123 (a growth of 121%) and 17 203 (a growth of 12%) respectively in 2009, whilst the number of black and white postgraduate students grew from 3 455 and 5 460 respectively in 2001 to 5 694 (a growth of 64,8%) and 5 608 (a growth of 2,71%) respectively in 2009.

The number of degrees and university diplomas (excluding all continuing education certificates and diplomas) increased from 9 563 in 2000 to 12 524 in 2008, an increase of 31%.

With regard to finances, the income of the University increased with 13% per year. Included in these numbers are state subsidies, which grew with 10,8% per year.

The University’s investments showed a growth of 125,9%, whilst reserves grew with 132,7%. The growth in reserves must also be seen in the context of the significant capital expansions that were undertaken, the bulk of which was also financed from reserves.

Financial aid to which students of the University of Pretoria has access grew with 37% per year.

With regard to staff, the number of permanent staff members increased from 3 274 in 2001 to 3 591 in 2008 (an increase of 9,7%). Included in this number was the number of academic staff, which grew from 1 452 in 2001 to 1 638 in 2008 (a growth of 12,8%). The number of permanent black staff members grew from 820 (25%) in 2001 to 1 305 (36%) in 2009.

The permanent staff members were assisted by a large number of temporary staff members.

With regard to facilities, a number of new buildings and facilities were erected and put into operation since 2001. These included:

The Client Service Centre

The Law Building, which houses the OR Tambo Law Library

The FABI Square laboratories

The Centenary Lecture theatre

Extensions to GIBS,

Extensive renovations to the Aula, including the addition of an organ

The Tuks Village and Tuks Naledi residences, and the addition of a new wing to Nerina.

Various sport facilities were built and upgraded.

The Steve Biko Academic Hospital was completed by the Gauteng Provincial Government.

A new facility for the Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) was built at Onderstepoort, following the closure of the HA Grové facility at the Pretoria Academic Hospital.

The old Technical Building on the Main Campus was converted into offices, computer labs and the Sci-Enza science centre.

The eastern part of the Experimental Farm was cut off and sold to the Gauteng Province for the establishment of the Innovation Hub. The University is currently considering establishing a facility for its Institute for Cellular and Molecular Medicine on the Innovation Hub.

The construction of the new Engineering complex, including a new entrance from University Road and structured parking is under way.

With regard to information technology, the multi-year systems renewal project is under way. The project cost is R200 million.

Network points have seen a growth of 300% from 5 000 to 20 000. From 2001 to 2008, seats in computer labs have grown by 267%.

With regard to Campus Enterprises, the number of courses offered by CE@UP increased from only 108 in 2000 to 1 418 in 2008. The revenue of CE@UP increased form R28 million in 2001 to R130 million in 2008, a growth of 364%.

The revenue of BE@UP increased from R9 million in 2001 to R58 million in 2008. This represents a growth of 544%.

In 2008 the group income of E@UP was R225 million.

Ladies and gentlemen, statistics are impersonal. It says very little of context, of the power of the sum total of multiple contributions and interventions, of what it takes physically, emotionally and in terms of the management of human relations to make all of that which I listed happen. Statistics can offer no guarantee with regard to procedural or substantive quality in respect of the main tasks of the University of teaching and learning, research and postgraduate studies and community engagement. For these assurances one has to search policy, compliance with evaluation criteria and accreditation, and other mechanisms to gauge the academic standing and stature of the institution.

Ladies and gentlemen, during his term of office, Calie Pistorius displayed an unwavering commitment to quality. One would be hard pressed to find better testimony to this fact than the recent HEQC report in which the University receives overwhelming praise for the quality of its operations over a broad spectrum ", Prof de Beer said.

The previously commissioned portrait of the Vice-Chancellor and Principal by artist Cyril Coetzee, was also unveiled by Professor Pistorius.

Coetzee holds a Masters degree in Fine Arts from Rhodes University and receives national and international recognition for his paintings and portraits. He has exhibited widely in South Africa, Switzerland, Canada, India and the USA.

The painting will join the others of previous incumbents in the passage leading to the UP Senate Hall in the Administration Building on the Hatfield Campus.

Prof Michele Olivier receives a bouquet of flowers from Mrs Nondima Nkuhlu, the wife of the Chancellor, Prof Wiseman Nkuhlu


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