Youth Day – 16 June Message from the Vice-Chancellor and Principal

Posted on June 15, 2018

16 June is a special day in South Africa’s calendar which acknowledges the role young people have played in shaping our current democracy. The energy and idealism of the youth is a powerful force in society, and at the University of Pretoria, we take pride in being able to prepare our students to play a leading role after graduation.

For many young people in South Africa today, unemployment is a key concern. This is one of the reasons that graduate employability is a priority to UP. Through our Work Readiness and Entrepreneurship (WREn) project, which was launched in 2016, we embarked on two pivotal programmes, namely the Ready-for-Work programme and the Entrepreneurship programme.

The goals of WREn are to equip graduates with the skills that will enable them to actively contribute in the workplace after graduation and to enhance entrepreneurial activity among students. We have already seen the results with a considerable improvement in international rankings for student employability. In SA we are now ranked in the top three for student employability in the latest QS World University Ranking System.

As a student at UP, we know you are well on your way to being a well-rounded graduate. But we also know that you may need more than just a world-class degree to make a success of your lives. For this reason, we have programmes and specially designed courses that are available online on ClickUP for students to step ahead of other graduates in the job market.

In our dynamic society, there are many opportunities available for young South Africans as entrepreneurs. UP students have access to free, online courses that teach you how to use your knowledge, skills and talents to start your own business. In this way, you have the chance to become a job creator rather than a job seeker.

Let’s reminds ourselves again of the sacrifices made by the youth in the past and take a moment to think about what it is we wish to achieve in life, and the steps required towards achieving these goals.

As an important part of the country’s future, you too, can make a positive impact in South Africa and be remembered in history as the generation who used their education to make a meaningful contribution and to uplift society.

Prof Cheryl de la Rey

Vice-Chancellor and Principal

- Author Department of University Relations

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