This October, the University Social Responsibility campaign will be launched. The campaign aims to raise awareness on the University of Pretoria’s (UP) impact on communities through our social responsiveness and social responsibility initiatives.
According to Vice-Chancellor and Principal Prof Tawana Kupe, “At UP we take pride in our locally and globally relevant programmes which produce graduates who are socially conscious, active citizens who address societal issues and positively impact our communities. We have some of the brightest young minds fully engaged with using their skills to find solutions for and provide assistance to communities plagued by some of South Africa’s most unequal socio-economic challenges through our array of community engagement projects. Our students’ involvement in communities where they practically apply their skills is an integral part of our hybrid learning approach at UP.”
There are some 1 500 community sites of learning and 33 000 students are involved in community projects or active volunteering. This helps us to produce graduates who are prepared for the challenges of a diverse world and who know that knowledge needs to be applied for the benefit of society.
UP is the first (and only) African university on the global University Social Responsiveness Network (USRN) and is represented on the Talloires Network, both of which are international associations of universities that are committed to strengthening the civic roles and social responsibilities of higher education. USRN is an international group of the top 15 universities in the world in this field.
There will be a series of awareness drives aimed at making staff, students and our alumni aware of the work that we do to ensure that UP remains an anchor institution within the community and we have a direct impact on the local economy, the safety and security, the upkeep and sustainability of our surrounds, infrastructure, attractiveness and the uplifting and improving on the general conditions of the residential areas our campuses are home to.
“Our sense of social responsibility is more than just taking responsibility for our impact on society, but also how responsive we are to the needs of society. To the best of our ability, we try to be environmentally conscious and committed to sustainable growth; greening and earth-friendly initiatives which give back positively to the planet rather than have a harmful impact. More than this, we know that our actions today have a ripple effect and impact on our future. Having a holistic view of what it entails to be socially active, responsible and responsive is THE UP WAY of life,” said Prof Kupe.