The United Kingdom Friends of the University of Pretoria Foundation (UK Friends of UP) was officially launched on 5 February 2024, marking a significant milestone in fostering international collaboration and support for educational initiatives.
The UK Friends of UP aims to facilitate fundraising and support initiatives that enhance educational opportunities, research endeavours and community engagement at the University of Pretoria. Through strategic partnerships and philanthropic efforts, the foundation aims to make a meaningful impact on the lives of students, faculty and communities both locally and globally.
The launch event, held in London, was attended by UP alumni and supporters who share a common vision of promoting educational excellence and fostering meaningful connections between the United Kingdom and the University of Pretoria. Guest speaker was well-known host of the 702 Money Show, Bruce Whitfield.
In his keynote address, Vice-Principal: Research, Postgraduate Studies and Innovation Professor Sunil Maharaj emphasised the significance of friendship in shaping character and future prospects. Quoting an African proverb, he highlighted the correlation between one's associations and their trajectory in life. "Show me your friends, and I will show you your future," he remarked, underscoring the pivotal role of supportive relationships in personal and professional development.
The establishment of the UK Friends of UP signifies more than a formal organisation; it represents a commitment to nurturing meaningful connections and goodwill between individuals and institutions. As a registered overseas university charity, the foundation adheres to stringent legal, governance, and funding standards while embodying the spirit of friendship and mutual support.
"Friendship goes beyond mere association; it embodies goodwill, reciprocity and shared values," noted Prof Maharaj. "Tonight, we affirm our collective commitment as friends of the University of Pretoria, united in our dedication to advancing education and fostering global citizenship."
“Whether your donation is large or small, once-off or regular, your gift will help change more than one life,” concluded Prof Maharaj.
For more information about the United Kingdom Friends of the University of Pretoria Foundation and ways to get involved, please visit: https://up-foundation.org.uk/