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Establishment Years 1929 - 1948

Historic overview

-1929 Great Depression

-1930s Boom of Afrikaner cultural organisations

-1934 Formation of the United Party and Purified National Party

-1938 Great Trek Centenary

-1939 Outbreak of World War II

-1948 National Party comes to power

This period is characterized by the TUC receiving university status & Afrikaans becoming the official medium of instruction.
In terms of the Private Act on the University of Pretoria (Act no 13 of 1930) the TUC became the independent University of Pretoria and 10 October 1930 was the official date for the establishment of the University of Pretoria.


Until the early 1930s, the TUC was the only fully bilingual university in South Africa. By 1931, however, 65 % of students were Afrikaans speaking, but only 32% of classes were conducted in Afrikaans. To address this imbalance, the University Council decided in 1932 that Afrikaans would be the only medium of instruction. The University became popularly known as the “Voortekker Universiteit”.
With the establishment of the Medical Faculty in 1943, there were 7 faculties at the University of Pretoria. This led to an increase in student numbers and new facilities such as the Club Hall and the Administration Building had to be constructed.


Thanks to the generous donation of Dr Hans Merensky, the University could boast a modern academic library in 1939.

Student life flourished with events such as Spring Day being added to the university calendar.
Intervarsity became a fixture on the university calendar and the frequent raids on the Tuks mascot “Oom Gert” took the battle beyond the sports field.

The number of cultural and academic student societies continued to increase and many student publications were established in these years, such as Trek in 1931, the first Rag Mag in 1936 and the ever popular student newspaper, Die Perdeby in 1939.

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Last edited by Alida GreenEdit