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UP is committed to providing an environment in which its students flourish, succeed and self-actualise.

This means that they receive strong academic tuition in traditional settings. But this is not sufficient. In order to be ready for the world of work and business, students need to be technology-savvy, have values consistent with those of the University, and understand the importance of building strong communities.

At UP hybrid learning (i.e. learning in class, online and community settings) is therefore integral to ensuring success. Working in the communities does not simply complement the learning process; it is a powerful way of demonstrating compassion in real and useful ways.

The University Social Responsi­bility Programme is a vital link between students and communities – a great opportunity to learn in situ, contribute to social justice, and do the right thing. Currently, UP is the only African member of the University Social Responsibility Network, a global network of tertiary institutions committed to contributing to a caring society.

Community engagement (CE)or Academic Service Learning (ASL) is embedded into the academic programs and provides a deep learning experience for students, fostering the development of skills for managing relationships, problem-solving and civic responsibility, which provides a competitive edge to students entering the world of work.

2019 Academic Year 30 000 Students

(45% of all students) will be involved in curricular community engagement

Faculty Curricular community engagement, work-integrated and practical work.


  •  UP contributes annually more than R60m in working hours to the local community through its community engagement activities
  • The imputed value of UP community engagement activities is estimated to the amount of R1b
  • UP are working with more than 1000 community partners and are involved with more than 3000 projects annually

Country: South Africa

Year: 2003 – 2019

Institution: University of Pretoria

Person in charge: Gernia van Niekerk

Email: gernia.vanniekerk@up.ac.za

# of students: 30.000

Interaction with beneficiaries: Face-to-face

Academic Degree: Undergraduate | Master | PhD

Discipline(s):  Compulsary and available in all academic fields since 2003

Community Service Area & ODS: Not apply

Making a difference in society: Mamelodi Business Clinic

High levels of youth unemployment is one of the biggest challenges facing South Africa today. The University of Pretoria (UP) Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences supports the Mamelodi Business Clinic to help township entrepreneurs grow their businesses.

Video source: https://www.youtube.com/user/UPvideolibrary

Making a difference in society: Child Law Clinic

The rights of children are protected by the constitution. The South Africa’s Children’s Act of 2005 (Act No. 38 of 2005) relates to the care and protection of children, defining parental responsibilities and rights.

This law makes provision for matters such as children’s courts, adoption, child abduction and surrogate motherhood. This encourages the prioritisation of the best interest of the child, giving the child the right to participate in any matter concerning them even if they are living with a disability or chronic illness.

Organisations continue to join hands to tighten child protection yet every hour, a child murder or assault is reported in South Africa. At least a third of children in South Africa have experienced some form of maltreatment.

Video source: https://www.youtube.com/user/UPvideolibrary

Making a difference in society: Daspoort Clinic

The Daspoort Clinic continues to serve the medical needs of the local community. While a lot has changed over the last fifty years, the ethos that first drove students to volunteer their time to do community service in this working class suburb of Pretoria remains the same.

“The students are basically learning what is actually happening in a medical practice outside in the community,” said Dr Gerhard Botha, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Family Medicine.  “We have established a platform for all the disciplines in the Department of Medicine to be able to do community service. This is very important to the UP community.”

Video source: https://www.youtube.com/user/UPvideolibrary

Making a difference in society: Tshwane School of Music

The University of Pretoria (UP) has the Department of Music which caters for practical music, music technology and education, music therapy and psychology and musicology.

Above offering the prospective students top quality tuition in this discipline, the university has a vital link between the students and their community.

The responsibility programme provides valuable practical training, coaching and mentoring, giving workshops and masterclasses to students at the Tshwane School of Music at the Eersterust Township in Pretoria.

Video source: https://www.youtube.com/user/TshwaneSchoolOfMusic

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