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Introduction by the Principal

Rector

The University of Pretoria is one of the major research universities in the country and occupies a leadership position in tertiary education in South Africa. The University places a high premium on research, and considers the creation, application and transfer of knowledge as one of its major tasks. Over the last few years we have once again produced more audited research publications than any other tertiary institution in the country. The number of research output per academic also compares favourably with the best in the country. These sustained achievements are the result of a long-term commitment to research. The University and its researchers can justifiably be proud of these achievements.

It is, however, not only the quantity of research, but also the quality that counts. Our quest for quality - and quality of research in particular - stems from our mission of being locally relevant and internationally competitive. Local relevance is manifested inter alia in our choice of the academic disciplines offered, and also in the areas in which research is performed. The University responds to the needs of the country and the demands of the time by proactively contributing to the shaping of the future. Our research efforts spearhead this drive.

The University considers a contribution to the competitiveness of the country and the improvement of the quality of life of its citizens an important part of its mission. It is not surprising then that we have chosen to focus our research efforts in areas that have a direct impact on the well-being of the nation. Local relevance and international competitiveness also manifest itself in our cooperation with industry partners, science councils and foundations, as well as the research projects sponsored by the Innovation Fund and THRIP. SERA, the strategic alliance of the University with the CSIR, is particularly noteworthy in this regard. We continually strive to improve and expand our interaction with industry.

This report summarises the research efforts and output of the University of Pretoria for 2002 and bears testimony to our continued commitment to high quality research.

This year the report also provides a glimpse of programmes funded by grants and donations - these programmes are not limited to research, but also encompass development, community service and outreach. The programmes are a natural extension of the Universityís academic programmes and are an integral part of its commitment to teaching and research excellence. Community service is typically performed in the fields in which the University has proven competencies and is often undertaken in conjunction with major partners, other tertiary institutions and provincial governments.

The contributions mentioned in this report have been made amidst the high demands of increased student numbers and institutional restructuring.

I am indebted to every member of staff and student who has contributed to the collective effort.

Inleiding deur die Rektor

Die Universiteit van Pretoria is een van die land se voorste navorsingsuniversiteite en as sulks beklee ons 'n leierskapsrol in tersiÍre onderwys in Suid-Afrika. Die Universiteit plaas 'n besonder hoŽ premie op navorsing en beskou die skepping, toepassing en oordrag van kennis as een van sy belangrikste take. Die afgelope paar jaar het ons weer eens meer geouditeerde navorsingspublikasies gelewer as enige ander tersiÍre instelling in die land. Eweneens vergelyk die aantal navorsingsuitsette per akademikus besonder gunstig met diť van die land se bestes. Hierdie volgehoue prestasie is die resultaat van toewyding aan en verbintenis tot navorsing oor 'n lang tydperk. Die Universiteit en sy navorsers kan met reg trots wees op hierdie prestasies.

Net so belangrik soos die aantal uitsette is die kwaliteit van navorsing. Die Universiteit se strewe na kwaliteit - en kwaliteit van navorsing in die besonder - word gesteun deur sy missie om plaaslik relevant en internasionaal mededingend te wees. Plaaslike relevansie blyk duidelik uit die Universiteit se keuse ten opsigte van die akademiese dissiplines wat aangebied word en die gebiede waarop daar navorsing gedoen word. Die Universiteit antisipeer die behoeftes van die land en die eise van die tyd deur 'n proaktiewe bydrae tot toekomsskepping te lewer. Aan die spits van hierdie strewe staan die navorsingsinisiatiewe.

Die Universiteit beskou 'n bydrae tot die mededingendheid van die land en die skep van 'n beter lewenskwaliteit vir sy burgers as 'n belangrike deel van sy missie. Dit is dus vanselfsprekend dat die Universiteit se navorsingsfokus gerig is op daardie gebiede wat 'n direkte impak op die welsyn van die land se mense het. Plaaslike relevansie en internasionale mededingendheid word ook gemanifesteer in ons samewerking met industrievennote, wetenskapsrade, stigtings asook die navorsingsprojekte wat deur die Innovasiefonds en THRIP befonds word. Die strategiese alliansie wat die Universiteit met die WNNR het (SERA) word spesiaal in hierdie verband vermeld. Ons strewe voortdurend daarna om ons interaksie met die nywerheid uit te brei en relevant te hou.

Hierdie verslag dien as samevatting van die navorsingsinisiatiewe en -uitsette van die Universiteit van Pretoria vir 2002 en getuig van ons volgehoue verbintenis tot navorsing van 'n hoogstaande gehalte.

Hierdie jaar lewer die verslag ook Ďn oorsigtelike blik op programme wat deur skenkings en bewilligings befonds word - hierdie programme is nie tot navorsing beperk nie, maar dek ook ontwikkeling, gemeenskapsdiens en uitreik. Die programme is Ďn natuurlike verlenging van die Universiteit se akademiese programme en vorm 'n integrale deel van ons verbintenis tot uitnemendheid van onderrig en navorsing. Gemeenskapsdiens word tipies gelewer op die gebiede waarop die Universiteit oor bewese kundigheid beskik en word dikwels onderneem in samewerking met groot vennote, ander tersiÍre instellings en provinsiale regerings.

Die bydraes waarna in hierdie verslag verwys word, is gelewer te midde van die besonder hoŽ eise wat met groter studentegetalle en institusionele herstrukturering gepaard gaan.

Ek is dank verskuldig aan elke personeellid en student wat 'n bydrae gelewer het tot hierdie gesamentlike poging.

 

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