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Introduction by the Vice-Chancellor and 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. In 2002, as in the last number of years, the University of Pretoria once again produced more audited research publications than any other tertiary institution in the country (as measured by the national Department of Education). The number of research publications 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 ó and quality of research in particular ó 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 manifests 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. The Innovation Hub, which is being developed on the Universityís experimental farm as one of the Gauteng Provinceís Blue IQ projects in collaboration with the University and the CSIR, will also contribute significantly towards strengthening towards this end.

The Mamelodi campus of Vista University was incorporated into the University of Pretoria in January 2004. The academic staff on the Mamelodi campus are now members of the Universityís faculties and departments. As such their research initiatives and contributions will further enhance and strengthen the Universityís larger research thrust.

This report summarises the research efforts and output of the University of Pretoria for 2003 and bears testimony to our continued commitment to high quality research.

The report also provides a glimpse of programmes funded by grants and donations ó 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 Visekanselier en 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. Gedurende 2002, soos oor die afgelope aantal jare, het die Universiteit van Pretoria weer eens meer geouditeerde navorsingspublikasies gelewer as enige ander tersiÍre instelling in die land (soos gemeet deur die nasionale Departement van Onderwys). 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 ó en kwaliteit van navorsing in die besonder ó 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. Die Innovation Hub wat op die Universiteit se proefplaas ontwikkel word deur die Gauteng Provinsie as een van sy Blue IQ projekte sal hierdie bande verder versterk.

Die Mamelodi kampus van Vista is in Januarie 2004 by die Universiteit van Pretoria geÔnkorporeer. Die akademiese personeel by die Mamelodi kampus is nou lede van die Universiteit se fakulteite en departemente. As sulks sal hulle navorsingsinisiatiewe en bydraes die Universiteit se groter navorsingspogings verder bevorder en versterk.

Hierdie verslag dien as samevatting van die navorsingsinisiatiewe en -uitsette van die Universiteit van Pretoria vir 2003 en getuig van ons volgehoue verbintenis tot navorsing van 'n hoogstaande gehalte.

Die verslag lewer ook Ďn oorsigtelike blik op programme wat deur skenkings en bewilligings befonds word Ė 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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