AfriForum Youth and students supporting this organisation today launched a campaign on the main campus of the University of Pretoria (UP) to inform students of the University’s weakening stature as tertiary institution. As part of this campaign, worthless degrees were handed out to students.
This follows after the UP dropped with 50 places from number 501 (in 2015) to number 551 (in 2016) on the QS World University Rankings within the space of one year. This after the UP was still rated among the top 500 universities in 2014 at number 471.
According to Henrico Barnard, AfriForum Youth’s Spokesperson at Tuks, this organisation is of the opinion that this decline in stature is significant of declining research and education quality and that it can be attributed to appointments and admissions that are not being done on merit. He furthermore says that the University cannot compete locally or internationally when it comes to academic excellence.
AfriForum Youth encourages students to vote for AfriForum candidates during the election of the Student Representative Council (SRC) and together exercise pressure on the UP management to ensure that appointments and admissions take place on merit only.
Barnard furthermore says that the UP is ranked 360 places below the University of Cape Town (UCT), which occupies the 191st spot in the rankings and performed the best of all the universities in South Africa.
“The University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) at number 359 and the University of Stellenbosch (US) at number 395 also perform much better than the UP. The UP is 49th on the BRICS ranking list and performs much worse than UCT, Wits and US at number 14, 26 and 35 respectively on the BRICS ranking list.”
“To help the UP reach its goal of becoming one of the world’s top 100 universities by 2025, students must stand up during this election and vote for an organisation that can make a difference.”