The University of Pretoria is a multi campus public research university in Pretoria, the administrative and de facto capital of South Africa.
It has its origins in the establishment of the Pretoria Centre of the Transvaal University College in 1908. The colloquial name of the university, Tuks or Tukkies, was derived from the acronym of the college – TUC.
The college opened its doors as an English language institution housed in Kya Rosa, a four-bedroom residential property in the centre of Pretoria. TUC started off with four professors and three lecturers and 32 enrolled students. Courses were presented in Dutch and other Modern Languages, English Language and Literature, Classics (which included Philosophy, Latin and Hebrew), as well as Natural Sciences.
On 10 October 1930, an act of Parliament – championed by General Jan Smuts – gave rise to the name TUC becoming the University of Pretoria. At the time the University had more than 900 students, making it the largest tertiary institution in the country at the time.
UP currently has more than 50 000 students and has become one of the leading higher education institutions on the continent and indeed, in the world. It now offers courses in both English and Afrikaans and has transformed from a mainly white, Afrikaner institution to a multicultural, multiracial university that offers quality education to South Africans from all walks of life.