Education and Instruction at the University of Pretoria

The culture of excellent teaching is firmly entrenched at UP across all fields of study. Our committed academics have multiple approaches to teaching to ensure that students with a variety of learning strengths succeed. Good teaching helps students to excel and graduate in the minimum time set out for a degree.


Our degrees are locally accredited and internationally recognised. We have agreements in place with the relevant legal accreditation bodies around the world, which means that, with UP behind your name, your qualification will always be recognised.


Our educational approach has a strong focus on inclusivity and equitable access to education, but ultimately on equity of outcomes. We effectively use contact sessions in traditional lectures, seminars, laboratories and practical sites, together with the experience gained by more than 20 years of using online learning platforms. This has enabled access and success for an increasing number of students.


Our teaching and learning approach is based on inquiry-based learning, hybrid learning and community-based learning. This means that students can ask questions and do research in their field to learn and discover answers on their own; be taught in a classroom or other formal contact environment but also find additional activities, notes, resources and videos to supplement their classes online; or apply their knowledge in a practical way to help communities around university campuses.


Additional academic development is offered to first-year students to orientate them to the range of support services and offerings available institution-wide and within faculties to help students achieve their academic goals. These include tutoring, mentoring and advising services.



The University’s approach to learning theory posits that students actively construct their own knowledge and understandings, which is best achieved through engagement in class using inquiry-based teaching. A flipped teaching approach, requiring students to prepare before class, allows for new teaching to actively build upon existing knowledge. This creates more time in class for inquiry-based activities, such as developing ideas, exploring consequences, justifying solutions, discussions, and problem-solving, while lecturers can focus on complex concepts and problems. The inquiry-based flip approach is applicable across different instructional modalities.


The University’s flipped learning model is divided into three phases of teaching and learning: (a) preparation before class, (b) engagement in class, and (c) consolidation after class.


PREPARE before class

High-quality instruction requires students to come to class prepared, as this enables new teaching to build actively on existing knowledge. Students can prepare for the class using traditional textbooks, eTextbooks, PDF and Word files, videos or publishers’ learning systems. Students’ preparedness for each class should be assessed before the class. These assessments provide valuable information to a lecturer that can be used during contact classes to address misconceptions.

ENGAGE during scheduled class time

Inquiry-based learning, which involves teaching through questioning rather than telling, allows students to think, communicate and justify their ideas.



Assignments and assessments after class provide further opportunities for students to consolidate their knowledge and organise it into meaningful hierarchical patterns. This process helps students to reinforce their understanding of the material and make connections between different concepts, leading to deeper learning and retention.


The academic success of students at the University of Pretoria

The University of Pretoria is dedicated to fostering an environment where students can thrive and achieve success. The University is fully committed to providing support and assistance to students, as well as removing obstacles to their success. However, students also have a responsibility to take charge of their own success and career development. This includes preparing for the workforce, post-graduate studies, and employment after graduation. The first step towards enhancing student success is to offer quality teaching and learning opportunities that enable active and authentic engagement with the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values of a particular discipline. To succeed in the modern workforce, students must possess qualities such as adaptability, ethics, critical thinking, problem-solving, teamwork, collaboration, effective communication, and self-directed learning while also being interculturally aware. Achieving these qualities requires a high-quality teaching and learning environment with relevant curricula.

To access more information regarding the University’s student success initiatives, please download the document titled “”.“Student Success at UP”.

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