The University of Pretoria (UP), affectionately known as Tuks, has secured a place among the world’s top 200 most innovative universities in the 2023 World University Rankings for Innovation (Wuri).
As the sole South African institution to achieve this distinction, UP’s inclusion followed rigorous evaluation among more than 420 universities worldwide.
A significant highlight for Tuks is its business incubator, TuksNovation, which secured an impressive 44th position on the Wuri industrial application ranking. The university positioned itself within the 101-200 range in the broader assessment.
TuksNovation is a technology-driven business accelerator that provides indispensable product and business development support to emerging local startups.
Inter interim UP vice-chancellor and principal Prof Themba Mosia expressed his pride, saying, “We are especially pleased because these rankings evaluate universities’ practical contributions to society, highlighting how research and educational programmes are being used to create real change in our local and global societies.”
Prof Mosia continued, “These rankings are in line with UP’s vision of being a leading African research-intensive university that makes a meaningful contribution to our society through all our research and educational programmes and efforts.”
The Wuri initiative, inaugurated in 2020, is steered by the Institute for Policy and Strategy on National Competitiveness (IPSNC) in Seoul, South Korea. This collaborative effort receives backing from significant institutions, including the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), the Hanseatic League of Universities (HLU), and the Tailor Institute of Franklin University Switzerland (FUS).
Remarkably, TuksNovation’s notable 44th position underscores the business incubator’s profound impact on entrepreneurship and unemployment in South Africa. Prof Mosia highlighted the incubator’s success in aiding startups to transform ideas into thriving businesses.
“In its fifth year of operation, TuksNovation has worked with 60 startups, which collectively generated revenues of over R20-million, and trained 1 200 students in entrepreneurship and related entrepreneurial development initiatives,” said Prof Mosia.
While global academic giants such as MIT, Stanford, University of Pennsylvania, and Harvard lead the Wuri 2023 list, Dr Tae Hyun Kim, chairman of the Wuri coordinating body, emphasised the inclusion of lesser-known yet immensely innovative institutions.
“Their emergence highlights how Wuri is not based on tradition, reputation, or popularity, but rather on new concepts such as innovativeness, entrepreneurship, social responsibility, openness, crisis management, and progress during the fourth industrial revolution,” Dr Kim remarked.
Picture: Facebook / University of Pretoria
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