Mamelodi Pre-University Academy

Aligning Campus Strategic Goals to Achieve a University’s Anchor Institution Strategy Mandate


  • Nthabiseng Audrey Ogude University of Pretoria
  • Kgadi Clarrie Mathabathe University of Pretoria
  • Nosipho Mthethwa University of Pretoria
  • Regina White University of Pretoria



anchor institution, community engagement, STEM, extended curriculum programs, after-school programs


The University of Pretoria adopted an anchor institution strategy and designated the Mamelodi Campus as a Faculty with a focus on community engagement with the primary goal of broadening educational pathways to post-secondary school attainment.  This paper provides an overview of how two strategic goals of the University namely, widening access and success and strengthening social responsiveness have manifested over a decade through designating STEM access programmes to a campus located in the impoverished township, Mamelodi.  The anchor mission entails improvement of the access programmes through incorporating the student voice, as well the improvement of After-School Programmes (ASPs) by formalizing a Pre-University Academy (PUA). The PUA is a signature academic programme geared towards fostering articulation between the high school initiatives, access programmes and the mainstream programmes to ensure a seamless transition from secondary school to graduation. The paper provides lessons drawn from the provision of the programmes which resulted in “forward and backward” articulation to close the school-university gap while addressing systemic educational problems left by the legacy of apartheid. The paper further elaborates on the process followed to cement the anchor mission through the PUA as well as make recommendations to strengthen anchor institution strategy efforts in similar contexts.

Author Biographies

Nthabiseng Audrey Ogude, University of Pretoria

Dean of the University of Pretoria, Mamelodi Campus.

She has 29 years of experience in tertiary education, fourteen of which were in strategic leadership positions. In her current role as Dean and Professor of Science Education at the Mamelodi Campus of the University of Pretoria, her main responsibility is to oversee the Anchor Strategy of the University. 

Nosipho Mthethwa, University of Pretoria

Nosipho Mthethwa is the research assistant in the dean’s office at the Mamelodi Campus. She is currently studying towards a Masters degree in Education with a focus on access programmes. She coordinates the literacy programme in one of the Afterschool programmes offered by the campus. She also conducts research on the Anchor mission of the campus.

Regina White, University of Pretoria

Regina White is the STEM Programmes Coordinator in the campus’ afterschool programmes. She holds a Masters degree in Science Education. She is responsible for training and stakeholder engagement for all the afterschool programmes.


Akor, E.U. (2008). Government intervention in higher education in South Africa; Policy options. Pretoria: University of Pretoria. DOI:

Bank, L. (2018). Approaches to the university, place and development. In L. Bank, N. Cloete & F. van Schalkwyk (Eds.), Anchored in Place: Rethinking higher education and development in South Africa (pp. 1 – 22). Cape Town, South Africa: African Minds.

Bergen, D. J., & Sladeck, E. (2019). Considering the anchor mission strategy within the competing "regimes" of higher education community engagement. Metropolitan Universities, 30(1), 69-74. 10.18060/22917

Birch, E., Perry, D. C., & Taylor, H. L. (2013). Universities as Anchor Institutions. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, 17(3), 8-15.

Bureau for Institutional Research and Planning. (2017). Quality enhancement project: Institutional feedback. Pretoria: University of Pretoria.

Cantor, N., Englot, P., & Higgins, M. (2013). Making the work of anchor institutions stick: building coalitions and collective expertise. Journal of Higher Education and Engagement, 17(3), 17-46.

Case, J.., Marshall, D., & Grayson, D. (2013). Mind the gap: Science and engineering education at the secondary-tertiary interface. South African Journal of Science, 109(7-8), 1-5.

Department: Statistics South Africa. (2015, January 28). Census 2011. Retrieved from Stats SA:

Dragicevic, N. (2015). Anchor Institutions. Toronto: Atkinson Foundation.

Ehlenz, M. M. (2016). Neighborhood revitalization and the anchor institution: assessing the impact of the University of Pennsylvania's west Philadelphia initiatives on University City. Urban Affairs Review, 52(5), 714-750.

Ehlenz, M. M. (2018). Defining university anchor institution strategies: Comparing theory to practice. Planning Theory and Practice, 19(1), 74-92.

Ehlenz, M. M. (2018, November 27). The university and its neighborhood: a study of place-making and change. Urban Affairs, 1-19. DOI:10.1080/07352166.2018.1530568

Engelbrecht, J., Harding, A., & Potgieter, M. (2014). Evaluating the success of a science academic development program at a research-intensive university. African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, 18(3), 287-298.

Fashola, O. S. (1998). Review of extended-day and after-school programs and their effectiveness. Baltimore: Center for Research on the Education of Students Placed at Risk.

Friedman, D., Perry, D., & Menendez, C. (2014). The foundational role of universities as anchor institutions in urban development: A report of national data and survey findings. The Coalition of Urban Serving Universities. Retrieved from

Hahn, A., Coonerty, C., & Peaslee, L. (2005). Colleges and universities as anchors: profiles of promising practices. Brandeis University. Baltimore: The Annie E. Casey Foundation. Retrieved from

Hendricks, D., & Flaherty, J. (2018). Integrating the edges: University of Pretoria's neighborhood anchor strategy. Development Southern Africa, 35(5), 689-700.

Kivunja, C. (2015). Teaching students to learn and to work well with 21st century skills: Unpacking the career and life skills domain of the new learning paradigm. International Journal of Higher Education, 4(1 ), 81 - 91. URL:

Kremer, K. P., Maynard, B. R., Polanin, J. R., Vaughn, M. G. & Sarteschi, C. M. (2015). Effects of after-school programs with at-risk youth on attendance and externalizing behaviors: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 44, 616 - 636. DOI 10.1007/s10964-014-0226-4

Lauer, P. A., Motoko, A., Wilkerson, S. B., & Apthorp, H. S. (2006). Out-of-School-Time Programs: A Meta-analysis of effects for at-risk students. Review of Educational Research, 76 (2), pp. 275–313.

Lemmer, E. M. (2007). Parent involvement in teacher education in South Africa. International Journal about Parents in Education, 1(0), 218-229.

Lester, A. M., Chow, J. C. & Melton, T. N. (2020). Quality is critical for meaningful synthesis of afterschool program effects: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 49, 369 - 382.

Nkoana, E. M. & Dichaba, M. M. (2017). Development and application of conceptual and analytic frameworks for community engagement at a South African higher education institution. South African Journal of Higher Education, 31(6), 177 - 196.

Norris, K. & Weiss, H. A. (2019). Building capacity as anchor institutions: infrastructure, structure, and strategy. Metropolitan Universities Journal, 30 (1), 51 - 68. DOI: 10.18060/22372

Ogude, N. A., Meyer, I. J., Mwambakana, J., & Mthethwa, N. E. (2019). Can extended curriculum programs be improved through engagement with students using appreciative inquiry? South African Journal of Higher Education, 33(4), 219-236.

Provinzano, K., Riley, R., Levine, B., & Grant, A. (2018). Community schools and the role of university-school-community collaboration. Metropolitan Universities, 29(2), 91-103. DOI: 10.18060/21762

Snilstveit, B., Stevenson, J., Menon, R., Phillips, D., Gallagher, E., Geleen, M., Jimenez, E. (2016). The impact of education programs on learning and school participation in low- and middle-income countries. Retrieved from

Smith, J., Pelco, L. E., & Rooke, A. (2017). The emerging role of universities in collective impact initiatives for community benefit. Metropolitan Universities, 28(4), 9-30.

State of the Nation. (2019). Poverty and inequality: Diagnosis, Prognosis, response. Cape Town: Human Sciences Research Council Press.

Strydom, B. (2016). South African University history: a historiographical overview. African Historical Review, 48(1), 56-82.