FRANCOIS DE BRUYN
The University of Pretoria has been ranked as one of the best Universities in the country and the world, year on year. UP’s international recognition is a drawing point for many who wish to pursue higher learning and a part of that “brand” recognition can arguably be tied to the university’s coat of arms, which has largely remained unchanged since 1908.
Recently a canvas survey was sent out by the University’s Executive based on a 2017 workshop consideration ‘to change the logo’. The survey aimed to gauge all the stakeholder’s opinion on this matter regarding the Heraldic device. According to Professor C.N. Nicholson, more than 10 000 individuals partook in the survey, the results of which then were escalated to the University Council, which is the top decision-making body of our institution. During a workshop on the 17th of September 2019, the Council took into consideration and backed the majority opinion that the Coat of Arms remains unchanged for now.
During the survey, the Executive of UP did point out that only the operational/ marketing logo was considered for a makeover and not the ceremonial Coat of Arms that appears on the Degrees, Diplomas as well as Certificates awarded by UP.
This undertaking of the Executive to change the logo seems to be in line with the idea to forge a new and shared institutional identity especially if one takes into account the Residence name change that took effect last year, yet a change like this would operationally and institutionally be a big expenditure, one might argue that money could better be spent on students struggling financially at our UP.