The Pretoria branch of the Transvaal University College (TUC) was the forerunner of the University of Pretoria. It commenced its activities in 1908 with a staff of four professors and three lecturers. Thirty-two students enrolled for courses at the first campus, Kya Rosa, a house in the centre of the Pretoria. The University of Pretoria became a fully fledged university in 1930. The name Tuks, for the University of Pretoria, derives from the acronym for the College, namely TUC.
In the years preceding the South African War (1899-1902) there was much discussion in the Volksraad of the ZAR regarding the establishment of a university. These plans were interrupted by the outbreak of the war. In 1902 the Normal College for the training of teachers was established in Pretoria and in 1904 the Transvaal Technical Institute opened in Johannesburg with an emphasis on mining education. Classes were also offered by the institute in Pretoria.