South Africa has a long and proud history of providing quality tertiary education that dates as far back as 1829 with the inception of the University of Cape Town (UCT). More than a century later there are now 26 public universities distributed across all nine province, with each province having at least one university. The larger provinces (Gauteng, Western Cape and Kwazulu Natal) each have three or more universities with Gauteng topping the list with 7 public universities. According to Africa Check there were more than 1 million students enrolled in South African universities in 2017. Below you will find a list of all the South African universities.
The University of Venda is situated in Northernmost province of South Africa, Limpopo. The University was established in 1982, with its focus on science & technology. The University of Venda has one main campus that houses all 7 faculties. These faculties include The School of Agriculture, Education, Environmental Science, Health Science, Human & Social Sciences, Management Science, Mathematical & Natural Science as well as the School of Law. The campus has a full-time sports centre that is used for indoor sports as well as other recreational activities like drama & dance. You will also find an art gallery on the campus which has displays of carvings, paintings & clay-pots done by students as well as local community members.
Central University of Technology, also known as CUT, was established in 1981. This University has two campuses. One in Bloemfontein and the other one in Welkom, Free State. The education opportunities offered in these two campuses include science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), management sciences, humanities and education. The Central University of Technology employs more than 800 academics and research staff over its four faculties. These faculties include: Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology, Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Humanities and Faculty of Management Sciences
Mangosuthu University of Technology is situated in the outskirts of Durban, South Africa. Mangosuthu university of technology is also known as MUT. MUT as three faculties: Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Management Sciences and Faculty of Natural Sciences.
The University of Mpumalanga is situated in Mbombla, which is the capital of the scenic province of Mpumalanga. The University was established in 2013 and enrolled its first students in February 2014. UMP offers 26 qualifications and has a total of 4200 students. The faculties that are offered at UMP are:
• Bachelor of Developmental Studies
• Bachelor of Education in Foundation Phase Teaching
• Bachelor of Science in Agriculture
• Bachelor of Agriculture in Agricultural Extension and Rural Resource Management
• Diploma in Agriculture in Plant Production
• Diploma in Nature Conservation
• Diploma in Hospitality Management
• Diploma in Information Communication Technology in Applications Development
• Advanced Diploma in Agriculture in Agricultural Extension
. This University has two campuses. Mbombela & Teacher Education Siyabuswa campuses.
Sol Plaatje University was established in 2014 in Kimberley, which is the capital & largest city in the Northern Cape. The current focus areas are on Teacher Education, ICT & data science, heritage studies, paleo-sciences and creative writing in African languages. SPU is currently developing future programmes in agricultural sciences with a focus on water-stressed conditions.
The University of Cape Town is located in Cape Town’s leafy suburb of Rondebosch. Founded in 1829, UCT boasts being both the oldest University in South Africa as well as one of Africa’s leading teaching and research institutions. Over the years the University of Cape Town has garnered many accolades including consistently being ranked the highest African university and producing several Nobel Prize winners. UCT’s Commerce, Law, and Medicine Faculties are consistently placed in the top hundred globally.
The University of Fort Hare is made up of three campuses; Alice Campus, Bhisho Campus as well as the East London Campus. Fort Hare was originally a British Fort during the wars between the British settlers and the Xhosa. In 1916 the university was established on the site of the old fort in Alice. It played a pivotal part in the education of black Africans from 1916 to 1959 and produced many prominent alumni such as Oliver Tambo, Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. The university has five faculties including Education, Law, Management and Commerce, Science and Agriculture, Social Sciences and Humanities.
The University of the Free State is located in Bloemfontein. It has three campuses two of which are in Bloemfontein and one situated in Phuthaditjhaba. UFS was founded in 1904 when Grey College offered its first Bachelor of Arts degree. Not long afterwards the College was renamed Grey University College which would eventually become The University of the Free State. Since 1993 the university has adopted a parallel-medium of tuition offering all its courses in Afrikaans as well as English. UFS offers a range of fields of study that includes Business, Education, Humanities, Law, Theology, Medicine and Agriculture. It boasts 164 NRF-accredited researchers and 2 521 staff members that strive to make a local and global impact on society.
The university is comprised of 5 campuses located in Pinetown, Glenwood, Durban, Scottsville as well as Westville in Kwazulu Natal and was formed in 2004 after the merger of the University of Natal and the University of Durban Westville. UKZN offers prospective students four main faculties to choose from including Agriculture, Engineering and Science, Health Sciences, Humanities as well as Law and Management Studies. UKZN has always prided itself on outstanding academic performance and achieved 4th place in the South Africa university rankings by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings in 2018.
The University of Limpopo is located in Mankweng Township in Polokwane in the foothills of the Wolkberg mountain range, midway between Polokwane and the spectacular splendour of Magoebaskloof. Formed in 2005 due to the merger of the former Medical University of Southern Africa and the University of the North, UL has four faculties that include Humanities, Management and Law, Science and Agriculture as well as Health Sciences. UL aims to be a leading African University focused on the developmental needs of its communities.
NWU is made up of three campuses located in Mahikeng Mmabatho, Potchefstroom and Vanderbijlpark in the North West Province of South Africa. The University came into being in 2004 with the merger of the University of Potchefstroom (founded 1919) and the University of North-West (formerly the University of Bophuthatswana) and boasts being one the largest universities in South Africa with more than 60 000 students. The University offers students eight faculties to choose from including Economic and Management Sciences, Education, Engineering, Health Sciences, Humanities, Law, Natural and Agricultural Sciences as well as Theology. Overall, NWU is in the fifth position in South Africa University Rankings.
The University of Pretoria (UP) was established in 1908 and is made up of seven suburban campuses. These include Hatfield, Onderstepoort, Groenkloof, Prinshof, Illovo ad well as satellite campuses in Witbank and Hammanskraal. With more than 50 000 active students UP is one of the largest research universities in RSA. In terms of academics UP leads the way with its Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) consistently being ranked the top business school in Africa for executive education, as well as being placed in the top 50 in the world. Moreover the University of Pretoria’s Faculty of Veterinary Science in Onderstepoort, is the second oldest veterinary school in Africa and the only veterinary school in South Africa.
Rhodes university in Makhanda (formerly Grahamstown) in the Eastern Cape was founded in 1904 and is the sixth oldest South African university in continuous operation. The University has a well-established reputation for academic excellence with just over 8200 students and enjoys the distinction of having among the best undergraduate pass and graduation rates in South Africa. Rhodes University offers six faculties including Humanities, Commerce, Law, Science, Education as well as Pharmacy. Rhodes is ranked in 9th place in South Africa based on the 2016-2017 University Ranking by Academic Performance (URAP).
Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University was established in 2014 as a comprehensive health sciences university and is located in in Pretoria North, Gauteng. Formerly known as the Medical University of South Africa, SMU focuses exclusively on health sciences offering schools of Medicine, Oral Health, Pharmacy, Health Care Sciences as well as Science and Technology. It currently has more than 6000 students.
Stellenbosch University (SU) is located in the picturesque town of Stellenbosch in the Western Cape. Founded in 1918, SU is the oldest university in South Africa (in conjunction with UCT). The university has more than 29 000 students and boasts the highest student pass rate in the country. SU is a leading South African tertiary institution based on research output, rated scientists and is recognised internationally as an academic institution of excellence. It offers ten faculties including AgriSciences, Economic and Management Sciences, Medicine and Health Sciences, Engineering, Military Sciences, Arts and Social Sciences, Science, Education, Law and Theology. According to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, SU is one of the top 300 universities in the world.
The Walter Sisulu University is a university of technology and science. It has 4 campuses. These campuses are in East London, Butterworth, Komani and the Eastern Cape, South Africa. It was established in July 2005 and was a merger between Border Technikon, Eastern Cape Technikon & University of Transkei. The University has 175 academic programmes. The following programmes are offered: Engineering, Science, Health, Information Technology, Business Management, Education, Fashion and Art, Journalism and Broadcasting, Tourism and Hospitality Management.
The University of Zululand is located within the Umhlathuze Municipality, which was developed in 1960. The main campus has four faculties and academic support departments. They also have a campus in Richards Bay which was completed in 2009. In total they have approximately 252 accredited degrees, diplomas & certificate courses. The faculties include Art; Education; Science & Agriculture as well as Commerce; Administration & Law. In 2017 Unizulu celebrated it’s 31st Anniversary for its internationally acclaimed Science Centre along with the launch of its Early Childhood Development museum.