List of universities in South Africa

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Location of South Africa

This is a list of universities in South Africa. For the purposes of this list, colleges and universities are defined as accredited, degree-granting, post-secondary institutions. As at September 2019 only South African public degree-granting institutions may call themselves a "university", whereas other accredited private for-profit or not-for-profit degree-granting institutions tend to call themselves colleges, institutes or business schools.[1]

Some of these private institutions are local campuses of foreign universities. Degree-granting institutions (both public and private) must be registered with, and have their specific degree programs accredited by, the Council on Higher Education.

In 2004 South Africa started reforming its public higher education system,[2] merging and incorporating small public universities into larger institutions, and renaming all higher education institutions "university" (previously there had been several types of higher education institution). The country's universities and "technikons" which were incorporated with others and thus no longer exist are listed at the end of the article.

Two new universities launched in 2013,[3] Sol Plaatje University and the University of Mpumalanga. They are tentatively classified in the universities of technology category, pending clarification of their programs.

Public universities[edit]

Public universities in South Africa are divided into three types: traditional universities, which offer theoretically-oriented university degrees; universities of technology ("technikons"), which offer vocational oriented diplomas and degrees; and comprehensive universities, which offer a combination of both types of qualification.[4][5]

Traditional universities[edit]

Institution Nickname Founded University status Undergrad Postgrad Total Location(s) Medium
University of Cape Town Ikeys / UCT 1 October 1829[6] 2 April 1918[6] 18,421 10,653 29,074 Cape Town Eng
University of Fort Hare UFH / Blues 1916[7] 9,074 2,000 11,074 Alice, East London, Bhisho Eng
University of the Free State Kovsies / UFS 28 January 1904[8] 1950[9] 21,193 5,082 26,275[10] Bloemfontein, QwaQwa Eng
University of KwaZulu-Natal UKZN / Natal / Impi 1 January 20041[11] 1 January 2004[11] 33,456 13,064 46,520 (2016)[12] Durban, Pietermaritzburg, Pinetown, Westville Eng
University of Limpopo Turfloop 1 January 20051[13] 1 January 2005[13] 17,273 3,327 20,600 Polokwane, Turfloop Eng
North-West University NWU / Pukke / Potch 1 January 20041[14] 1 January 2004[14] 43,596 3,235 44,008 Mafikeng, Mankwe, Potchefstroom, Vanderbijlpark Afr (Potchefstroom campus) Eng (Mafikeng campus) Setswana (Vaaldriehoek campus)
University of Pretoria Tuks / Tukkies / UP[15] 4 March 1908[16] 10 October 1930[17] 35,9422 12,5412 48,483[18] Pretoria, Johannesburg3[19] Eng
Rhodes University Rhodes / RU 31 May 1904[20] 10 March 1951 5,456 1,127 6,700 Grahamstown Eng
Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University4 SMU (formerly MEDUNSA) 16 May 2014[21] 16 May 2014 6,410 (2018)[22] Ga-Rankuwa, Pretoria Eng
University of Stellenbosch Maties, Stellies 1866[23] 2 April 1918[23] 17,970 [24] 9,853 27,823 Stellenbosch, Saldanha Bay, Bellville, Tygerberg Eng
University of the Western Cape UWC / Bush / U Dubs 1959[25] 1970[25] 11,836 3,390 15,226 Bellville (Cape Town) Eng
University of the Witwatersrand Wits, Witsies 1896[26] 1922[26] 24 621[27] 13 234[27] 38 353[27] Johannesburg Eng

Note1: By merger of existing institutions

Note2: Exact and current numbers not available, these numbers are from the University of Pretoria's wiki.

Note3: The university's business school the Gordon Institute of Business Science has a campus in Illovo and an inner-city campus on Pritchard Street, in downtown Johannesburg.

Note4: Split out from the University of Limpopo into which Medical University of South Africa had previously merged.

Comprehensive universities[edit]

Institution Nickname Founded Undergrad Postgrad Total Location(s) Medium
University of Johannesburg UJ 1 January 20051 (1967 as RAU, Technikon Witwatersrand and the East Rand campus of Vista University) >50,000[28] Johannesburg, Soweto Eng
Nelson Mandela University Madibaz / NMMU 1 January 20052 (1964 as UPE) 19,768 2,884 22,652 Port Elizabeth, George Eng
University of South Africa Unisa 1873 (UCGH) 300,000 Distance education, headquartered in Pretoria, campuses and regional offices nationwide Eng
University of Venda Univen 1982 10,968 Thohoyandou Eng
Walter Sisulu University WSU 1977 (Unitra) 32,081 (2018)[29] East London, Butterworth, Mthatha, Queenstown Eng
University of Zululand UniZulu 1960 6,456 369 6,825 Empangeni Eng

Note1: By merger of existing institutions
Note2: By merger of existing institutions

Universities of technology[edit]

Institution Nickname Founded University status Undergrad Postgrad Total (2011) Location(s) Medium
Cape Peninsula University of Technology CPUT/Cats 20051 2005 32,000 Bellville, Cape Town Eng
Central University of Technology CUT 1981 9,933 Bloemfontein, Welkom Eng
Durban University of Technology DUT 20021 2002 23,000 Durban, Pietermaritzburg Eng
Mangosuthu University of Technology MUT 1979 2007 Umlazi Eng
University of Mpumalanga 2013 2013 Mbombela Eng
Sol Plaatje University SPU 2013 2013 Kimberley, Northern Cape Eng
Tshwane University of Technology TUT 20031 2003 60,000 Pretoria, Mbombela, Polokwane, Ga-Rankuwa, Soshanguve, Witbank Eng
Vaal University of Technology VUT 1966 2003 17,000 Vanderbijlpark, Secunda, Kempton Park, Klerksdorp, Upington Eng

Note1: By merger of existing institutions

Private degree-granting seminaries, Institutes and colleges[edit]

Theological seminaries[edit]

Institution Nickname Founded Enrollment Type Location(s) Medium
Two Oceans Graduate Institute TOGI 2017 Registered private higher education institution Cape Town/Online Institution Eng
Auckland Park Theological Seminary ATS Theological seminary Johannesburg Eng
Baptist Theological College of Southern Africa 1951 Theological seminary Johannesburg Eng
George Whitefield College 1989 Theological seminary Cape Town Eng

University rankings[edit]

League tables of South African universities are largely based on international university rankings, because there have not as yet been published any specifically South African rankings.

University research collaboratives[edit]

Defunct institutions[edit]

Institution Location Founded Closed Notes
Bond South Africa Sandton 2004[30] Now Varsity College, part of IIE
Border Technikon 2005 Now part of Walter Sisulu University for Technology and Science
University of Bophuthatswana Now part of North-West University
University of the Cape of Good Hope Cape Town 1873 1916 Renamed University of South Africa
Cape Technikon Now part of Cape Peninsula University of Technology
University of Durban-Westville Durban 1972 1 January 2004[11] Now part of University of KwaZulu-Natal
Eastern Cape Technikon 1994 2005 Now part of Walter Sisulu University for Technology and Science
Medical University of South Africa Ga-Rankuwa 1976 1 January 2005[13] Now part of University of Limpopo
Technikon Natal Now part of Durban University of Technology
University of the North Polokwane 1959 1 January 2005[13] Now part of University of Limpopo
University of Natal Pietermaritzburg, Durban 1910 1 January 2004[11] Now part of University of KwaZulu-Natal
University of North-West, formerly the University of Bophuthatswana Mafikeng 1 January 2004[14] Now part of North-West University
Port Elizabeth Technikon. Port Elizabeth, George 1882[31] 2005 Now part of Nelson Mandela University
University of Port Elizabeth Port Elizabeth 31 January 1964 2005 Now part of Nelson Mandela University
Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education Potchefstroom 29 November 1869 1 January 2004[14] Now part of North-West University
Rand Afrikaans University Johannesburg 1967 2005 Now part of University of Johannesburg
Technikon SA 1 January 2004[32] Now part of University of South Africa
Transvaal University College Johannesburg, Pretoria 1906 1910/1930 Predecessor of the University of Pretoria and the University of the Witwatersrand. The University of the Witwatersrand was named the Transvaal University College from 1906 to 1910. The University of Pretoria was established as the Pretoria branch of the Transvaal University College in 1908 and retained that name until 1930.
University of Transkei Transkei 1977 2005 Now part of Walter Sisulu University for Technology and Science
University of Gazankulu Giyani ? ? Probably distributed between the University of Venda and the University of Limpopo
Vista University Multi-city campus university 1981 2004/2005 Now merged with the Nelson Mandela University, the University of the Free State, the University of Johannesburg, the University of Pretoria, the University of South Africa and the Vaal University of Technology.
Technikon Witwatersrand Johannesburg 1925 2005 University of Johannesburg

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  19. ^ Campuses Retrieved 1 October 2010 Archived 18 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ "Rhodes University-Where Leaders Learn". Ru.ac.za. 24 April 2015. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
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