List of universities in South Africa

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. In 2004 South Africa started reforming its higher education system,[1] merging and incorporating small 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.

There are also a large number of other educational institutions in South Africa - some are local campuses of foreign universities, some conduct classes for students who write their exams at the distance-education University of South Africa and some offer unaccredited or non-accredited diplomas. Universities and colleges are accredited by the Council on Higher Education.

Two new universities launched in 2013, [2] 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

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.[3][4]

Traditional universities

Institution Nickname Founded University status Undergrad Postgrad Total (2011) Location(s) Medium
University of Cape Town Ikeys / UCT 1 October 1829[5] 2 April 1918[5] 17,764 10,226 27,990 Cape Town Eng
University of Fort Hare UFH 1916[6] 9,074 2,000 11,074 Alice, East London, Bhisho Eng
University of the Free State Kovsies / UFS 28 January 1904[7] 1950[8] 21,193 5,082 26,275[9] Bloemfontein, QwaQwa Eng Afr
University of KwaZulu-Natal UKZN / Natal 1 January 20041[10] 1 January 2004[11] 24,897 3,807 37,850 Durban, Pietermaritzburg, Pinetown, Westville Eng
University of Limpopo Turfloop 1 January 20051[12] 1 January 2005[12] 17,273 3,327 20,600 Polokwane, Turfloop Eng
North-West University NWU / Pukke / Potch 1 January 20041[13] 1 January 2004[13] 43,596 3,235 44,008 Mafikeng, Mankwe, Potchefstroom, Vanderbijlpark Eng Afr Setswana
University of Pretoria Tuks / Tukkies / UP[14] 4 March 1908[15] 10 October 1930[16] 28,450[17] 10,484[17] 38,934 Pretoria, Johannesburg2[18] Eng Afr
Rhodes University Rhodes / RU 31 May 1904[19] 10 March 1951 5,456 1,127 6,700 Grahamstown Eng
University of Stellenbosch Maties, Stellies 1866[20] 2 April 1918[20] 17,970 [21] 9,853 27,823 Stellenbosch, Saldanha Bay, Bellville, Tygerberg Eng Afr
University of the Western Cape UWC / Bush / U Dubs 1959[22] 1970[22] 11,836 3,390 15,226 Bellville (Cape Town) Eng
University of the Witwatersrand Wits, Witsies 1896[23] 1922[23] 18,911 9,023 27,934 Johannesburg Eng

Note1: By merger of existing institutions

Note2: 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.

Comprehensive universities

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) 48,000 Johannesburg, Soweto Eng
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan 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
East London University ELU 1998 2,300 East London Eng
University of Venda Univen 1982 10,968 Thohoyandou Eng
Walter Sisulu University WSU 1977 (Unitra) 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

Institution Nickname Founded University status Undergrad Postgrad Total (2011) Location(s) Medium
Cape Peninsula University of Technology CPUT 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 2013 2013 Kimberley, Northern Cape Eng
Tshwane University of Technology TUT 20031 2003 60,000 Pretoria, Nelspruit, 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 universities and colleges

This list serves as the official government National Register of Private FET Colleges.

This list serves as the official government National Register of Private HET providers.

Institution Nickname Founded Enrollment Type Location(s) Medium
AFDA, The South African School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance AFDA 1994 Film school Johannesburg Eng
Akademia 2011 500 Private higher education institution Centurion (Study centres: Bellville, Boksburg, Pretoria, Krugersdorp, Somerset West and Vanderbijlpark) Afr
Akademie Reformatoriese Opleiding en Studies Aros 2003 800 Private higher education institution Pretoria Afr
Boston City Campus and Business College 1992 Eng
Cornerstone Institute 1970 University Cape Town (Learning Communities: Johannesburg, Hatfield, Nelspruit, Witbank, Eastern Cape, Hermanus, Helderberg, Plettenberg Bay, George) Eng
Centurion Akademie / Academy 2000 University Centurion, Klerksdorp, Bellville, Witbank, Rustenburg Afr Eng
CTI Education Group 1979 College South Africa Eng
Damelin 1943 100,000 Private College Durban, Johannesburg, Cape town, Pretoria, Pietermaritzburg, East London, Bloemfontein, Port Elizabeth Eng
Helderberg College HBC 1928 Private Higher Education Somerset West Eng
IMM Graduate School of Marketing 1948 Marketing school Johannesburg Eng
Inscape Design College Design college Johannesburg Eng
Management College of Southern Africa 1995 College Durban Eng
Midrand Graduate Institute MGI 1989 University Midrand Eng
Milpark Business School 1997 University Primarily distance education (campuses: Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town) Eng
Monash South Africa Monash 2001 University Johannesburg Eng
Oval Education International Oval Campus 1989 Private Higher Education Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Pietermaritzburg, Limpopo Eng
Qualitas Career Academy 2008 Private college. Full-time, part-time & corporate. Bloemfontein, George, Kimberley, Newcastle, Table View, Vanderbijlpark Eng
Red & Yellow School Red & Yellow School 1994 Private College Cape Town, Johannesburg Eng
New World Mission Dunamis International University NWMDIU 1984 distance learning Regenesys Business School Regenesys 1997 Eng
Rosebank College Rosebank College 1968 Private College Braamfontein, Pretoria Sunnyside, Pretoria CBD, Polokwane, Durban Eng
South African College of Applied Psychology (SACAP) SACAP 1997 Private Instituition Cape Town, Johannesburg, Online Eng
Southern Business School 1996 Business school Distance Education Eng
St Augustine College of South Africa July 1999 College Johannesburg Eng
Stenden University South Africa2 Stenden 10 April 2002 Hospitality School Port Alfred Eng
The Design School Southern Africa 1990 University Durban, Pretoria, Johannesburg Eng
The Open Window School of Visual Communication TOW 1989 486 Graphic Design, Film and Animation school. Pretoria Eng
Varsity College 1993 16,900 Private College Cape Town, Durban (North and West), Pretoria, Johannesburg (Midrand and Sandton), Pietermaritzburg, Port Elizabeth Eng
Vega 1998 Private College Cape Town, Durban, Pretoria, Johannesburg Eng

1In addition offers degrees by Regent University, United States of America

2Campus of Stenden University, The Netherlands

Theological seminaries

Institution Nickname Founded Enrollment Type Location(s) Medium
Afrikaanse Protestantse Akademie APA 1987 Theological seminary Pretoria, Germiston Afr
Auckland Park Theological Seminary ATS Theological seminary Johannesburg Eng
Baptist Theological College of Southern Africa 1951 Theological seminary Johannesburg Eng
Doxa Deo School of Divinity Theological seminary Eng
George Whitefield College 1989 Theological seminary Cape Town Eng
South African Theological Seminary 1996 Theological seminary Johannesburg Eng

University rankings

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

Defunct institutions

Institution Location Founded Closed Notes
Bond South Africa Sandton 2004[24]
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[12] Now part of University of Limpopo
Technikon Natal Now part of Durban University of Technology
University of the North Polokwane 1959 1 January 2005[12] 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[13] Now part of North-West University
Port Elizabeth Technikon. Port Elizabeth, George 1882[25] 2005 Now part of Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
University of Port Elizabeth Port Elizabeth 31 January 1964 2005 Now part of Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education Potchefstroom 29 November 1869 1 January 2004[13] Now part of North-West University
Rand Afrikaans University Johannesburg 1967 2005 Now part of University of Johannesburg
Technikon SA 1 January 2004[26] 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 Metropolitan 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


  2. South Africa's new universities named, Retrieved 320 January 2015.
  3. SA Higher Education, South African Universities Vice-Chancellors Association. Retrieved 30 January 2006. (Link is dead; view it at the Internet Archive.)
  4. 2005, HESA Structures, Higher Education South Africa. Retrieved 24 February 2006.
  5. 1 2 Our history Retrieved 13 May 2011
  6. University of Fort Hare (1916–) Retrieved 14 May 2011
  7. Brief History Retrieved 28 April 2011
  8. University of the Free State Retrieved 13 May 2011
  9. About the UFS Retrieved 17 January 2010
  10. History - University of KwaZulu-Natal Retrieved 13 May 2011
  11. 1 2 3 History - University of KwaZulu-Natal Retrieved 13 May 2011
  12. 1 2 3 4 UL Historical Background Retrieved 13 May 2011
  13. 1 2 3 4 THE NWU Retrieved 14 May 2011
  14. Welcome to the University of Pretoria Retrieved 1 October 2010
  15. History of the University of Pretoria. Retrieved 31 August 2009.
  16. Retrieved 21 May 2011
  17. 1 2 UP in a Nutshell 2009. Retrieved 31 August 2009.
  18. Campuses Retrieved 1 October 2010
  19. Rhodes History of Rhodes Retrieved 28 April 2011
  20. 1 2 Retrieved 13 May 2011
  21. "Stellenbosch University Statistical Profile 2012", Official Stellenbosch University Website, SU Consensus, June 2012
  22. 1 2 Retrieved 13 May 2011
  23. 1 2 Retrieved 13 May 2011
  24. The Observatory on Borderless Higher Education (2004). Breaking News Archive - June 2004. Retrieved 2 February 2008.
  25. "Port Elizabeth (PE) Technikon". Study South Africa. Retrieved 25 November 2013.
  26. Our history Retrieved 28 April 2011
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