Education is the gateway to knowledge, betterment of self and success in life and should therefore always be a priority. Below, you will find a brief overview of 5 Universities in 5 cities in South-Africa and what they offer. These universities enjoy a high ranking worldwide and are excellent choices.
- Cape Town: University of Cape Town
The University of Cape Town (UCT) is the oldest University in South Africa. It was founded in 1829 as the South African College and became the University of Cape Town in 1918. It boasts six different faculties: Commerce, Engineering and the Built Environment, Science, Health Sciences, Law and Humanities. It is famously the University Christiaan Barnaard, who performed the first human heart transplant surgery in 1967, attended.
As one of the premier education facilities in South Africa located at the foot of Devil’s Peak and overlooking the city, it is also the highest ranking university in South Africa.
For more information: University of Cape Town
- Stellenbosch: Stellenbosch University
Stellenbosch University (SU) was founded in 1918, having started as a Gymnasium in 1866, and sits beautifully in one of South Africa’s most famous wine regions. Its main Campus is in Stellenbosch with the other campuses being in Tygerberg, Belville, Saldanha and Worcester. It is renowned for its different sports team, called Maties, Afrikaans for “buddies” and is popular with foreign students. It is also one of the few tertiary education institutions that offers courses in Afrikaans. The different faculties of SU are Arts and Social Sciences, Science, Education, AgriSciences, Law, Theology, Economic and Management Sciences and Engineering.
Additionally, the faculty of Military Sciences is situated in Saldanha Bay, the faculty of Health Sciences is in Tygerberg and the University of Stellenbosch Business School is in Bellville.
One of SU’s most renowned alumni is former South African prime minister and Anglo-Boer War hero Jan Smuts.
For more information: Stellenbosch University
- Johannesburg: University of the Witwatersrand
The University of Witwatersrand, often colloquially referred to as the Wits University, is the 3rd oldest University in South Africa after UCT and Stellenbosch University. It started in 1896 as the South African School of Mines and was granted University status in 1922. Wits University has 5 faculties: Commerce, Law and Management, Engineer and the Built Environment, Health Sciences, Humanities and Science.
Wits University houses two provincial heritage sites, the Great Hall and the Dias Cross. It also boasts numerous museums and the Johannesburg Planetarium, the 2nd planetarium founded in the Southern hemisphere. Though he did not graduate there, Nelson Mandela attended Wits University to study law.
For more information: University of Witwatersrand
- Durban: University of KwaZulu-Natal
The University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN) is a research intensive University that was formed in 2004 following the merger of the University of Durban-Westville, founded in 1972, and the University of Natal, founded in 1910. The University is made up of 4 Colleges: Agriculture, Engineering and Science, Health Sciences, Humanities and Law and Management Studies. It has 5 Campuses in Durban, Westville, Pinetown and Pietermaritzburg. UKZN is one the newest universities in South Africa. As such, its list of notable alumni is still quite short, though the University of Natal played host to the education of famous anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko.
For more information: University of KwaZulu Natal
- Pretoria: University of Pretoria
The University of Pretoria (UP) was founded in 1930, when it got its current name, but dates back to 1904, when the South African School of Mines was moved from Kimberley to Johannesburg and renamed the Transvaal Technical Institute. Known also as UP, Tuks or Tukkies, the university houses nine faculties: Economic and Management, Sciences, Education, Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology, Health Sciences, Humanities, Law, Natural and Agricultural Sciences, Theology and Veterinary Sciences, the latter of which is the only one in South Africa. It also has a business school, the Gordon Institute of Business Science. Like Stellenbosch, this university is known for its predilection for sports, particularly rugby. As such, Tuks counts many rugby personalities amongst their alumni, most notably Heyneke Meyer and former Springbok captain Joost van der Westhuizen. Another, now rather infamous, alumni is former Olympian runner Oscar Pistorius
For more information: University of Pretoria
World ranking and e-learning
These 5 universities rank in the top 600 Universities worldwide as defined by Times Higher Education (https://www.timeshighereducation.com) with regards to the overall quality of their curriculum, facilities and overall prestige. As such, they attract a lot of students, both international and domestic and guarantee cutting edge education.
You will find well developed e-learning options at all of these universities and many more educational institutions in South Africa. E-learning is becoming an increasingly valuable and widespread method of education as it allows for a more personalised student-trajectory. Furthermore, platforms like The Student Hub provide additional e-learning and m-learning options that are compliant with the universities’ curriculum.