Founded 1964 by Act of Parliament and financially supported by the State. Acquired present status 2005 following merger of the Port Elizabeth Technikon, the University of Port Elizabeth and the Port Elizabeth campus of Vista University.

1. Vision
To be a dynamic African university, recognised for its leadership in generating cutting-edge knowledge for a sustainable future.

2. Mission
To offer a diverse range of quality educational opportunities that will make a critical and constructive contribution to regional, national and global sustainability.

To achieve our vision and mission, we will ensure that:

Our values inform and define our institutional ethos and distinctive educational purpose and philosophy.
We are committed to promoting equity of access and opportunities so as to give students the best chance of success in their pursuit of lifelong learning and diverse educational goals.
We provide a vibrant, stimulating and richly diverse environment that enables staff and students to reach their full potential.
We develop graduates and diplomates to be responsible global citizens capable of critical reasoning, innovation, and adaptability.
We create and sustain an environment that encourages and supports a vibrant research, scholarship and innovation culture.
We engage in mutually beneficial partnerships locally, nationally and globally to enhance social, economic, and ecological sustainability.


The University has seven campuses as well as a number of other sites of operation, such as the Pretoria Academic Hospital. Central administration is located at the Hatfield Campus.

The University of Pretoria offers more than 1 800 academic programmes in two of the official languages, namely Afrikaans and English. (Some programmes and modules are offered only in English.)

In 1996, the University of Pretoria became the university with the highest research output in South Africa and we have maintained this status.

The University of Pretoria celebrated its Centenary in 2008.

The academic programmes of the University are offered in nine faculties, as well as a business school. The faculties comprise a total of 140 departments and 85 centres, institutes and bureaus. UP is at the forefront of tertiary education in the country and collaborates with world-class partners to ensure continued excellence in learning and teaching.

To be a leading research‐intensive university in Africa, recognised internationally for its quality, relevance and impact, as also for developing people, creating knowledge and making a difference locally and globally.

In pursuing recognition and excellence in its core functions of research, teaching and learning, and integrating engagement with society and communities into these, the University of Pretoria will use quality, relevance, diversity and sustainability as its navigational markers.


Unisa is the largest open distance learning institution in Africa and the longest standing dedicated distance education university in the world. We enrol nearly one-third of all South African students.

Founded in 1873 as the University of the Cape of Good Hope, the institution became the first public university in the world to teach exclusively by means of distance education in 1946. Throughout the years, Unisa was perhaps the only university in South Africa to have provided all people with access to education, irrespective of race, colour or creed. This vibrant past is mirrored in our rich history, more particularly our massive and impressive database of alumni, some of whom are to be found in the most senior levels of society across the world.

Given our rootedness in South Africa and the African continent, Unisa today can truly claim to be the African university in the service of humanity.

We have embraced the fact that we need to adapt quickly to the fast-paced higher education environment of the 21st century and this is reflected in our management style and leadership practice. In addition, one of our main aims is to harness the new and emerging potential in information and communication technology to catapult the university into a truly digital future.

We offer an unparalleled range of study choices, ranging from short courses and certificate programmes to three-and four-year degrees and diplomas, to over 400 000 current students. As one of the leading research institutions on the continent, our research efforts have won us numerous awards, recognitions and honours.

Our strategy

At Unisa, our vision, mission and values unite our diverse culture while guiding us in our decision making and strategic planning.

“The African University shaping futures in the service of humanity”

Our vision defines everything that we do. It describes our wish to serve every country on the African continent while transcending language and cultural barriers. We are 100% committed to the communities and individuals we serve.

Unisa is a comprehensive, open distance learning institution that produces excellent scholarship and research, provides quality tuition and fosters active community engagement. We are guided by the principles of lifelong learning, student centredness, innovation and creativity. Our efforts contribute to the knowledge and information society, advance development, nurture a critical citizenry and ensure global sustainability.


The University of Zululand’s Physics Department applied to the University authorities for permission to open a Science Centre (“Exploratorium”) in the faculty of Science, at the end of 1982. Permission was granted and work begun early in 1983, with a donation from Old Mutual. The Unizul Science Centre (USC)was housed in an old laboratory on the top floor of the Zoology building. Prof. Johan van der Merwe of the Physics Department, with the assistance of other staff, ordered and built equipment for the Centre, which was opened on the 6th of November 1986. The Centre has been open continuously for the 25 years since then and was visited by about 3000 students annually whilst at the University. It comprised some 130 interactive exhibits.

Unizul Science Centre has been acclaimed locally, nationally and internationally, winning numerous awards in the field of Science Education. The Unizul Science Centre won the 2001 National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) award for the most outstanding contribution to Science and Technology by a non-profit organisation. Derek Fish, the Centre Director, won the 1999 NSTF award for best individual contribution and was a finalist in the 2010 and 2011 awards for Best Science Communicator.



A university recognised across the world for excellence in academic achievement and human reconciliation.


The university will pursue this vision through its mission:

Setting the highest standards for undergraduate and postgraduate education.
Recruiting the best and most diverse students and professors into the university.
Advancing excellence in the scholarship of research, teaching, and public service.
Demonstrating in everyday practice the value of human togetherness and solidarity across social and historical divides.
Advancing social justice by creating multiple opportunities for disadvantaged students to access the university.
Promoting innovation, distinctiveness, and leadership in both academic and human pursuits.
Establishing transparent opportunities in lifelong learning for academic and support staff.


The University of the Western Cape is a national university, alert to its African and international context as it strives to be a place of quality, a place to grow. It is committed to excellence in teaching, learning and research, to nurturing the cultural diversity of South Africa, and to responding in critical and creative ways to the needs of a society in transition.

Drawing on its proud experience in the liberation struggle, the university is aware of a distinctive academic role in helping build an equitable and dynamic society. In particular it aims to:

• Advance and protect the independence of the academic enterprise.

• Design curricular and research programmes appropriate to its southern African context.

• Further global perspectives among its staff and students, thereby strengthening intellectual life and contributing to South Africa’s reintegration in the

world community.

• Assist educationally disadvantaged students gain access to higher education and succeed in their studies.

• Nurture and use the abilities of all in the university community.

• Develop effective structures and conventions of governance, which are democratic, transparent and accountable.

• Seek racial and gender equality and contribute to helping the historically marginalised participate fully in the life of the nation.

• Encourage and provide opportunities for lifelong learning through programmes and courses.

• Help conserve and explore the environmental and cultural resources of the southern African region, and to encourage a wide awareness of these

resources in the community.

• Co-operate fully with other stakeholders to develop an excellent, and therefore transformed, higher education system.​​


UCT is an inclusive and engaged research-intensive African university that inspires creativity through outstanding achievements in learning, discovery and citizenship; enhancing the lives of its students and staff, advancing a more equitable and sustainable social order and influencing the global higher education landscape.


UCT is committed to engaging with the key issues of our natural and social worlds through outstanding teaching, research and scholarship. We seek to advance the status and distinctiveness of scholarship in Africa through building strategic partnerships across the continent, the global south and the rest of the world.

UCT provides a vibrant and supportive intellectual environment that attracts and connects people from all over the world.

We aim to produce graduates and future leaders who are influential locally and globally. Our qualifications are locally applicable and internationally acclaimed, underpinned by values of engaged citizenship and social justice. Our scholarship and research have a positive impact on our society and our environment.

We will actively advance the pace of transformation within our University and beyond, nurturing an inclusive institutional culture which embraces diversity.