Association for Free Research and International Cooperation

Universities of South Africa: leaders of the continent

Article from AFRIC Editorial
South African universities have systems considered the strongest in the continent, the quality of education and the provision of encompassing services is lauded by many especially those who have attained education in the country. In fact, SA houses five of the six best universities in Africa. It is worth noting that rankings of universities in South Africa are hugely built on international university rankings, standards and norms.


  1. University of Cape Town (UCT)

UCT, situated in the Western Cape Province in South Africa was founded in 1829 and is a prominent public research university. IT boast itself as the oldest university in the country and second oldest extant university in the continent. The medium of instruction is English but because of its location, there’s also a lot of Afrikaans that is spoken in the vicinity of the University.

  1. University of the Witwatersrand (WITS)

WITS was founded in 1896 and has multiple campuses in and around Johannesburg and it is the third oldest university in South Africa after UCT and Stellenbosch University. It has its founding roots in the mining industry because of its location Johannesburg and its surrounds and usually referred to as Wits University. It is located in the northern areas of Johannesburg and used to be called the South African School of mines while it was in Kimberly.

  1. Stellenbosch University (SU)

Stellenbosch prides itself with inventing Africa’s first microsatellite, SUNSAT which was made public back in 1991. It is located in the town of Stellenbosch. Although, it used to be a college until 1918 when it was turned into a university, Stellenbosch signed the Berlin Decleration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities and was the first University in Africa to do so.

  1. University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN)

The University of KwaZulu-Natal is located in the province of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. It was formed on January 1, 2004, following the merger between the University of Natal and the University of Durban-Westville. KZN currently boasts of five campuses.

  1. The University of Johannesburg (UJ)

UJ is fifth in South Africa and 601-650 in the world. A learning institution to over 50,000 students, including more than 3,000 international students from 80 countries, UJ ranked among the world’s best and is in the top 100 for development studies.


Working out how much it costs to get a degree in South Africa is not as simple as you’d think. For a start, South Africa has 25 universities and together they offer hundreds of different degrees. Your annual tuition fees will depend on what and where you study. A diploma from a Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) college could be cheaper than a diploma from a University of Technology, while a degree from a private institution could cost twice as much as the same degree from a traditional university. Generally, you don’t pay per course, but rather per subject that makes up your degree or diploma. You could save money in your first year by choosing fewer courses, but this could end up costing you more. Remember that the longer you extend your course, the longer you will have to pay for additional expenses such as accommodation and transport.

Article from AFRIC Editorial

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