Universities in South Africa


How Many Universities Are In South Africa?

South Africa has 26 public universities across all its provinces and here on Careers Portal, you will find the latest on university application dates, university qualifications, university requirements and university news. 

The universities in South Africa have an excellent offering when it comes to higher education studies with a variety of programmes to choose from that give students learning and research skills.

It is only the 26 public universities that can use the name 'university' in their name - and all private institutions are called Higher Education Institutions.

International students are welcomed at South African universities

What Is The Best South African University?

There is no specific local ranking of universities in South Africa. So the only way they are assessed is by the world university rankings. In these global universities rankings the University of Cape Town is the one that comes out on top.

University of Cape Town

UCT is a public university located in Rondebosch in the Cape Town southern suburbs - in the Western Cape. In the world university rankings it was recently placed at number 125 in the listing of best global universities. It has ten faculties and is a multi campus public university with separate campuses for some of the students. The Health Sciences faculty is locatated at the Groote Schuur Hospital site; The Michaelis Fine Art campus is in central Cape Town and the business school (GSB) is located at the V&A Waterfront.

North West University

The North West University was a specialist institution in the old South Africa. How since the dawn of democracy in the country NWU has turned itself into a truly South African university.

University of Kwazulu-Natal

The Durban university is called the University of Kwazulu-Natal, or UKZN for short.

University of Pretoria

If you want to study veterinary science in higher education then the only place to study is the University of Pretoria.

Stellenbosch University

Stellenbosch University is situated in the picturesque town of Stellenbosch, the Western Cape. It is a public research university and a leader in higher education. Stellenbosch University is also a multi campus university as it also has a health sciences faculty which is situated at the Tygerberg public hospital.

We have a list of all South African universities on our website.

Higher Education Institution

There a many private educational companies in South African that offer degrees, diploma and similar courses. By law these companies cannot call themselves 'universities' and have to use the term Higher Education Institution. As long as they are accredited and registered with the government body in charge of this then their programmes are fully approved.

We have details of all the locally registered and accredited Higher Education Institutions operating in South Africa.


If you want to study at a South African university, you'd be glad to know that you can still apply. A number of tertiary institutions have opened their applications process but will soon be closing!

Prospective students can now finally submit applications to study at South Africa’s largest university in 2024. The University of South Africa (Unisa) will be closing their 2024 application period soon.

If you're planning to pursue your tertiary studies in 2024, late applications to study at the University of Limpopo are now open! Here's all the information you need to know to complete your application. 

If you are looking to get a place at a university for 2024, you're in luck. Tshwane University of Technology has opened their 2024 late applications. 

With thousands of students, the Durban University of Technology (DUT) is the first choice for higher education in KwaZulu-Natal. Late applications to study at the Durban University of Technology in 2024 are open now. 

The University of Pretoria's applications are now open for the 2024 academic year. They produce socially impactful research to find solutions for the world’s most pressing issues.

If you have been considering pursuing your tertiary studies at the University of Fort Hare next year, you will be pleased to know they recently opened their applications. Their application process is simple and straightforward forward, with varying options to make your submission.

Many universities in South Africa have now opened their applications for the 2024 intake but when do they close? Here are the opening and closing dates for this application season.

Walter Sisulu University has opened their applications for the 2024 academic year. WSU accepts online applications only. It is a free service and no payments are required. 

Language serves as a foundation for education across all age groups of society. As a country composed of a multilingual society, the need for indigenous language-speaking learners to be accommodated in South African schools and tertiary education is still a concern for the Education Sector.

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Post-Matric Options


After completing your matric certificate exams, you are faced with a multitude of post-matric options that can shape your future paths.

These options range from pursuing higher education at universities or colleges, entering vocational training programs, joining the workforce, or even considering entrepreneurial ventures, each offering unique opportunities for personal and professional growth.

You've probably been contemplating the next chapter of your life all throughout the year asking yourself, 'what am I going to study after I finish completing my matric certificate exams?', 'am I going to study? What else can I do when I pass'? Well, we can help.


Where to Study