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.


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Now that the Tshwane University of Technology has opened applications for 2025 make sure you read our article on how to apply to TUT for 2025.


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The University of the Western Cape welcomes prospective students to apply for undergraduate and postgraduate courses for the 2025 academic year. The number of people applying are usually far more than the number of spaces available in various programmes so apply as soon as you can!

Applications to study at Sol Plaatje University (SPU) in the 2025 academic year are open, hurry and apply now! Begin your path to success today.  Don't forget there is not application fee!

Rhodes University has opened their applications for 2025. If you wish to apply, don't hesitate and do so now to secure your spot.

With thousands of students, the Durban University of Technology (DUT) is the first choice for higher education in KwaZulu-Natal. Applications to study at the Durban University of Technology in 2025 are open now. 

The University of Kwazulu-Natal (UKZN) has opened their applications for 2025. Don't hesitate and apply now to join a truly South African University of Choice that is academically excellent, innovative in research, entrepreneurial, and critically engaged with society.

Prospective students who wish to study at Nelson Mandela University in 2025 are invited to apply for a certificate, diploma or degree qualification using their online application system. Apply online now!

Applications to study at Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU) in 2025 are open. Apply now!

If you're planning to pursue your tertiary studies in 2025, applications to study at the University of Limpopo are now open! Here's all the information you need to know to complete your application. 

Walter Sisulu University has opened their applications for the 2025 academic year. WSU accepts online applications only. It is a free service and no payments are required. 

The University of Cape Town now welcomes prospective students to apply for undergraduate and postgraduate courses for the 2025 academic year. You can now submit a UCT online application.

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Post-Matric Options


After completing your matric certificate exams, you are faced with a lot 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 starting your own business. There are so many choices but we are here to help.


Where to Study

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