Three types of higher education institutions are described in this section: universities, universities of technology and private higher education institutions. They offer similar qualifications that range from Higher Certificates (as the entry into higher education) up to Doctoral degrees. The distinguishing factor is that universities of technology focus on technology innovation and transfer.

What role do universities play in post-school education?

South African universities perform a key role in the skills development system through providing opportunities for graduate and post-graduate studies as well as generating research and innovation in order to assist in addressing the skills shortages in South Africa. More than 1 million students from South Africa, the African continent and foreign countries enrolled in South African universities in 2015. Universities enable school leavers to further their studies and to acquire more advanced skills needed in the job market or for self-employment.