There are 26 public (i.e. state-funded) higher education institutions in South Africa and more than 90 (in 2015) registered private higher education institutions.

Which are the public universities in South Africa?

The public institutions are divided into three types: 14 traditional universities (which mainly offer theoretically-oriented university degrees), six comprehensive universities (which offer academic and vocational certificates, diplomas and degrees) and six universities of technology (which offer vocationally-oriented diplomas and degrees). The 20 public universities include two new ones that were established in August 2013 in the Northern Cape and Mpumalanga, and the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU) that was launched in Gauteng in April 2015. (Note: Universities of technology are described in a separate section on the website.)

View the universities of technology

Note: **Indicates the six comprehensive universities that offer a combination of academic and vocational diplomas and degrees.

Name Location & campuses Website
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University ** Eastern Cape: Port Elizabeth
Western Cape: George
North-West University North West Province: Mafikeng, Mankwe, Potchefstroom
Gauteng: Vanderbijlpark
Rhodes University Eastern Cape: Grahamstown
Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University Gauteng: Ga-Rankuwa (launched in April 2015)
Sol Plaatje University Northern Cape: Kimberley (established in August 2013)
University of Cape Town Western Cape: Cape Town
University of Fort Hare Eastern Cape: Alice, East London, Bisho
University of Johannesburg ** Gauteng: Johannesburg, Soweto
University of KwaZulu-Natal KwaZulu-Natal: Durban, Pietermaritzburg, Pinetown, Westville
University of Limpopo Limpopo: Polokwane, Turfloop
University of Mpumalanga Mpumalanga: Mbombela, Siyabuswa (established in August 2013)
University of Pretoria Gauteng: Pretoria, Johannesburg
University of South Africa ** Gauteng: Headquarters in Pretoria and campuses nationwide
University of Stellenbosch Western Cape: Stellenbosch, Saldanha Bay, Bellville, Tygerberg
University of the Free State Free State: Bloemfontein, QwaQwa
University of the Western Cape Western Cape: Bellville
University of the Witwatersrand Gauteng: Johannesburg
University of Venda ** Limpopo: Thohoyandou
University of Zululand ** KwaZulu-Natal: Empangeni
Walter Sisulu University ** Eastern Cape: East London, Butterworth, Mthatha, Queenstown
Universities of Technology
Cape Peninsula University of Technology Western Cape: Cape Town
Central University of Technology Free State: Bloemfontein, Welkom
Northern Cape: Kimberley
Durban University of Technology KwaZulu-Natal: Durban, Pietermaritzburg
Mangosuthu University of Technology KwaZulu-Natal: Umlazi
Tshwane University of Technology Gauteng: Pretoria, Soshanguve, Ga-Rankuwa
Mpumalanga: Mbombela, eMalahleni
Limpopo: Polokwane
A footprint in the North-West Province
Vaal University of Technology Gauteng: Vanderbijlpark, Secunda, Kempton Park, Sebokeng
Northern Cape: Upington