2010 Higher Education Data: Overview

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An overview of the South African Higher Education System 

The South African higher education system includes 23 public higher education institutions:

  • 11 universities
  • 6 comprehensive universities
  • 6 universities of technology

As of 03 January 2012, there were also 88 registered and 27 provisionally registered private higher education institutions.*

In 2010**:

  • the public higher education institutions employed 46 579 academic staff and 127 969 staff in total
  • the public higher education institutions enrolled:
    • 892 936  students in total
    • 726 882 undergraduate students
    • 138 610 postgraduate students
  • the public higher education institutions awarded:
    • 153 741 qualifications at all levels
    • 41 724 qualifications in business and commerce
    • 37 405 qualifications in science and technology
    • 74 612 qualifications in the human and social sciences
  • the public higher education institutions produced:
    • 8 618 master's degrees
    • 1 423 doctoral degrees

The CHE conducted a survey at the end of 2010 to obtain amongst other information the headcount enrolments at private providers. A total of 94 private providers responded to the survey.

  • We counted***:
    • 96 487 headcount enrolments (not audited)

*These figures for the private higher education institutions were obtained from the "Register of Private Higher Education Institutions" produced by the Department of Higher Education and Training on 03 January 2012.

**This information is collected from higher education institutions during and at the end of each academic year. Once it has been collected, it is verified and audited and discrepancies are resolved. For this reason, the audited figures for 2011 will only become available in the second half of 2012.

***Please note that not all the private providers provided headcounts. This number should purely be seen as indicative.