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An overview of the South African Higher Education System

The South African higher education system includes 25 public higher education institutions:

  • 11 universities
  • 6 comprehensive universities
  • 6 universities of technology
  • 2 to be created

As of 25 August 2014, there were also 96 registered and 20 provisionally registered private higher education institutions.* 

In 2012**:

  • the public higher education institutions employed 51 573 academic staff and 134 570 staff in total
  • the public higher education institutions enrolled:
    • 953 373  students in total
    • 781 710 undergraduate students
    • 149 026 postgraduate students
  • the public higher education institutions awarded:
    • 165 993 qualifications at all levels
    • 46 044 qualifications in business and commerce
    • 48 848 qualifications in science and technology
    • 71 095 qualifications in the human and social sciences
  • the public higher education institutions produced:
    • 10 334 master's degrees
    • 1 878 doctoral degrees 

*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 25 August 2014.

**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 2013 will only become available late in the second half of 2014.

COUNCIL ON HIGHER EDUCATION (CHE)

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