Work underway to build two new universities in South Africa

The Department of Higher Education and Training says it is making steady progress in its plans to develop two new universities in South Africa.

Tabling its annual performance plan for the 2022/2023 financial year, the department said the feasibility study for the establishment of two new universities is now underway.

A steering committee to conduct a feasibility study was established in April 2021 and meets monthly. The department said that the committee consists of representatives from the:

  • South African Police Service;
  • The National Research Foundation;
  • The city of Ekurhuleni;
  • The city of Tshwane;
  • Universities South Africa (USAF);
  • The Tshwane University of Technology;
  • Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University;
  • The University of Pretoria;
  • The University of Johannesburg;
  • The University of the Witwatersrand.

A project manager was appointed in August 2021 to manage activities related to the feasibility study, including assembling a team of specialists required and managing their outputs

The department has is previously said that it will complete planning work on the formation of two new universities for South Africa this year.

What to expect

The new University of Science and Innovation is expected to focus specifically on science and innovation subjects, including STEM subjects such as:

  • Data Science;
  • Machine-learning;
  • Artificial intelligence;
  • Blockchain;
  • Robotics;
  • Hydrogen-powered technologies such as smart transportation and logistics systems.

The second university will focus on crime detection and fighting and is expected to be built in Hammanskraal in northern Gauteng. It is hoped that the new university will improve the quality of general and specialised South African Police Service investigations.

Briefing parliament in February 2022, higher education minister Blade Nzimande said also confirmed that government plans to overall curriculum and subjects at all of the country’s universities and colleges to better prepare students for finding jobs.

“Both our universities and TVET college curricula are being reviewed and strengthened to be relevant to skills required by the national economy. We do this to align them with the needs of local employers, communities and the economy, particularly focusing on digital and related skills.”

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Work underway to build two new universities in South Africa