This is how South Africa’s universities look

South Africa’s universities make headlines for various reasons – be it student protests or ranking among the world’s best for a host of different subjects – but many people do not even have an inkling to where these institutes are situated, or how they look.

South Africa is home to 26 universities, split into three different groups:

  • There are 9 universities of technology focused on vocationally oriented education;
  • 6 comprehensive universities offering a combination of academic and vocational diplomas and degrees; and
  • 11 traditional universities offering theoretically oriented university degrees.

The newest learning institution, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, located north of Pretoria, was unveiled in April 2015, adding to the two universities launched in 2014, namely Sol Plaatje University, in the Northern Cape, and the University of Mpumalanga.

University Location
Traditional Universities
North-West University Potchefstroom
University of Pretoria Pretoria
University of KwaZulu-Natal Durban and Pietermaritzburg
University of the Free State Bloemfontein
University of the Witwatersrand Johannesburg
University of Stellenbosch Stellenbosch
University of Cape Town Cape Town
University of Limpopo Turfloop and Pretoria
University of the Western Cape Tygerberg, Cape Town
University of Fort Hare Alice and East London
Rhodes University Grahamstown
Comprehensive Universities
University of South Africa (UNISA) Pretoria
University of Johannesburg Johannesburg
Nelson Mandela University Port Elizabeth and George
Walter Sisulu University East London and Mthatha
University of Zululand Empangeni
University of Venda Thohoyandou
Universities of Technology
Tshwane University of Technology Pretoria
Cape Peninsula University of Technology Cape Town
Durban University of Technology Durban and Pietermaritzburg
Central University of Technology Bloemfontein
Vaal University of Technology Vanderbijlpark
Mangosuthu University of Technology Umlazi, Durban
Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University Pretoria
University of Mpumalanga Mbombela
Sol Plaatje University Kimberley

The images below were captured using Google Earth‘s impressive 3D-modelling technology, which covers a surprisingly large portion of South Africa’s cities, including 13 of South Africa’s universities.

University of Cape Town


University of the Witwatersrand


University of Pretoria


University of KwaZulu Natal

University of Johannesburg

University of the Free State

Nelson Mandela University

University of South Africa

University of the Western Cape

Cape Peninsula University of Technology

Durban University of Technology

Tshwane University of Technology

Central University of Technology

Read: These South African university courses are among the best in the world

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This is how South Africa’s universities look