South Africa is getting two new universities – here’s what they will offer

 ·28 Feb 2024

The Department of Higher Education and Training has presented the latest updates on the development of two new universities in South Africa, including the areas where they are planned to be built.

The department has spent the last few years conducting feasibility studies for the new universities, which include the University of Policing and Crime Detection in Hammanskraal and the University of Science and Innovation in Ekurhuleni.

The universities were first announced by president Cyril Ramaphosa in his 2020 State of the National Address, with phase 1 of the feasibility study launching soon thereafter. Phase 1 was completed in September 2022, the department said.

Further work was then conducted on the institutes, mainly related to the infrastructure and their academic offerings. The department is now heading into phase 2, which will look at the academics, financing, governance and administration and locations and infrastructure attached to the projects.

This will also include international benchmarking, exploring potential collaborations with other universities and investigating possible pathways between the TVET sector and the new institutions.

The department said it has submitted the phase 1 progress to the cabinet, stressing the need for financial security to commence with the projects.

The project manager is finalising a work plan for implementing the projects from 2025, the department said.

The infrastructure cost of the projects is still to be determined (during phase 2), but preliminary operational costs indicate the universities will require a combined R820 million over 10 years to keep afloat.


University of Policing and Crime Detection – Hammanskraal

Initially planned as a higher education insitution, a decision was made to turn the project into a fully-fledged university.

According to the department, the university will be government-owned, stressing the need for the institution to build capacity and professionalize the police service and crime prevention sector.

The site in Hammanskraal has already been identified. It already has bulk infrastructure on location – though interventions are needed to address suppy shortages in the area.

It is proposed that the university offer the following qualifications:

NQF LevelQualification Type
5Higher Certificate in Police Science / Policing / Police Studies
6Advanced Certificate in Police Science / Policing / Police Studies
6Diploma in Police Science / Policing / Police Studies
7Bachelor of Police Science / Policing / Police Studies
8Postgraduate Diploma in Police Science / Policing / Police Studies
9Master of Police Science / Policing / Police Studies
10Doctor of Philosophy in Police Science / Police Studies

The department said that the university is predicted to grow to approximately 2,700 students and 276 staff over the first 10 years.

Financially, it is expected to trade at a deficit for “at least” the first 10 years of operation and record a cashflow shortfall for at least the first 12 years. This will require at least R400 million in ad hoc grant funding to cover.


University of Science and Innovation – Ekurhuleni

The University of Science and Innovation will be built in the City of Ekurhuleni, with a spot in Boksburg identified as the prime location.

This location is seen as idea as it is in a highly visible area with the “potential to establish an iconic identity overlooking the town”.

Key, however, is that the land is government-owned and offers enough room for future expansion.

The planned programmes at the university include:

Programme
Higher Certificate in Green Energy Technologies
Higher Certificate in Technology-driven Agro-Processing
Diploma in Technology-driven Smart Transport & Logistics
Advanced Diploma in Air Trafic Control
Advanced Diploma in Aeronautical Information Management
Advanced Diploma in Technology-driven Smart Transport & Logistics
Bachelor of Information Communication Technology
Bachelor on Engineering Technology in Aerospace, Aeronautical and Astro. Engineering
Bachelor of Engineering in SMART Manufacturing
Post-Graduate Diploma in SMART Manufacturing
Post-Graduate Diploma in Artificial Intelligence
Post-Graduate Diploma in Air Traffic Management
Master of Engineering in SMART Manufacturing
Master of Engineering in Artifical Intelligence
Master of Engineering in Aerospace, Aeronautical and Astro. Engineering

As with the University of Policing, the University of Science and Innovation is expected to require grant funding to keep afloat for the first decade of operation.

The department anticipates a trade deficit for at least the first five years, with a cash shortfall for at least the first nine years. This will require ad hoc grant funding of R420 million over this time, it said.

The university is predicted to grow to approximately 2,000 students and 180 staff over the first 10 years of operation.


Read: University fees 2024: how much it costs to study in South Africa

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