Central University of Technology

THE MAIN campus of this technological university is situated in Bloemfontein, capital city of Free State province in the centre of South Africa. Other campuses have been established at Welkom in the heart of the Free State goldfields, and at Kimberley in facilities managed by the Northern Cape Higher Education Institute. The Central University of Technology (CUT) employs over 800 academic and research staff spread across three faculties. The first and most important is the Faculty of Engineering, Information and Communication Technology; the second is the Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences; and the third is the Faculty of Management Sciences. The three faculties together produce approximately 1 500 graduates each year. However, the university, to emphasise the career-orientation of its technology training, prefers to refer to its human product as ‘practitioners’.

Important in such an institution is a research activity that brings the various sciences to the service of industry and job creation. Accordingly, research programmes being undertaken by the university’s Centre for Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing and its Centre for Environmental, Community and Industrial Development include new product design and development; automated materials handling and radio frequency identification; hydro-informatics; applied food science and biotechnology; and information and communication technology.

The university also houses a School for Entrepreneurship and Business Development, a Centre for the Built Environment, and a sleep laboratory.

An important part of the university’s modus operandi is vigorous interaction with business and local communities. The Science Park, where university-based technological expertise and skills are made available, gives effect to this side of the institution’s activities. In addition, since 2006, the university has been running central South Africa’s first Fabrication Laboratory (the FabLab), which serves as an
incubator where local inventors and micro-businesses can conceptualise, design, fabricate and test almost any potential product they can dream up.

Facts and Figures  at a Glance1

The Central University of Technology offers contact and distance learning. In 2007, it had 10,278 contact students and 200 distance students. There were 8,474 full-time and 2,004 part-time students. Of the student body, 9,902 were South African citizens, while 532 were from other SADC countries and 44 were international students from countries other than the SADC.

Table 1: Central University of Technology, Free State - Summary of Enrolment Numbers (Actual data, 2007)2


Number of students enrolled per level of study

Major Field of Study

Total Number of Students (Headcount)

Under- graduate degree/ diploma Post-graduate degree/ diploma Masters Degree Doctoral Degree Other qualifications (short courses, certificates etc.)
Science, Engineering & Technology 3,948 3,288 0 60 14 0
Business, Management & Law 3,226 2,2183 196 30 16 766
Humanities and Social Sciences 2,260 726 383 76 23 0
Health Sciences 1,044 690 0 41 11  26
TOTALS 10,478 8,458 579 207 64 792

Source: Central University of Technology, Free State questionnaire response

Table 2: Central University of Technology, Free State: Academic and Research staff (Actual data, 2007)4

Major Field Of Study

Total Number (headcount)

Science, Engineering & Technology 298
Business, Management & Law 200
Humanities and Social Sciences 94
Health Sciences 224

Source: Central University of Technology, Free State questionnaire response




[1] All data presented in this section is headcount data.
[2]  Note that the breakdown of the number of students per level of study does not add up to the total number of students by field of study. This has been verified with the institution and is a result of how figures are recorded.
[3] Number corrected, original number of undergraduate students exceeded total enrolment for Business, Management and Law.
[4] Note that the total number of academic and research staff reported by field of study and gender contradicts the total number of academic and research staff reported according to citizenship.