Mangosutho University of Technology

THIS UNIVERSITY has its origins in the semi-independent homeland of KwaZulu. The then chief minister, Mangosuthu Buthelezi, wanted to establish a higher education institution close to Durban to provide young people from disadvantaged backgrounds with the opportunity to further their educations beyond secondary school level. In 1979, supported by an Anglo American Chairman’s Fund grant, the institution came into being as a technikon with an initial enrolment of 15 students. Today, 30 years later, more than 10 000 students are studying at the university, which is based close to Umlazi township some 25 km south of the centre of Durban.

Academic activity is divided between three faculties: Engineering; Natural Sciences; and Management Sciences. Academic and research personnel number 143, of whom 28 percent are female. A characteristic of the Mangosuthu University of Technology approach to education is the close co-operation between the university and industry to ensure that curricula remain market related. Indeed, in most programmes, theoretical studies are supplemented with in-service training to ensure that graduates are equipped not only with essential knowledge but also with relevant practical experience. The university has also established a language centre to improve students’ competencies in English and
communication, both verbal and written.

Research is receiving special attention through a dedicated research directorate that has been established to enhance research by supporting staff capacity building, by increasing national and international collaboration, and by encouraging service links with the needs of industry. The overall aim is to become a leader in a small number of research areas.

Community outreach is also a priority. Since its inception in the early 1990s, the university’s Department of Community Outreach has done important work in bridging the gap between formal and non-formal education – particularly for disadvantaged groups. The department trains youth workers in a variety of fields, including community research techniques.

Facts and Figures  at a Glance1

In 2006, there were 10,096 contact students and of these, 5,012 were female and 5,084 male registered at Mangosuthu University of Technology. The University has no distance students. No details were available of the breakdown between full-time and part-time students. Of the student body, 9,978 were South African citizens, 115 from other SADC countries and three from non-SADC countries (HEMIS data, 2006).

Table 1: Mangosuthu University of Technology - Summary of Enrolment Numbers (HEMIS data, 2006)


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 5,642 5,642 0 0 0 0
Business, Management & Law 3,107 3,107 0 0 0  0
Humanities and Social Sciences 1,075 1,075 0 0 0 0
Health Sciences 273 273 0 0 0  0
TOTALS 10,096 10,096 0 0 0 0

Source: HEMIS data, 2006

In 2006, the University employed 143 academic and research staff, 40 of whom were female and 103 male. Of the 48 management and administrative staff, 20 were female and 28 male (HEMIS data, 2006).


[1] All data presented in this section is headcount data.