University of Johannesburg

ONE ORIGINAL component of the merged University of Johannesburg was the Rand Afrikaans University (RAU) that was established at Auckland Park in central Johannesburg in 1967. In 2004, along with the first wave of mergers introduced to rationalise the South African higher education sector, the Soweto and East Rand campuses of Vista University were incorporated into RAU. A year later, RAU merged with Technikon Witwatersrand, founded in 1925, to make the University of Johannesburg one of the largest residential universities in the country.

The university is one of six in South Africa categorised as a ‘comprehensive institution’, which means that it sits midway between a traditional university offering formative degrees and a university of technology that is more focused on vocational and technical programmes.

As a comprehensive institution, the University of Johannesburg has the best of both worlds. As its vision states: the intention is to be a premier African city university offering a mix of vocational and academic programmes. In fact, eight of the university’s nine faculties offer courses from both sides of the divide. Only the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture offers non-degree courses only.

The other eight faculties are: Economic and Financial Sciences; Education; Engineering and the Built Environment; Health Sciences; Humanities; Law; Management; and Science. The work of the faculties is executed through the university’s five campuses: two in Auckland Park, one in Doornfontein (the original Technikon Witwatersrand campus), and one each in Soweto and on the East Rand.

The University of Johannesburg’s vision also speaks about ‘research and innovation and … putting intellectual capital to work’. One practical example of this is the recent establishment of the Soweto Centre for Small and Medium Business Enterprise Development. This centre will ultimately form part of the Johannesburg School of Leadership that is
planned for the Soweto campus.

Facts and Figures  at a Glance1

An estimated 41,607 contact students and six distance students were enrolled at the University of Johannesburg in 2007. Full-time students numbered 32,947 and part-time 8,666. Just over 40,000 of the students were South African citizens, 1,084 were from other SADC countries, and 527 were from non-SADC countries (estimated data, 2007). The data source for this is HEMIS data and excludes non-formal qualifications.

Table 1: University of Johannesburg - Summary of Enrolment Numbers (Actual data, 2007)


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 11,163 10,512 162 310 143 36
Business, Management & Law 16,066 14,413 1,037 452 120 44
Humanities and Social Sciences 11,935 9,250 1,720 626 234 105
Health Sciences 2,449 1,394 851 168 32 4
TOTALS 41,613 35,569 3,770 1,556 529 189

 Source: University of Johannesburg questionnaire response

Table 2: University of Johannesburg - Academic and Research staff (Actual data, 2007)

Major Field Of Study

Total Number (headcount)

Science, Engineering & Technology 656
Business, Management & Law 840
Humanities and Social Sciences 800
Health Sciences 330
Other (Academic Development & Support) 166
TOTALS 2,792

Source: University of Johannesburg questionnaire response


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