University of Zululand

THE UNIVERSITY of Zululand started off in 1960 with only 41 students, 75 percent male and 25 percent female. As a constituent college affiliated to the University of South Africa, it initially catered mainly for the Zulu and Swazi groups. In 1970 the university, situated north of the Tugela River and 162 km from Durban, achieved full university status and has grown steadily since then.

In 1986 the university opened its doors to all racial groups, in spite of the separate development policy. More recently, the institution has experienced an increased intake of students from SADC countries (Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland) as well as from other African countries such as Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda and Ghana.

In 2002 this rural-based institution was declared a comprehensive institution offering both traditional degrees and career-focused programmes geared towards the acquisition of skills and knowledge relevant to the jobs market. Current enrolments are in excess of 9 000, with 59 percent female and 41 percent male students in 2007. The university offers facilities for a wide range of programmes within the faculties of Arts, Commerce, Administration and Law, Education, and Science and Agriculture. The Faculty of Arts consists of 21 departments.

The Faculty of Commerce, Administration and Law houses the Institute of Local Government and Traditional Affairs that offers training and development programmes for civil servants. The Faculties of Science and Agriculture and Commerce offer special foundation programmes. The Faculty of Education consists of seven departments that participate in the training of school educators.

The University of Zululand continues to perceive its primary objective as the provision of quality education, research (which receives 30 percent of institutional focus) and community engagement. As a comprehensive university the focus is on interactive education with the ultimate objective of producing not only job seekers but also job creators.

Facts and Figures  at a Glance1

The University of Zululand is a contact university only, with 8,751 students enrolled in 2007. This total included 8,738 full-time students and 13 part-time students. Of the total, 8,583 were South African citizens, while 75 were from other SADC countries and 93 students from non-SADC countries (Actual data, 2007).

Table 1: University of Zululand - Summary of Enrolment Numbers (Estimate 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 1,153 993 0 51 34 75
Business, Management & Law 2,168 2,101 0 10 3 54
Humanities and Social Sciences (Incl. Health Sciences) 2,858 2,496 48 162 109 43
Education 2,578 2,090 113 97 14 264 (B.Ed.)
TOTALS 7,742 7,680 161 320 160 436

 Source: University of Zululand questionnaire response

Table 2: University of Zululand - Academic and Research staff (Actual data, 2005-6)

Major Field Of Study

Total Number (headcount)

Science, Engineering & Technology 94
Business, Management & Law 33
Humanities and Social Sciences 62
Health Sciences 9
Education 41

Source: University of Zululand questionnaire response


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