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WITS: Type and Scope


The fundamental role of any university is to promote freedom of enquiry and the search for knowledge and truth. Wits has built a reputation for itself in this role, establishing itself at the industrial and commercial heart of South Africa as a centre for education and research of the highest quality. Wits's mission is to build on this foundation in a way that takes account of its responsibilities within South Africa today; and to maintain and enhance its position as a leading university in the Republic, in Africa, and in the World by sustaining globally competitive standards of excellence in learning, teaching and research.

Achievement of the mission entails commitment to:

  • academic freedom, autonomy, accountability, tolerance of difference of opinion, and transparency
  • democracy, justice, equality, and freedom from racism and sexism as enshrined in the Constitution
  • playing a leading role in addressing historical disadvantages in the education of the majority of the population of South Africa
  • fostering a culturally diverse, intellectually stimulating and harmonious environment within which there is vigorous critical exchange and communication
  • supporting, developing and unifying its staff and students, through providing opportunities for all to participate in the academic activities of the University, its governance and its cultural and sporting activities
  • creating and maintaining accessible, safe, friendly and well-resourced campuses

Statement of Purpose

  • to communicate with the people and institutions of the community in which it works, so that the community will participate more effectively in fulfilling the goals and priorities of the University
  • to continue to support and enhance basic, strategic and applied research, especially research of particular relevance to South Africa
  • to ensure that its graduates achieve levels of skill, knowledge and understanding comparable with those of graduates from the best universities world-wide
  • to continue to develop its courses to serve the needs of Southern Africa, recognising that this requires a solid foundation in basic, theoretical and comparative studies
  • to improve the success rate of students through enhanced teaching and learning, and coherent academic development programmes
  • to continue to attract and retain excellent staff, providing ongoing development opportunities
    at all levels
  • to eliminate discrimination based on race, class, gender, sexual orientation and disability, through effective labour relations policies and affirmative action programmes leading to equal opportunity

Immediate Priorities

  • to foster dialogue and interaction between different cultural communities within the University, with the goal of rapidly increasing mutual respect and trust
  • to ensure that the campuses are safe, well-resourced and clean, so as to build a sense of pride on the part of all stakeholders
  • to foster capacity in science and engineering and increase the number of graduates in these areas, especially from historically disadvantaged groups
  • to prepare students for managerial, professional and leadership positions in the public and private sectors and to produce social scientists with the capacity for skilled research on issues of critical
    importance to the country
  • to maintain a commitment to studies in the humanities and social sciences to contribute to the production and upgrading of school teachers, particularly in English, Mathematics and Natural Sciences
  • to increase the number of post-graduate students, especially from historically disadvantaged groups to develop flexible study programmes that will improve interaction between disciplines, mobility between institutions in post-secondary education and opportunities for part-time study
  • to provide executive and certificate courses to sectors of the society it serves, including organised labour, business and the public sector, thereby also increasing income to the University
  • to participate with other private and public institutions (nationally and internationally) in developing
    a rational and effective system of higher education in South Africa

Wits will seek to use all its assets - both human and physical - to serve the intellectual, professional and educational needs of South African society.Wits will seek to use all its assets - both human and physical - to serve the intellectual, professional and educational needs of South African society.