Schools South Africa

Rhodes University

The mission of Rhodes University is to become a world-class, highly regarded academic institution dedicated to democratic ideals, academic freedom, rigorous scholarship, solid moral principles, and social responsibility while firmly reaffirming its African character.

About Rhodes University

A public research institution known as Rhodes University, or Rhodes Universiteit in Afrikaans, is situated in Makhanda (Grahamstown), in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. One of the province’s four universities is this one. The University of the Free State (1904), University of Witwatersrand (1896), University of South Africa (1873) as the University of the Cape of Good Hope, Stellenbosch University (1866), and the University of Cape Town are the five other oldest South African universities still in operation. Rhodes University was founded in 1904 and is the oldest university in the province (1829). By a bequest from the Rhodes Fund, Rhodes was established in 1904 as Rhodes University College and was given the Cecil Rhodes name. 

Before becoming an autonomous university in 1951, it was a constituent institution of the University of South Africa from 1918 until 1951.

Almost 8,000 students attended the university during the 2015–2016 academic year, of which slightly over 3,600 resided in 51 on-campus houses. The remaining students referred to as Oppidans either lived in digs (off-campus apartments) or their own homes in the town.

At the center of the Rhodes campus is the Sir Herbert Baker clock tower. Herbert Baker created the clock tower in 1910, and it was built in later years.

Although a plan to establish a university in Grahamstown had been floated as early as 1902, it was never carried through due to financial issues brought on by the Frontier Wars in Albany. Leander Starr Jameson gave the institution £50,000 worth of preferred shares from the Rhodes Trust in 1904. On May 31, 1904, a parliamentary act established Rhodes University College with this cash.

St. Andrew’s College, Gill College in Somerset East, Graaff-Reinet College, and the Grey Institute in Port Elizabeth were the four schools where university education in the Eastern Cape began. The four professors from St. Andrew’s College—Arthur Matthews, George Cory, Stanley Kidd, and G.F. Dingemans—became the first academic staff members of Rhodes University College.

Rhodes moved into the Drostdy building, which it had purchased from the British Government, at the beginning of 1905, leaving behind the cramped quarters at St Andrew’s. In 1918, Rhodes was included as a constituent institution to the brand-new University of South Africa, and it grew in size ever since. In 1947, as the future of the University of South Africa was being considered, Rhodes decided to separate from the institution.

On March 10, 1951, the university was officially opened. The first chancellor of Sir Basil Schonland’s alma mater was Dr. Thomas Alty, who succeeded his father Selmar Schonland as chancellor. The University College of Fort Hare was a part of Rhodes University under the rules of the Rhodes University Private Act. This win-win situation persisted until the apartheid government decided to cut off Fort Hare’s affiliation with Rhodes. In 1963, James Hyslop took over for Alty. To allow for additional growth, Rhodes negotiated the purchase of the closed teacher training college managed by the sisters of the Congregation of the Resurrection of our Lord in 1971. This included the buildings, grounds, and several surrounding structures.

One of the university’s greatest infrastructure projects, a new library building costing R85 million in development started in 2008 and was finished in 2010.

Faculty and Departments At Rhodes University

Faculty of Commerce

  • Accounting
  • Theory of Finance
  • Computer Science
  • Management and Economics

Faculty of Education

  • Department of Primary & Early Childhood Education
  • Department of Secondary and Post-School Education

Faculty of Humanities

  • Anthropology
  • Drama
  • English Language and Linguistics
  • Fine Art
  • History
  • English
  • Music
  • Political and International Studies
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Philosophy
  • School of Languages and Literatures
  • School of Journalism

Faculty of Law

  • Law

Faculty of Pharmacy

  • Primary Health Care
  • Pharmacy Education
  • Medicinal Chemistry
  • Formulation Development

Faculty of Science

  • The biological sciences
  • The earth and environmental sciences
  • The chemical sciences
  • The mathematical and physical sciences

Frequently Asked Questions about Rhodes University

How many Students Does Rhodes University admit per year?

Answer: The university had an enrolment of more than 8,000 students in the 2015 academic year.

Is Rhodes University a Federal or State School? 

Answer: It is a public research university.

What is the cut-off mark for Rhodes University?

Answer: An overall average of 65% in your chosen subjects is the cutoff for the 2023 Rhodes University online application.

What is Rhodes University Official Website?


Is Rhodes University a good school?

Answer: Yes. It is ranked #935 in Best Global Universities. The university is ranked #801-1000 in QS World University Rankings 2023.

Are there hostels at Rhodes University?

Answer: Yes.

When is the Admission Form coming out for Rhodes University?

Answer: The University has opened its applications for 2023.

Who founded Rhodes University?

Answer: The first chancellor of the university was Sir Basil Schonland, son of Selmar Schonland.

What are the requirements for Rhodes University?

Answer: General Requirements:

Learners who wish to pursue degree programs at Rhodes University must acquire an English language achievement rating of 4 (50 – 59%) or above. The suggested subject list is listed below, and at least four of the seven topics must be from it. Moreover, students must have received an achievement rating of 4 (50 to 59%) or higher.

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