The first of two new universities to be founded in post-apartheid South Africa, Sol Plaatje University (SPU), debuted in 2014. The Northern Cape Province’s first university was also founded there.
About Sol Plaatje University
In 2014, the modestly sized Sol Plaatje University in Kimberley, South Africa, which had previously been known as the University of the Northern Cape, began operations. To reach the goal of 7,500 students by 2024, the student complement is anticipated to gradually rise. By way of Government Notification 630, dated 22 August 2013, it had been formally created as a public university following Section 20 of the Higher Education Act of 1997 before being officially launched on September 19 in a ceremony in Kimberley.
The launch was attended by Blade Nzimande, the minister of higher education and training, who noted that this was “the first new institution (in South Africa) to be established since 1994 and as such is a significant symbol of the country’s democracy, inclusiveness, and growth. It reflects a new intellectual order in Africa with a strong emphasis on innovation and excellence.” President Jacob Zuma emphasized the creation of academic niche areas that did not already exist or were underrepresented in South Africa on July 25, 2013, before announcing the university’s name.
According to Zuma, “it is anticipated that Sol Plaatje will specialize in heritage studies, encompassing related academic subjects like museum management, archaeology, indigenous languages, and restoration architecture,” given the rich legacy of Kimberley and the Northern Cape in general. On April 1, 2020, Prof. Andrew Crouch assumed leadership following the resignation of founding Vice-Chancellor Prof. Yunus Ballim.
The university is named for the thinker, journalist, linguist, politician, translator, and writer Solomon Tshekisho Plaatje, who lived from 1876 to 1932.
Political support for the creation of a university in the Northern Cape increased in 2012. Most notably, President Jacob Zuma’s announcement on July 5, 2012, that the main campus and seat of the institution will be in Kimberley’s inner city. There was an “opportunity to breathe fresh life and purpose into this old mining city,” according to the belief. When a record of intention was signed by representatives in Kimberley on March 19, 2013, the concept acquired legal weight. Blade Nzimande, the country’s minister for higher education, Grizelda Cjiekella, the acting premier of the Northern Cape Province, and Agnes Ntlhangula, the mayor of the Sol Plaatje Municipality, were all parties to the deal.
The record of intention was signed as a preliminary measure to a gazetted notice that would establish the institution as a legal person. The institution would be one of the first two to open in South Africa after apartheid; the other would be in Mpumalanga. The University of the Witwatersrand was chosen by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) to lead the creation of the DHET New Universities Project Management Team for the planning of the Kimberley new institution.
The new university’s interim council members were up for nomination in December 2012.
The members of the Interim Council announced by President Jacob Zuma on July 25, 2013, is Mr. Abel Madonsela, Mr. Maruping Lekwene, Dr. Yvonne Muthien, and Prof. Vishnu Padayachee. Ms. Jennifer Glennie serves as Chairman.
In September 2012, the national Treasury received a feasibility analysis on the future university’s operations and infrastructure. Treasury approved the plan, allocating R2 billion for the years 2013 to 2016, including funding for a university in Mpumalanga.
The designated area will house the university’s facilities.
It is envisaged that the Sol Plaatje University will occupy a combination of existing and newly constructed buildings in Kimberley’s central business district, particularly the current Civic Centre, which includes a portion of the Oppenheimer Gardens and other structures. They include the National Institute for Higher Education’s use of the former Cape Province Administration building. Regional MEC The McGregor Museum in Kimberley has been referred to as “a real role-player” by Pauline Williams (Sport, Arts, and Culture), with its collections and research fields serving as vital resources and “the core of a future faculty.”
In May 2013, the Department of Higher Education and Training New Universities Project Management Team (Northern Cape) issued a call for expressions of interest from architects to take part in a two-stage architectural ideas competition for addressing the need for new buildings and “to encourage innovative ideas, and best practice concepts, as well as to identify talented designers to participate in the design of the university precincts and buildings.”
Faculty and Departments At Sol Plaatje University
Faculty of Economic & Management Sciences
- Diploma in Retail Business Management
- Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting
- Bachelor of Commerce in Economics
- Advanced Diploma in Management
- Postgraduate Diploma: Public Management
- Postgraduate Diploma: Entrepreneurship
Faculty of Education
- Bachelor of Education degrees
- Bachelor of Education – Intermediate Phase
- Bachelor of Education – Senior & FET Phase
- BEd Honours – Curriculum Development
- Postgraduate Diploma in Mathematics Education
- Advanced Diploma in School Leadership and Management
- Postgraduate Certificate in Education
- Master of Education
Faculty of Humanities
- Higher Certificate in Court Interpreting
- Higher Certificate in Heritage Studies
- Bachelor of Arts
- Bachelor of Arts Honours in Languages (Afrikaans)
- Bachelor of Social Science Honours
- Master of Arts
Faculty of Natural & Applied Sciences
- ICT Diploma – Applications Development
- Advanced ICT Diploma
- Bachelor of Science
- Bachelor of Science – Data Science
- BSc Honours – Computer Science
- BSc Honours – Data Science
- BSc Honours – Mathematical Sciences
- BSc Honours – Biological Sciences
- BSc Honours – Physical Sciences
- Master of Science in e-Science
FAQS about Sol Plaatje University
Q. How many Students Does Sol Plaatje University admit per year?
A. This is at the discretion of the university.
Q. Is Sol Plaatje University a Federal or State School?
A. It is a public university.
Q. What is the cut-off point for Sol Plaatje University?
A. The University accepts APS: Minimum of 30 points.
Q. What is Sol Plaatje University Official Website?
Q. Is Sol Plaatje University a good school?
A. Yes. The university is ranked 25th in South Africa and 10325th in the World 2023 overall rankings.
Q. Are there hostels at Sol Plaatje University?
A. Yes! The university residences are vibrant learning and living spaces that contribute immensely to the academic success of SPU students.
Q. When is the admission form coming out for Sol Plaatje University?
A. The University’s Application is expected to open online on the 1st of April and close on 30 November 2024.
Q. Who founded Sol Plaatje University?
A. The University is one of the two new universities established in the post-Apartheid era.
Q. What are the requirements for Sol Plaatje University?
A. Entrance Requirement:
NSC pass with a prerequisite of a bachelor’s degree are the minimum qualifications for entry to the program. NSC Level 4 in English or English Mathematical Literacy NSC Level 5 – APS: Minimum 30 points OR FAL NSC Level 5 – Mathematics: NSC Level 3.