Schools South Africa

University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

The mission of the University of the Witwatersrand is to foster creativity across the institution while embracing the variety of its people, academic fields, and ideas. Wits aim to be a place where its employees and students may flourish.

About the University of the Witwatersrand

The University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (/vtvtsrnt/) is a public research university with multiple campuses in central Johannesburg, South Africa. The name Wits University or Wits (/vts/ or /vits/) is more widely used to refer to it. The Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, and the university all have mining-related histories. The third-oldest university in South Africa still in existence was established in Kimberley in 1896 as the South African School of Mines.

As of 2018, there were 40,259 students enrolled at the institution, and 20 percent of them resided in one of the university’s 17 homes. A total of 63 percent of the university’s students are enrolled in undergraduate programs, 35 percent are enrolled in graduate programs, and the remaining 2 percent are occasional students. Wits University is ranked first overall in Africa according to the 2017 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU). The Center for Global University Rankings (CWUR) named Wits the top university in South Africa in 2016. The CWUR rankings show that Wits has held this place since 2014.

As the South African School of Mines, the university was established in Kimberley, South Africa, in 1896. After Stellenbosch University and the University of Cape Town (established in 1829), it is the third-oldest South African institution still in operation (founded in 1866). The school was transferred to Johannesburg eight years later, in 1904, and given the new name Transvaal Technical Institute. In 1906, the institution’s name underwent yet another change to Transvaal University College.

The Transvaal University College opened a new campus in Pretoria in 1908. On May 17, 1910, the campuses in Johannesburg and Pretoria split out, becoming independent organizations. While the Pretoria campus remained the Transvaal University College until 1930, when it changed its name to the University of Pretoria, the Johannesburg campus was reincorporated as the South African School of Mines and Technology. The school’s name was changed to University College, Johannesburg in 1920.

Faculty and Departments At the University of the Witwatersrand

Faculty of Commerce, Law, and Management

  • Accountancy
  • Business Sciences
  • Economics and Finance
  • Law
  • Wits Business School
  • Wits School of Governance

Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment

  • Architecture and Planning
  • Civil & Environmental Engineering
  • Chemical & Metallurgical Engineering
  • Construction Economics & Management
  • Electrical & Information Engineering
  • Mechanical, Industrial & Aeronautical Engineering
  • Mining Engineering

Faculty of Health Sciences

  • Anatomical Sciences
  • Clinical Medicine
  • Oral Health Sciences
  • Pathology
  • Physiology
  • Public Health
  • Therapeutic Sciences

Faculty of Humanities

  • Wits School of Arts
  • Wits School of Education
  • Human and Community Development
  • Literature, Language, and Media
  • Social Sciences

Faculty of Science

  • Animal, Plant, and Environmental Sciences
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science and Applied Mathematics
  • Geography, Archaeology, and Environmental Sciences
  • Geosciences
  • Mathematics
  • Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Physics
  • Statistics and Actuarial Science

FAQS about University of the Witwatersrand

Q. How many Students Does the University of the Witwatersrand admit per year?

A. 40,259 students are enrolled at the university as of 2018.

Q. Is the University of the Witwatersrand a Federal or State School? 

A. It is a public university.

Q. What is the cut-off point for the University of the Witwatersrand?

A. A student must earn a minimum grade of 50% to pass a module.

Q. What is the University of the Witwatersrand’s Official Website?


Q. Is the University of the Witwatersrand a good school?

A. Yes. It is a premier institution of higher learning in Africa, dedicated to research, academic excellence, social justice, and the improvement of the general welfare. Out of roughly 25 000 universities worldwide, Wits is placed in the top 1%. The university is ranked #244 in Best Global Universities.

Q. Are there hostels at the University of the Witwatersrand?

A. Yes!

Q. When is the admission form coming out for the University of the Witwatersrand?

A. Applications are accepted for the midyear BA degree intake from April 1 through May 31. Applications for additional part-time degrees will be accepted beginning on July 1 for 2024. Applications for sporadic studies, including GEMP prerequisites, will be accepted beginning on July 1 in 2024.

Q. Who founded the University of the Witwatersrand?

A. The University’s first Chancellor was Prince Arthur of Connaught, Governor-General of the Union of South Africa, and its first Principal was Professor Jan H. Hofmeyr.

Q. What are the requirements for the University of the Witwatersrand?

A. Any of the five faculties will evaluate applicants who meet the requirements below for admission:

  • The Independent Examinations Board (IEB), the South African Comprehensive Assessment Institute (SACAI), the National Senior Certificate (NSC), etc
  • A Bachelor’s degree is required, along with specific levels of accomplishment.

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