University of Kwazulu-Natal
The University of KwaZulu-Natal was formed on 1 January 2004 as a result of the merger between the University of Durban-Westville and the University of Natal. The new university brings together the rich histories of both the former Universities.
The University of Durban-Westville was established in the 1960s as the University College for Indians on Salisbury Island in Durban Bay. Student numbers throughout the 1960s were low as a result of the Congress Alliances’ policy of shunning apartheid structures. This policy gave way in the 1980s to a strategy of “education under protest” which sought to transform apartheid institutions into sites of struggle. Student numbers grew rapidly and in 1971, the College was granted University status. The following year, the newly-named University of Durban-Westville moved into its modern campus in Westville and was a site of major anti-apartheid struggle. UDW became an autonomous institution in 1984, opening up to students of all races.
Founded in 1910 as the Natal University College in Pietermaritzburg, the University of Natal was granted independent University status in 1949 owing to its rapid growth in numbers, its wide range of courses and its achievements in and opportunities for research. By that time, the NUC was already a multi-campus institution, having been extended to Durban after World War 1. The distinctive Howard College building was opened in 1931, following a donation by Mr T B Davis, whose son Howard Davis was killed during the Battle of Somme in World War I. In 1946, the government approved a Faculty of Agriculture in Pietermaritzburg and, in 1947, a Medical School for African, Indian and Coloured students in Durban.
The two KwaZulu-Natal universities were among the first batch of South African institutions to merge in 2004 in accordance with the government’s higher educational restructuring plans that will eventually see the number of higher educational institutions in South Africa reduced from 36 to 21. Confirmed by a Cabinet decision in December 2002, the mergers are the culmination of a wide-ranging consultative process on the restructuring of the Higher Education Sector that began in the early 1990s.
From the mountain vistas of the Drakensberg to the wild reaches of Maputaland, KwaZulu-Natal is a province of contrasts. The University of KwaZulu-Natal offers prospective students the choice of five campuses, each with its own distinctive character.
Formerly the Edgewood College of Education before its incorporation in 2001, the Edgewood campus in Pinetown is the University’s primary site for teacher education and the home of the University’s School of Education. Situated in Pinetown with easy access to the N3 highway and approximately 20 minutes’ drive from Durban, the campus offers sophisticated and attractive facilities to a growing number of Education students and is close to all major amenities.. The School provides initial and in-service teacher education and offers university higher degrees in a wide range of specialisms in education as well as carrying out research and consultancy. The School is actively engaged with policy-making in education in South Africa and contributes to the international profile of the university through participation in international conferences, teaching international students, hosting international visitors and publishing in international books and journals.
Durban is a vibrant coastal city renowned for its beaches, coastal resorts and the Moses Mabhida Stadium. The city is also a major South African port. The magnificent game reserves and estuaries of Maputaland, north of Durban, are a favourite getaway for staff and students alike. Opened in 1931 following a generous donation by Mr T B Davis, whose son Howard Davis was killed during the Battle of Somme in World War I, the Howard College campus is situated on the Berea and offers spectacular views of the Durban harbour. The campus is situated in a successful environmental conservancy and the lush gardens of the University reflect a commitment to indigenous flora and fauna. The Howard College Campus currently offers a full range of degree options in the fields of Science (including Geography and Environmental disciplines), Engineering, Law, Management Studies, Humanities (including Music) and Social Sciences (including Social Work). In addition, the campus offers Architecture and Nursing.
Medical School has been producing quality doctors for 54 years. Founded in 1950 as a “black faculty” in a “white institution”, for most of its history, the School has been synonymous with the struggle for democracy and racial equality. On its 50th anniversary in 2000, the Medical School received the finest birthday present it could have wished for – the agreement of former president and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Nelson Mandela, to link his name to the school. The campus is also home to the Doris Duke Medical Research Institute which was launched in July 2003, and which will train a new generation of clinical researchers, enhance the clinical research infrastructure in KwaZulu-Natal, and foster collaborations between research groups working on similar projects in South Africa and other countries.
Pietermaritzburg is located in the centre of the scenic Natal Midlands, close to numerous nature reserves and parks, only one hour’s drive from Durban and two hours’ drive from the Drakensberg. The city has a rich architectural heritage, with many fine examples of Victorian and Edwardian buildings. The city is the birthplace of the former University of Natal and its forerunner, the Natal University College, which opened its doors to 57 students in 1910. Two years later, Old Main Building was completed and the hub of the present-day PMB campus was established. The campus offers a wide range of innovative academic programmes, which have been successful in responding to local and provincial needs in the broad areas of Science and Agriculture, Education, Law, Human and Management Sciences. Unique to the Pietermaritzburg campus are the disciplines of Agriculture, Theology and Fine Art.
Located within an environmental conservancy about 8 kilometres from the CBD of Durban and Pinetown, the Westville campus combines state of the art infrastructure with beautiful natural surroundings. The campus’s Hindu temple and an Islamic place of worship reflect its rich multicultural history. It is also the official address of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, housing the Vice-Chancellor’s office, the offices of Executive members and University-wide administrative divisions. The campus currently offers programmes in Science, Engineering, Law, Commerce and Management, Humanities, Social Sciences and Health Sciences. As the merged institution takes shape, the Westville campus will be the home of Commerce and Management disciplines and some Health Sciences.