South Africa is home to a world-class university system, and South African graduates are employed all over the world. Provided below is a list of South African universities and their dates of establishment, as well as where they are located.
- University of Cape Town 1829 (Cape Town)
- University of Stellenbosch 1866 (Stellenbosch & Cape Town)
- University of the Witwatersrand 1896 (Johannesburg)
- University of the Free State 1904 (Bloemfontein)
- Rhodes University 1904 (Grahamstown)
- University of Pretoria 1908 (Pretoria & Johannesburg)
- University of Fort Hare 1916 (East London)
- University of the Western Cape 1959 (Cape Town)
- University of KwaZulu-Natal 2004 (Durban, Pietermaritzburg)
- North-West University 2004 (Mafikeng, Potchefstroom)
- University of Limpopo 2005 (Polokwane & Ga-Rankuwa)
Secondary education in South Africa takes place in both public and private schools. The standard of education in private schools may be higher than in public schools, but this does not come into account when applying for admission to a university. Application for admission to a university centres on other factors, such as academic achievement in the school-leaving (matric) examination, which is administered by the government and is set at a uniform national standard.
Part of the legacy of apartheid is a poor standard of school education in some areas of the country. This is due to the fact that under the apartheid system, less money was spent on “black” and “coloured” schools than on “white” schools. “Blacks” were not expected to take up important posts or have significant career advancement, and so their education was substandard, and, in some cases, useless. Since the end of apartheid, national government has taken measures to address this situation, but the consequences of the apartheid system can still be seen in the poor matric results of some schools.
The medium of instruction in both schools and tertiary institutions tends to be English, although there are exceptions to this. Generally speaking, foreigners are welcome to pursue an academic direction in South Africa, as long as they have obtained the necessary documentation from the Department of Home Affairs.