Tertiary education

Higher Education and Training, or tertiary education, includes education for undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, certificates and diplomas, up to the level of the doctoral degree.

A matric endorsement is required for the study of university degrees, with a minimum of three subjects passed at the higher, rather than standard, grade, although some universities set additional academic requirements. A standard school-leaving South African senior certificate is sufficient for technical qualifications and diplomas.

South Africa has a vibrant higher education sector, with more than a million students enrolled in the country's 24 state-funded tertiary institutions: 11 universities, five universities of technology, and six comprehensive institutions.

These have recently been integrated, with the country's former 36 universities and "technikons" being amalgamated into larger tertiary institutions. Higher education is also offered at hundreds of private institutions, which are registered with the Department of Education to confer specific degrees and diplomas.

Many of South Africa's universities are world-class academic institutions, at the cutting edge of research in certain spheres. Although subsidised by the state, the universities are autonomous, reporting to their own councils rather than government.


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