Stellenbosch University

Stellenbosch University is a public research university situated in Stellenbosch, a town in the Western Cape province of South Africa. It is the oldest university in South Africa and the oldest extant university in Sub-Saharan Africa, together with the University of Cape Town - which received full university status on the same day in 1918. The university is known for its high academic standards and its research focus.

Stellenbosch University is a public research university situated in Stellenbosch, a town in the Western Cape province of South Africa. Founded in 1859 as the Stellenbosch Theological Seminary, it is the oldest university in South Africa and the oldest extant university in Sub-Saharan Africa. The university's origins can be traced back to 1859, when the Stellenbosch Theological Seminary was founded by the Dutch Reformed Church. In 1866, the Stellenbosch Gymnasium was opened, and in 1881, the two institutions merged to form Stellenbosch College. In 1887, the college was renamed Victoria College, and in 1918, it was granted university status and renamed Stellenbosch University.

The early years of Stellenbosch University were marked by a strong focus on theological and classical education. However, the university gradually expanded its curriculum to include other disciplines, such as law, medicine, and science. In the late 19th century, Stellenbosch University became a leading center of Afrikaans scholarship and culture.

Under the apartheid regime, Stellenbosch University was a bastion of Afrikaner nationalism and white privilege. However, the university was not immune to the growing movement for change in South Africa. In the 1970s and 1980s, the university was a hotbed of student activism and protest.

In 1994, South Africa became a democracy, and Stellenbosch University began the process of transforming itself into a more inclusive and representative institution. The university has made significant progress in this regard, but there is still more work to be done.

Today, Stellenbosch University is a leading research university with a strong international reputation. The university is home to a number of world-class research institutes and centers, and its graduates are highly sought after by employers around the world. Stellenbosch University is also committed to social justice and transformation. The university has a number of programs and initiatives in place to promote diversity and inclusion. The university is also committed to sustainable development and has a number of initiatives in place to reduce its environmental impact.

Based on the QS World University Rankings of 2024, Stellenbosch University is positioned as the #283 top university in the world, which makes it the #3 top university in South Africa.

University Profile

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2024 Ranking #3
University Name Stellenbosch University
Name in Local Language Universiteit Stellenbosch
Year Established 1866
Motto Pectora roborant cultus recti
Motto in English Sound learning strengthens the spirit


The university is located in Stellenbosch, Western Cape. Find the address and map of the university below.

Address Matieland, Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa


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Phone +27 (21) 808 9111
Fax +27 (21) 808 38 00
Website Click here
Email Click here to send email
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Programs and Courses

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Bachelor's Degrees Master's Degrees Doctorate Degrees Diplomas
Arts & Humanities n/a
Business & Social Sciences n/a
Engineering n/a
Language & Cultural Studies n/a n/a
Medicine & Health n/a
Science & Technology n/a

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Ranking History

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Admission Info

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International Students Allowed Yes
Student Body Men and Women
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