Founded in 1904, Rhodes University has a well-established reputation for academic excellence. With just over 8 200 students, Rhodes University enjoys the distinction of having among the best undergraduate pass and graduation rates in South Africa, outstanding postgraduate success rates, and the best research output per academic staff member. This is a testimony to the quality of students that the university attracts and of academic provision, and to the commitment of staff to student development and success.


At Rhodes University, students are able to undertake an extensive range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in the faculties of Humanities, Science, Commerce, Pharmacy, Law and Education. With the most favourable academic staff to student ratio among South African universities, students are guaranteed easy access to academics and close supervision. The university takes pride in its motto, ‘Where Leaders Learn’, and producing graduates who are knowledgeable intellectuals, skilled professionals and critical, caring and compassionate citizens who can contribute to economic and social development, and an equitable, just and democratic society. Many of the goals of our recently completed Institutional Development Plan (IDP) have to do with retaining and improving our research and scholarly contribution as a university, and ensuring that we not only generate dependable knowledge, but that the knowledge that we create has a positive impact on the social and natural world around us.

Our goals are to
• Maintain and strengthen our general formative degree offering and the research, teaching, and community engagement nexus which enables our students to access powerful knowledge
• Enable access to all academically-qualifying students and provide them with conditions which allow them to flourish as critical and engaged citizens
• Maintain and strengthen our unique institutional niche as a research-intensive university outside a major urban area
• Ensure financial and environmental sustainability practices through good governance, leadership and management
• Attract, nurture and retain staff of high-calibre and maintain an inclusive, welcoming, affirming and positive intellectual environment
• Provide relevant and appropriate academic infrastructure, equipment and facilities to support our academic project, and
• Promote Rhodes University as an institution for the public good in local, provincial, national and international contexts


The IDP calls upon all of us to re-imagine our university as one in which sustainability permeates every aspect of our academic endeavour, including an elevated sense of awareness and responsibility of our graduates for building sustainable communities. It calls upon us to ensure that we are simultaneously locally responsive and globally engaged. It calls upon us to work towards advancing social justice and do all that we can to restore the dignity and humanity of those who were treated as lesser beings by the previous dispensation. And it calls upon us to remind ourselves that our university does not exist in a vacuum. It exists within a social, cultural and economic milieu, and has an important role to play in lifting the standard of living of our local community.

Rhodes University is very fortunate to have outstanding, dedicated and committed academic and support staff who take a deep and keen interest in the growth, development and academic success of each and every one of our students


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