Stellenbosch University (SUN)


Stellenbosch University (SU) is a medium-sized, research-focused institution with ten faculties located in the historic town of Stellenbosch in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. The university’s origins date back to 1866 but acquired university status in 1918. Stellenbosch University is one of the top universities in South Africa and has long been recognised as one of Africa’s premier universities; now it counts among the best in the world. In 2011, the institution was listed on three international ranking lists: Times Higher Education World University Rankings, QS World University Rankings, and the Leiden Ranking list.


A core part of the university’s mission is underpinned by the research activities of the university. Under the motto ‘from success to relevance’ the university has since 2006 embarked on an ambitious science for society strategy. This strategy has placed the focus of SUs research activities on five themes:

  • Eradicating poverty and poverty- related conditions;
  • Promoting Human Dignity and Health;
  • Promoting Democracy and Human Rights;
  • Promoting Peace and Security;
  • Promoting a sustainable environment and a competitive industry.

This programme comprises the University‘s Hope Project . The five themes are based on the UN Millennium Development Goals, thus aligning SU‘s overall aim with the international development agenda and the unique challenges and opportunities of our regional and continental context.

The University

For three consecutive years, Stellenbosch University has boasted the highest weighted research output per permanent academic staff member in South Africa, and one of the highest percentages of postgraduate students in the country.

Stellenbosch University’s research stature is reflected in the centres of excellence and research chairs that it hosts. Three of the seven centres of excellence established by the National Department of Science and Technology (DST) are based at SU:

  • DST/NRF Centre for Invasion Biology (C•I•B)
  • DST/NRF South African Centre for Epidemiological Modelling & Analysis (SACEMA)
  • DST/NRF Centre of Excellence for Biomedical TB Research (CBTBR) with nodes at SU and the University of the Witwatersrand.

Other national centres include:

  • Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies,
  • NEPAD Water Centre of Excellence Initiative,
  • National Institute for Theoretical Physics (NITheP) and

Associated Centre for Macromolecules and Materials (UNESCO)

Stellenbosch University is also home to a number of National Research Chairs. Based on its existing and potential strengths Stellenbosch University currently hosts 17 SARChI (South African Research Chairs) chairs, as well as a chair each from SANERI (South African National Energy Research Institute), HF Oppenheimer Trust and SANRAL (South African National Roads Agency Limited).

Stellenbosch University has well-appointed teaching, learning and research environments. Some of the most notable features are:

  • A thriving academic community comprising of 915 academics and researchers, strengthened by 160 postdoctoral fellows
  • SU is home to the second largest number of NRF-rated researchers (308) in South Africa, an indicator of research-strength
  • A dedicated postgraduate support and skills development programme assists postgraduates to pursue studies with successfully
  • Advanced Library and Information Services offering access to online databases, journals, and a sizeable collection of books. Facilities also include a learning and research commons and e-learning classroom
  • The university’s Central Analytical Facility (CAF) houses 7 units. The aim of the CAF is to ensure optimal use of the expensive multi-user research equipment by the SU research community and the South African research and development sector in general


Faculty of AgriSciences
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences
Faculty of Education
Faculty of Engineering
Faculty of Law
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Faculty of Military Sciences
Faculty of Science
Faculty of Theology

Stellenbosch University (SUN)


Coordinator: Dr. Christoff Pauw