World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Rhodes University

Rhodes University
Rhodes University coat of arms
Former names
Rhodes University College
Motto Vis, virtus, veritas
Motto in English
Strength, courage, truth
Established 31 May 1904
Type Public
Endowment R429.6 million[1] (US$59.853 million as of 2008)
Chancellor Lex Mpati
Vice-Chancellor Sizwe Mabizela
Academic staff
Students 7,005[2]
Undergraduates 5,372[2]
Postgraduates 1,633[2]
Location Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Colours Purple     
Nickname Rhodian, Rhodent (informally)
Affiliations AAU, ACU, HESA, IAU
Rhodes University Logo

Rhodes University (RU or simply Rhodes) is a public research university located in Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. It is one of four universities in the province. Established in 1904, Rhodes University is the province's oldest university, and it is the fifth or sixth oldest South African university in continuous operation, being preceded by the University of the Free State (1904),[3] University of Witwatersrand (1896), Stellenbosch University (1866) and the University of Cape Town (1829). Rhodes was founded in 1904 as Rhodes University College, named after Cecil Rhodes, through a grant from the Rhodes Trust. It became a constituent college of the University of South Africa in 1918 before becoming an independent university in 1951.

The university had an enrolment of over 8,000 students in the 2015 academic year, of whom just over 3,600 lived in 51 residences on campus, with the rest (known as Oppidans) taking residence in digs (off-campus residences) or in their own homes in the town.


  • History 1
  • Campus 2
  • Organization and administration 3
    • Faculties and Schools 3.1
    • Law Clinic 3.2
  • Academics 4
    • Student body 4.1
    • SARChi Chairs 4.2
  • Student life 5
    • Halls of Residence 5.1
    • Media 5.2
  • Ranking 6
  • Notable alumni and staff 7
    • Notable alumni: general 7.1
    • Notable alumni: journalists, media celebrities in South Africa 7.2
    • Notable staff 7.3
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • Further reading 10
  • External links 11


View of High Street looking west from the corner of Hill Street towards the Drostdy Arch, the main entrance to the present-day Rhodes University campus. Circa 1898.
The Sir Herbert Baker clock tower at the heart of the Rhodes campus. The clock tower was designed by Herbert Baker in 1910 and constructed in subsequent years.

Although a proposal to found a university in Grahamstown had been made as early as 1902, financial problems caused by the Frontier Wars in the Eastern Cape prevented the proposal from being implemented. In 1904 Leander Starr Jameson issued £50 000 preferred stock to the university from the Rhodes Trust. With this funding Rhodes University College was founded by an act of parliament on 31 May 1904.

University education in the Eastern Cape began in the college departments of four schools: Stanley Kidd and G.F Dingemans became founding professors of Rhodes University College.

At the beginning of 1905, Rhodes moved from cramped quarters at St Andrew's to the Drostdy building, which it bought from the British Government. Rhodes became a constituent college of the new University of South Africa in 1918 and it continued to expand in size. When the future of the University of South Africa came under review in 1947, Rhodes opted to become an independent university.

Rhodes University was inaugurated on 10 March 1951. Sir

  • Official website

External links

Further reading

  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c d
  3. ^ Brief History – UFS was established 28 January 1904 Retrieved 28 April 2011
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^


See also

Notable staff

One of the most well known departments on the Rhodes campus is the university's school of Journalism and Media Studies, through which many of South Africa's most notable media celebrities have passed. There are also an especially high number of radio celebrities who graduated at Rhodes – many of them having spent time with the university's campus radio station Rhodes Music Radio.

Notable alumni: journalists, media celebrities in South Africa

Notable alumni: general

In academia, Old Rhodian Max Theiler was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his research in virology in 1951. Between 1903 and 1980, Rhodians were awarded at least 155 Rhodes Scholarships, representing 20% of the 728 scholarships awarded in Southern Africa during that period.

Notable alumni and staff

In 2011 Webometrics ranked the university the 5th largest in South Africa and 700th in the world.[13]


There are three student newspapers, Activate, The Oppidan Press and Cue, which has been published daily during the National Arts Festival held in Grahamstown every year for several decades. Activate celebrated its 65th birthday in 2012, while The Oppidan Press was only first published in 2007 with its target readership being mainly Oppidans. The journal Philosophical Papers is edited in the department of philosophy.


Halls of Residence

Student life

Rhodes holds ten of the national research chairs appointed under the South African Research Chairs Initiative. This accounts for approximately 7% of the total awarded nationally in South Africa, a significant proportion given the University's small size.[12]

SARChi Chairs

Gender composition of student body (2012)[11]
Black Coloured White Asian All students South Africa
Female 61% 67% 53% 61% 58% 51%
Male 39% 33% 47% 39% 42% 49%

Racial composition of student body (2012)[10]
Undergraduate Postgraduate Eastern Cape South Africa
Black 54% 49% 86.3% 79.6%
Coloured 4% 3% 8.3% 9%
White 38% 44% 4.7% 8.9%
Asian 4% 4% 0.4% 2.5%

The tables below show the racial and gender composition of the university for that year.

Rhodes admitted 1592 students in 2012.

Student body

Undergraduate tuition for the first year of study in 2011 towards a bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degree was R26,590 and R27,720, respectively, and the cost of board was between R35,700 and R37,600.[9]

Rhodes' academic program operates on a semester calendar, beginning in early-February to early-June, and the second semester beginning in late-July and ending late-November.

Rhodes is a small, highly residential university. For most undergraduates, first and second years of study are done while living in campus residences.


Rhodes University operates a Law Clinic, which operates as a firm of attorneys providing training to law students and free legal services for indigent people.[6] The Law Clinic operates from two offices, one in Grahamstown and one in Queenstown. The Law Clinic came to national attention in July 2013 when it represented 15 members of Nelson Mandela's family in their litigation against Mandla Mandela (Nelson Mandela's grandson) concerning the location of family grave sites.[7][8]

Law Clinic

The six faculties are further subdivided into 30 academic departments, of which 11 form part of the humanities faculty. The humanities faculty, being the largest in the university, consists of 40% of the student intake of undergraduate and postgraduate studies, enrolling 2669 students as of 2009.[5]

Rhodes has six faculties, listed below:

Faculties and Schools

Organization and administration

During 2008 work began on construction of a new library building at a cost of R85 million, one of the largest infrastructure projects undertaken by the university, and was completed in 2010.


The new Eden Grove building at Rhodes University.
Kimberley Hall is currently one of nine halls on campus.
The original Rhodes Crest

James Hyslop succeeded Alty in 1963. In 1971, Rhodes negotiated to purchase the closed teacher training college run by the sisters of the Community of the Resurrection of our Lord including the buildings and grounds and a number of adjacent buildings, facilitating further expansion.


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.