Rhodes University

Where leaders learn

South Africa

Welcome to Rhodes University, a 104-year old institution with a well-established reputation for academic excellence.

Located in Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa, Rhodes is a small university which 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 testimony to the quality of students that Rhodes attracts and of academic provision, and to the commitment of Rhodes staff to student development and success.

Of our more than 8000 students, 30% are postgraduates and over 18% are international students from 54 countries around the world, making Rhodes a dynamic and cosmopolitan knowledge institution. 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, Rhodes 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.

Education at Rhodes is a partnership between students, academics, administrators and support staff of mutual commitment to the pursuit of knowledge and understanding of our natural and social worlds. Research, teaching and community engagement seek to be alive to the social and economic challenges of the local, national, African and international contexts.

Rhodes strives to be a vibrant and innovative knowledge institution that forms professionals, thinkers and actors. Research seeks to extend the frontiers of knowledge and to also inform initiatives that promote equity, justice and economic and social development. An active community engagement programme provides numerous opportunities for students to develop and share expertise and contribute to social development.

Almost 50% of Rhodes students and the majority of undergraduates live in the University residences, while there also special residences for postgraduates. Through a well-established structure of wardens, sub-wardens and residence committees, the residences play an important role in overall student development, including developing leadership skills.

Numerous clubs and societies provide extensive opportunities for students to participate in a variety of intellectual, social, cultural, and sport activities and further develop valuable skills.

At Rhodes the partnership between students, academics and other staff extends to the governance of the university. Through the Students Representative Council and other representative bodies of undergraduates and postgraduates students participate in the Council, Senate and other decision-and policy-making committees of the University.

Our graduates perform well in an increasingly competitive job market and are highly regarded by employers around the world. The employability of our graduates continues to increase and rates up there with the very best the world has to offer. Our degree offering prepares students for the job market by ensuring they develop the skills employers want, whether through work experience, volunteering or social activities.

Rhodes University has a vibrant and intellectual culture where the academic project is cherished. Approximately 1600 staff, academic and support, in both in and out of the classroom contribute to a unique education of our students. All of this contributes to the institution’s world-wide reputation for high quality education and puts Rhodes consistently in the top 3 of RSA universities for the highest research output per capita and the highest throughput rate for undergraduate students.

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Key staff:

Dr. Sizwe Mabizela, Rhodes University Vice Chancellor

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According to the QS World University Rankings, Rhodes University is ranked 7th in Africa. Also it is currently ranked in the global top 250 for two subjects: Communication and Media studies, and English language and Literature.

Key facts:

Registered students 7 300

Undergraduate students 5 402

Post-grad students 1 898

International students 1 460

Student staff ratio 1:15

Halls of residences 12 Residences 51

Students in residence 3 700

Oppidan students 3 600