Rand Afrikaans University

The Rand Afrikaans University ( RAU ) was an African institution of higher education and research that Johannesburg has served and surrounding area. The university was founded in 1967 and disbanded in 2004, on January 1, 2005 with the Vista University and Technikon Witwatersrand a new university, namely the University of Johannesburg to form.



In the two decades after the Second World War, the current impoverished Africans from the countryside to the Witwatersrand went, grown without the number Afrikaners have shown a marked increase, as evidenced by the fact that the churches of African Churches in Johannesburg almost no growth whatsoever. That an entire generation Africans perished on the Rand at that time, anglicised, was under due more to the lack of African educational institutions. [1]

The picture only from the 1920s and especially in the time of the Great Depression began to change when the first African high schools opened on the Reef – the Voortrekker High School in Boksburg January 1920 and Lend a Hand High School in Johannesburg and Monument High School in Krugersdorp in 1921 . Shortly after the Second World War there was the Witwatersrand just six Afrikaansmedium- compared with 26 English-medium secondary schools, in addition to 19 technical and trade schools where both official languages as medium of instruction used.

The growth of Afrikaans-medium high schools gradually began to reflect the population of speaking. So the number of Africans on the border between 1936 and 1960 grew by 167 percent, compared to 60 percent in South Africa as a whole. At the beginning of the 1980s, about a fifth of the country’s Afrikaner population (about 450,000) went to the Rand. [ Citation needed ]

Compared to English-speaking South Africans, the intellectual potential of this large population concentration, however underutilized for social and economic reasons. In South Africa, as a whole, the percentage of English speakers, who matriculated or have obtained a university degree, twice as high as the percentage Afrikaans. The Rand was the Africans’ backlog in this regard even greater because many African students left school before they could obtain a matriculation, while many matriculants could not afford to follow academic education at a university.

For African leaders, it became’s clear in 1950 that higher education institutions should be established within easier reach of Rand Afrikaans for after-hours study for students who already have had a career, and full-time study for students, who could be living in their home, possibly make.

The long campaign for an African education college or university is conducted in three phases. The first campaign between 1956 and 1961, reached its peak with the establishment of the Goudstadse College of Education in February 1961. During the second phase from 1961 to 1965, negotiations conducted with the University of South Africa. The final campaign in 1965 and 1966 focused on the acquisition of its own, independent Afrikaansmedium University.

While also local communities insisted outside Johannesburg on the establishment of an African university, the then white government’s policy was to expand existing European institutions for tertiary education to meet the growing needs rather than for new universities to be established. Only with the announcement on February 13, 1963 the establishment of a new, bilingual university in Port Elizabeth was amended this policy, especially in the light of findings of a committee of inquiry appointed by the minister of education. On 5 November 1963, 468 delegates at a congress unanimously decided to set up an African university. [ Citation needed ]

It is also proposed to negotiate the University of South Africa (Unisa) to move his seat from Pretoria to Johannesburg in order to exert a dual function – that of a residential African university as well as those of an external university . The government’s reluctance to contribute to the creation of entirely new universities to proceed could be so circumvented. [ Citation needed ]
On 4 August 1965 the then Minister of Education, Senator. Jan de Klerk , announced that the Cabinet had decided that Unisa’s seat in Pretoria would stay and give his consent to the proposed establishment of an independent Afrikaans-medium university for the Witwatersrand with its seat in Johannesburg. In 1966 the government decided on a site in Auckland Park . [ Citation needed ]
The first students signed up for registration on February 3, 1966, and on February 24 of this year, the official opening of the Rand Afrikaans University (RAU) with just over 700 registered students and the inauguration of its first chancellor (the then Minister finance and later third President of the Republic of South Africa), Dr. N. Diederichs , occurred. The first rector was Prof. Gerrit Viljoen .
The first campus was located in a brewery in Braamfontein . The new campus buildings in Auckland Park is officially on 24 May 1975 put into use.
Over time, the university has become a double-medium institution that has offered almost all courses in both English and Afrikaans.


The faculties of the RAU was as follows:

  • Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences
  • Faculty of Law
  • Faculty of Science
  • Faculty of Engineering
  • Faculty of Arts
  • Faculty of Health Sciences

Notable alumni

  • Francois Pienaar , World Cup captain (1995)
  • Neil Sandilands , actor.
  • Bryan Habana , rugby player
  • Cobus Grobbelaar , rugby player


  1. Go up↑ Rand Afrikaans University: Calendar 1982, p. 51

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