University of KwaZulu-Natal: Wikis


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University of KwaZulu-Natal[1]
UKZN badge
Established 1 January 2004 as merger of UN (est. 1910) and UDW (est. 1960s)[1]
Chancellor Dr Zweli Mkhize[2]
Vice-Chancellor Prof. Malegapuru William Makgoba[3]
Location Durban and Pietermaritzburg[1], KwaZulu-Natal[1], South Africa[1]
Campus 5 campuses[4]

The University of KwaZulu-Natal or UKZN is a university with five campuses all located in the province of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa.[4] It was formed on 1 January 2004 after the merger between the University of Natal and the University of Durban-Westville.[1]



The main clock tower of Old Main Building, located on the Pietermaritzburg campus.

University of Natal

Founded in 1910 as the Natal University College in Pietermaritzburg, the University of Natal was granted independent University status in 1949 owing to its rapid growth in numbers, its wide range of courses and its achievements in and opportunities for research. By that time, the NUC was already a multi-campus institution, having been extended to Durban after World War 1. The distinctive Howard College building was opened in 1931, following a donation by Mr T B Davis, whose son Howard Davis was killed during the Battle of the Somme in World War 1. In 1946, the government approved a Faculty of Agriculture in Pietermaritzburg and, in 1947, a Medical School for African, Indian and Coloured students in Durban.

Under apartheid, the university was known for the activism of its staff and students against government-imposed racial segregation.

University of Durban-Westville

Howard College Campus Tower in Durban, University of KwaZulu-Natal

The University of Durban-Westville was established in the 1960s as the University College for Indians on Salisbury Island in Durban Bay. Student numbers throughout the 1960s were low as a result of the Congress Alliances' policy of shunning apartheid structures. This policy gave way in the 1980s to a strategy of "education under protest" which sought to transform apartheid institutions into sites of struggle. Student numbers grew rapidly and in 1971, the College was granted University status. The following year, the newly-named University of Durban-Westville moved into its modern campus in Westville and was a site of major anti-apartheid struggle. UDW became an autonomous institution in 1984, opening up to students of all races.


The University of KwaZulu-Natal was formed on 1 January 2004 as a result of the merger between the University of Durban-Westville and the University of Natal. The two KwaZulu-Natal universities were among the first batch of South African institutions to merge in 2004 in accordance with the government's higher educational restructuring plans.

In partnership with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the university is establishing the KwaZulu-Natal Research Institute for Tuberculosis and HIV (K-RITH).


The university is governed in accordance with the Higher Education Act [5], and the constitution of the university is specified in the Statute of the University of KwaZulu-Natal,[6] as approved by the South African Minister of Education and the Parliament of South Africa.

In terms of the statute, the university consists of:

  • the chancellor (the titular head). The first chancellor of the merged university was Dr [[Frene Ginwala]. It is currently Dr Zweli Mkhize.
  • the vice chancellor (the executive head)
  • two or more deputy vice chancellors (currently there are five full and one acting) [7]
  • the registrar (responsible for registering students)
  • the council (responsible for governance of the institution as a whole)
  • the senate (responsible for governance of academic activities)
  • the students representative council (responsible for students representation)
  • the institutional forum (responsible for advising the council on matters of human rights and equality)
  • the colleges (currently there are four)
  • the academic and support staff
  • the students
  • the convocation (all the alumni and some others)



Freedom of expression

In 2006 the International Freedom of Expression Exchange stated that "Free expression and academic freedom are in severe decline at the university."[8]

In 2007 the Freedom of Expression Institute was concerned about the university's suspension of professor Evan Mantzaris for criticising management, "part of a larger process in which the space for free expression and academic freedom at that university is being narrowed".[9]

In 2008 the London Review of Books stated that the University "is in vertiginous decline"[10]

In 2008 Education Minister Naledi Pandor wanted to meet vice-chancellor Malegapuru Makgoba and discuss resignations of staff over expression concerns, and the condemnation from Cosatu and the Freedom of Expression Institute for the punishment of academics.[11]

Staff strike

Please help improve this page by expanding this section with material referenced to reliable sources.

Staff strike in 2006.[12] It lasted a total of 20 minutes.

Eviction of shack dwellers and the firing of Fazel Khan

In 2005 vice-chancellor Makgoba tried to have three families, living in shacks on Westville campus, evicted.[13]

UKZN academics Fazel Khan and Sally Giles directed a documentary film about Abahlali baseMjondolo, a shack-dwellers' movement. When Kahn was excised from both the photo and text in an article about the documentary in the university newsletter UKZNdaba, he was charged with dishonest conduct because he told newspapers that he believed that he had been excised from the photograph and text by the university management due to his role in the staff strike of 2006. Khan was found guilty[14] of bringing the university into disrepute and fired.[12] The Mercury had previously reported that vice-chancellor Makgoba had publicly declared that, following a request from Mayor Obed Mlaba, he would charge Khan and 2 other academics working with Abahlali baseMjondolo for 'incitement'. Khan is currently suing the university for unfair dismissal.

Notable alumni

As the university has only existed since 2004, very few of its graduates have had the opportunity to attain great fame. There are, however, numerous notable alumni of its founding institutions:-

University of Durban-Westville

University of Natal


  1. ^ a b c d e f "History of the University of KwaZulu-Natal". University of KwaZulu-Natal. Retrieved 2007-11-18. 
  2. ^ Moodley, Indu. "The University of KwaZulu-Natal's first chancellor - Dr Frene Ginwala". University of KwaZulu-Natal. Retrieved 2007-11-18. 
  3. ^ "Vice-chancellor Professor Malegapuru William Makgoba". University of KwaZulu-Natal. Retrieved 2007-11-18. 
  4. ^ a b "Choice of campuses". University of KwaZulu-Natal. Retrieved 2007-11-18. 
  5. ^ Parliament of South Africa (1997). "Higher Education Act" (). Government Gazette, Vol 390, No. 18515. 
  6. ^ Parliament of South Africa (2005). "Statute of the University of KwaZulu-Natal" (). Government Gazette, Vol 684, No. 29032. 
  7. ^ University of KwaZulu-Natal. ["" "Executive of the University of KwaZulu-Natal"]. "". 
  8. ^ "Lecturer faces disciplinary committee, possible dismissal, as free expression declines at university". Freedom of Expression Institute. 2006-10-10. Retrieved 2007-11-18. 
  9. ^ "FXI says 'erosion' of free expression at KZN varsity". Mail&Guardian. 2007-03-24. Retrieved 2007-11-20. 
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^ Hlongwane, Agiza (2008-12-07). "Clean up your act, UKZN warned". Sunday Tribune: p. 1. Retrieved 2008-12-08. 
  12. ^ a b Tolsi, Niren (2007-05-05). "UKZN's Fazel Khan to fight back". Mail&Guardian. Retrieved 2007-11-18. 
  13. ^ Beharie, Santosh (2006-01-08). "KZN University in court to evict squatters". Sunday Independent: p. 3. Retrieved 2007-11-18. 
  14. ^ Transcript of the hearing
  15. ^ "Stephen Bantu Biko". South African history online. 09 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-20. 

External links

Coordinates: 29°52′03″S 30°58′51″E / 29.86752°S 30.98081°E / -29.86752; 30.98081


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