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|Established||1 January 2004 as merger of UN (est. 1910) and UDW (est. 1960s)|
|Vice-Chancellor||Professor Nana Poku|
|Colours||Black and red|
The University of KwaZulu-Natal or UKZN is a university with five campuses in the province of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. It was formed on 1 January 2004 after the merger between the University of Natal and the University of Durban-Westville.
The university was formed by the merger of the University of Natal and the University of Durban-Westville, in 2004.
The university is governed in accordance with the Higher Education Act of 1997, and its constitution is specified in the Statute of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, as approved by the South African Minister of Education and the Parliament of South Africa.
In the statute, the university consists of:
The university is made up of four colleges, which are in turn made up of several schools. In most cases, a subdivision is spread across one or more of the university's campuses. For example, the Chemistry is in both the Pietermaritzburg and Westville campuses.
An institute built in cooperation with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute is the new KwaZulu-Natal Research Institute for Tuberculosis and HIV, opened in 2012. It is on the Nelson Mandela School of Medicine campus.
The university is geographically divided into five distinct campuses, which partially correspond to its managerial and academic divisions. Two campuses (Edgewood and the Medical School) house specific academic divisions (education and medicine respectively), but the remainder of the university's academic divisions span Howard College, Pietermaritzburg and Westville.
Pietermaritzburg campus was the main location of the University of Natal and its predecessor, the Natal University College, until the opening of the Howard College campus in Durban. This campus contains the university's oldest structure, Old Main Building, built in 1912. Pietermaritzburg campus offers a broad range of academic degrees and is the only UKZN campus providing training in agriculture, theology and fine arts.
Howard College campus was the Durban location of the University of Natal until the 2004 merger. It spans the Berea Ridge. and is situated in a thriving environmental conservancy. The campus was opened in 1931, having been donated by Mr T. B. Davis, in honor of his son, Howard Davis, who died in the Battle of the Somme during the first world war. Howard College offers a wide range of degrees, with a large engineering department consisting of Electrical engineering and Chemical engineering. The College of Humanities and College of Law and Management are also positioned on this campus together with the Centre For Creative Arts (CCA) and the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre which host annually the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF), Poetry Africa, Time of the Writer and the creative dance festival JOMBA! which is produced by the FlatFoot Dance company.
Westville campus is in an environmental conservancy in Westville, about 20 km West of Durban. It was formerly the site of the University of Durban-Westville before the 2004 merger. Westville offers a range of degrees, and will soon be the main home of the disciplines of commerce and management.
Nelson Mandela medical school campus, created in 1950, was originally a racially segregated part of the University of Natal. It was one of the few tertiary institutions legally allowed to provide education to black people under apartheid. It was granted Nelson Mandela's name on its 50th anniversary in 2000. The medical school is the home of health sciences.
Edgewood campus is located in Pinetown, east of Durban. The buildings originally formed the Edgewood College of Education, which was incorporated into the University of Natal in 2001. Edgewood is the main location of the university's Faculty of Education.
UKZN is home to various student organizations such as debating unions, film clubs, poetry societies, and sports teams.
The UKZN Rugby team - The UKZN Impi - features in the highly contested Varsity Cup national rugby competition, and the Howard College Debating Union competes in both the World Universities Debating Championships as well as the South African National Universities Debating Championships.
UKZN established the Centre for Creative Arts (CCA) in 1996. The CCA is a multi-disciplinary arts organisation based within the School of Arts at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. It coordinates several respected annual festivals, providing students with access to creative platforms and interesting opportunities aimed at developing their artistic talents. The four main festivals organized by the UKZN CCA are:
The UKZN Time of the Writer festival invites international authors to take place in a variety of roundtable discussions, readings, seminars, book launches, and developmental programs such as workshops, master classes and motivational talks. The festival has been running since 1998.
The UKZN Poetry Africa started in 1997, and features performances, readings, and book-launches from some poets
UKZN has two law clinics, one in Pietermaritzburg and one in Durban, that provide free legal assistance to those that are unable to afford it. Specializing in the areas of HIV and AIDS, Family Law, and social justice matters, the UKZN law clinics are considered to be among the leading law clinics in the country. The law clinics also provide a practical training environment for final year law students, who are mentored by the clinic's experienced practitioners. Both clinics also engage directly with the communities throughout the province through regular outreach initiatives, where the students and legal practitioners travel to various remote, impoverished communities with the intention of providing access to justice for those that are most vulnerable.
UKZN was ranked fourth out of the universities in South Africa by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and sixth by the QS World University Rankings 2018. UKZN has historically had a very strong reputation in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and is ranked first in the country for physical sciences and engineering, second for computer science, and third for mathematics.
There have been a number of controversies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal since its foundation.
Firstly, there have been several staff strikes and student protests, with some protests from 2009 onward involving police intervention and the use of riot control measures, as well as violence on the part of some strikers.
Secondly, there have been a series of legal and disciplinary actions taken by senior university management against academics for speaking in public about the university. These actions have drawn wide criticism from academics and from organisations such as Cosatu and UNESCO.
They were also the cause of a 2008 staff strike.
As the university has only existed since 2004, very few of its graduates have yet to attain great fame. There are, however, numerous notable alumni of its founding institutions:
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to University of KwaZulu-Natal.|
National collaborative...resource containing historical material of importance and interest to scholars and students. Disa.ukzn.ac.za. Formerly known as "Digital Imaging South Africa"