University of the Witwatersrand

The University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, also known as Wits University, is a leading, internationally-ranked, research-intensive university located in Johannesburg, South Africa, the economic heartland of Africa. Committed to academic and research excellence and social justice, Wits generates high level scarce skills for a globally competitive world, while addressing local social and economic development. At the forefront of a changing society, Wits is a social leader, dedicated to advancing the public good.

Wits is known for its work in deep level mining, science, health sciences, accountancy, law, governance, and the humanities, amongst others. It houses five faculties which comprise 34 schools. Wits offers approximately 3 600 courses to about 32 500 full-time students, of whom about a third are postgraduate and 55% are female. Almost 65% of all doctoral candidates and about half of all enrolments are in the Science, Engineering and Technology fields. Wits has developed about 130 000 graduates in its 93 years of existence. It has a proud record in that about 87% of all publications are in accredited international journals.

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Unless Africa can manage the effects of climate change, the agricultural future for many African’s looks bleak. Siegfried Modola/Reuters

What Africa can do to manage the fallout of climate change

Unless Africa can manage the effects of climate change, the agricultural future for many Africans looks bleak.
A new collection of essays explores the role of books in founding and dismantling The British empire. Shutterstock

The books that shaped the rise and fall of the British empire

Books have active political lives. They inspire social movements and bind people together. Books can stand as short-hand symbols for larger galaxies of ideas.
A page from a 1934 sex education manual that, like many of its era, managed to be less about sex than about policing racial boundaries. RPH West, Facts about Ourselves for Growing Boys and Girls (Public Health Department of the City of Johannesburg and the South African Red Cross Society, 1934). Wits Historical Papers, South African Institute of Race Relations Collection, AD 843 RJ/NA 18.

Let’s talk about sex education: race and shame in South Africa

In South Africa's segregated pre-apartheid state, even sex education was racialised. Christian missionaries had very different lessons for black and white children.
The MDG for eradicating poverty and hunger has been helped through new high-yielding varieties of rice (right) that can withstand drought in Africa. Reuters/Erik de Castro

The role of science in reaching development goals

Science has had a crucial role in helping to meet the targets of the Millennium Development Goals. But there's much more to do.
Student doctor Livhuwani Mashanzhe ® from the University of Johannesburg takes a blood test from a patient at Kimberley train station in South Africa in this file picture. Juda Ngwenya/Reuters

A human step to equal health care in South Africa’s rural hospitals

Skilled mid level health care workers can relieve the workload of other health care workers and can help make universal health care a reality for South Africans.
A Mozambican woman tries to salvage her belongings after severe flooding. Grant Lee Neuenburg /Reuters

Why Africa is particularly vulnerable to climate change

Africa's climate may leave its people vulnerable to harsh weather conditions like droughts and floods if the problem is not mitigated.
South Africa’s National Health Insurance aims to ensure universal access to health care – one of the most persistent structural inequalities. Shutterstock

South Africa can’t lose its nerve on universal health care

The South African government's plan to provide universal access to health care seems to be slipping off its priority list.

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