The university of Fort Hare is one among the numerous universities abound in South Africa. The university is a non-profit public university which is located in the town of Alice, in the Eastern Cape Province of the country.
The university has to provide quality education that will meet the international standard as its mission. Also, it strives to provide ethically relevant knowledge that can contribute to the scientific, technological and socio-economic development of the society.
The university of Fort Hare stands an important place in the history of black education in South Africa. The university which began between 1916 and 1959 was a key institution for black education in the country.
History of the University is traced to James Stewart, who as part of his missionary work, created a school for missionaries. This served as the seed from which the University of Fort Hare later grew.
In 1905 after the death of Stewart, a convention was held with the view of starting an inter-state native college. This led to the opening of the South African Native College in 1916. By 1923, Z. K Matthews had received a degree from the institution. From then on, the institution grew to the University of Fort Hare (UFH).
During the apartheid period, the university was greatly affected. It was taken over by the National Party government between 1959 and 1960. With that, the institution was turned into an exclusive institution for Xhosa speakers and some outspoken staff was expelled from the institution. The move crippled the growth of the institution as it eroded the core ideals upon which it was built.
Reformation of the university began in the 1990s with the exit of the apartheid government in the country. In 2004 the East London Campus of the university came into being through incorporation.
Among its notable Alumni are Oliver Tambo and Nelson Mandela who were both expelled from the institution. Others are Seretse Khama, Julius Nyerere, Robert Mugabe, and Kenneth Kaunda all of whom have been leaders of Botswana, Tanzania, Zimbabwe (till date), and Zambia respectively.
South Africa’s first female black doctor, Mary Malahlela, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu are also alumni of the university.
Today the university has three campuses and five faculties. The campuses are located in Alice, East London, and Bisho, which is the capital of the province.
The faculties of the university are Faculties of education, Law (Nelson R. Mandela School of Law), and Management and Commerce. Others are Faculties of Science and Agriculture as well as Social Sciences and Humanities. All faculties of the university offer qualification to the doctoral level. The university as well has over 10 institutes.
As at 2011, the university had over 11 thousand students studying at all levels.
Among its facilities, the university has major libraries in its three campuses. Also, it provides accommodation for students, as well as sports and other recreational facilities.
The institution has a website which serves the UFH students online. Apart from providing the necessary information, it also serves as registrations and information update among other things.
Through its website, the university opens its application system to local and international students. This includes those in the undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
For the 2017 academic year, the admission process is on until the 31st of October 2016. The Postgraduate application forms are sold at R120. For late registration between 1st November and 31st December 2016 however, the forms would be sold at R250. The form can be gotten on the school’s website.
Although the university has a set fee, it provides various discounts for students based on performance and discounts on the number of children one registers in the institution.
While for an additional child the discount is 10%, for top performance one can get full tuition discount for attaining between 48 and 100 Swedish points. Fort Hare University also provides financial aid for South African students who are financially incapacitated.
In recent times, the university along with other universities in South Africa have been engaged in various violent and non-violent protests. The protests have been driven by the government’s attempt to increase the fee of the institutions by 8% percent.
Vice Chancellor of Fort Hare University, however, has assured that for the 2017 session there will be 0% increase in tuition fees.