The University of Venda, situated in Thohoyandou in the scenic Vhembe district
of the Limpopo Province of South Africa was established in 1982. The University
has ever experienced tremendous growth and change. From its early years, staff
members were drawn from various backgrounds in South Africa, but by 1994 staff
members were increasingly recruited from other African countries and overseas.
The presence on campus of staff from diverse backgrounds created a unique atmosphere
and a fertile environment for new ideas and a capacity for change.
During this time the institution remained a traditional University that offered
a full-range of courses straddling the humanities, social sciences, natural
and applied sciences.
With the advent of democracy in 1994 and a new leadership at the helm, Univen
embarked on a process of accelerated transformation. From 1995 the university
shifted its focus to science and technology, resulting in the introduction of
new programmes with an increase in Student enrolment in the natural and applied
In 2002, the Department of Education mandated the Institution to transform
into a comprehensive University that offers career-focused programmes. Prior
to its new mandate, Univen had already taken a step to establish some career-focused
programmes with emphasis on science and technology.
During each stage of transformation the university aligned its vision and mission
to the needs of the community at local, regional, national, continental and
international levels. This process of transformation created significant changes
in administrative governance and in the size and shape of the curriculum. It
also attracted better qualified staff and resulted in improved student profile.
To date the University has established itself as a national asset through its
niche on problem oriented, project based curriculum with a strength in nurturing
under prepared students into nationally competitive graduates. The University
has therefore become an important player in the South African higher education
landscape, contributing significantly to the human resources and development
needs of the country and region.
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