11 Best Engineering Universities In South Africa (2023)

An Engineering career is certainly a fulfilling one; Engineers are key to the development of any society. Engineering drives industry; the need for fresh ideas and discoveries is inexhaustible. There is no shortage of employment opportunities, and remuneration is usually enviable. 

Luckily, South African universities are well known around the world for the quality education that they offer. South African Universities are highly ranked as citadels of learning and centers of research. Whether you want to study Civil/Construction Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Computer Engineering, or any other facet of this very wide field, South African institutions can provide the necessary training.

With so many good schools offering high-quality engineering programs, making a choice becomes problematic. I addressed that by listing the very best Engineering Universities in South Africa, as well as listing out important information about the schools and programs.

Best Engineering Universities In South Africa

1. University of Pretoria

Location of School: Lynnwood Rd, Hatfield, Pretoria, 0002, South Africa

The University of Pretoria was established as a public university on March 4, 1908, and since then it has been an excellent place to study engineering. Their engineering school of the University of Pretoria is one of the largest schools of this type in South Africa and comprises several areas of expertise in various departments. They have partnerships with many industries in South Africa.

The Faculty of Engineering of the University of Pretoria offers students the necessary training, not just to earn a living as Engineers, but also to make significant contributions to engineering in South Africa and abroad. 

2. University of Cape Town

Location of School: Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

The University of Cape Town School of Engineering, currently the second-best engineering university in South Africa boasts a faculty that is made up of some of the brightest engineering mind s in the country. Not just are they academics, but they are most active in research.

The faculty has a good relationship with industry and government and receives funding for important research projects. Studying Engineering at the University of Cape Town immediately exposes students to an environment that is committed to excellence in Engineering.

3. University of KwaZulu Natal

Location of School: King George V Avenue, Glenwood, Durban

The University of Kwazulu Natal was founded on January 1, 2014. Even though a fairly young University, this institution has quickly grown in stature and reputation. With a student population in excess of 30,000, this institution is very popular.

The school offers a variety of degree options, from first degrees to doctorates, and they are all fully accredited by the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA). At the University of Kwazulu Natal, you can get superior training in the fields of Civil Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Bioresources Engineering,     Electrical, Electronic Engineering, Computer Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering.

4. University of Witwatersrand

Location of School: 37 Nind St, Doornfontein, Johannesburg, 2094, South Africa

The University of Witwatersrand is located in Johannesburg, South Africa; and was created in 1922. This is the third oldest university in South Africa. This school offers training in Engineering which can be compared only with the best in the land; The University of Cape Town and the University of Pretoria. 

The University of Witwatersrand offers superior training in a variety of programs that include information engineering, biomedical engineering, Aeronautical Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Architecture, Urban and Regional Planning, Property Studies, Metallurgy and Materials Engineering, and Construction studies.

5. University of Stellenbosch

Location of School: Stellenbosch Central, Stellenbosch, South Africa

The University of Stellenbosch is one of the finest institutions in South Africa, and its Faculty of Engineering is one of the faculties in the forefront of the best engineering schools/institutions. Stellenbosch University is one of the leading producers of top engineers in South Africa.

Due to the University’s role in creating the first microsatellite in Africa, SUNSAT, the school has gained a great reputation in engineering. Some of the top engineering programs to study at this university include Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering, Civil Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Industrial Engineering, and Electrical & Electronic Engineering.

6. University of South Africa (UNISA)

Location of School: Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa

The University of South Africa dates back to 1873. It was formerly known as the University of Cape of Good Hope. This is South Africa’s largest University, arguably the biggest in Africa as well.  

This university strives to provide relevant and affordable education to the people, making it accessible to everyone. The School of Engineering offers degree programs through open distance learning (ODL) to students wishing to become engineering professionals.

At this university, you can get quality training in electricity, mining, civil engineering, mechanics and engineering, as well as mine surveying. Other available courses include Engineering Courses, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Mining Engineering,  Chemical Engineering, and Industrial Engineering.

7. North-West University

Location of School: 5520 108th Ave. NE Kirkland, WA 98033

North-West University was created in 2004.  With a student population of more than 64,000 students, it is one of the largest universities in South Africa. The school has quickly built a reputation of being a top destination for quality education in the country.

Like most universities on the list, this university has a host of engineering courses to choose from. Some of the courses include mechanical, civil, mechanical, electrical, and electronic engineering.

8. Cape Peninsula University of Technology

Location of School: Symphony Way, Bellville, Cape Town, 7535, South Africa

Cape Peninsula University of Technology’s Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment is the perfect place to study engineering as it concerns human settlements, urban and regional planning. The Cape Peninsula University of Technology covers a wide range of engineering disciplines but has excelled in the field of construction. Civil Engineering, Maritime Studies, Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Electrical, Electronic, & Computer Engineering, Industrial Engineering.

9. Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University

Location of School: University Way, Summerstrand, Port Elizabeth, 6019, South Africa

Nelson Mandela University is one of the Universities in South Africa with the longest histories dating back to 1882. The school was formerly known as the University of Port Elizabeth. However, Nelson Mandela University was founded in January 2005 by the merger of three institutions. 

The School of Engineering offers academic programs including national degrees, Mechatronics Engineering, Bachelor’s degree, Bachelor of Engineering Technology, Master’s and Doctorate degrees. Other engineering courses include Civil Engineering, Marine Engineering, Mechanical, and Aeronautical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering and   Mechatronics Engineering.

10. Tshwane University of Technology

Location of School: Staatsartillerie Rd, Pretoria West, Pretoria, 0183, South Africa

The Tshwane University of Technology came about as a result of the merger of Technikon Northern Gauteng, Technikon North-West, and Technikon Pretoria. The Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment of this University has a goal to provide relevant and quality-oriented professional training in line with international standards. The school has gained a reputation for training some of the brightest building engineers in the country.

11. Vaal University of Technology

Location of School: Vanderbijlpark, Gauteng Province, South Africa

The Vaal University of Technology offers you a chance to build an exciting career in engineering. They offer a variety of engineering programs all accredited by the Engineering professional body in South Africa. Some of the courses offered by the University include Civil Engineering, Chemical Engineering,   Industrial Engineering & Operations Management, Metallurgical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Electrical & Electronic Engineering.

Requirements Of Top Engineering Universities In South Africa

While requirements differ from institution to institution, the general criteria for studying engineering in South Africa are as follows: South African students must pass a minimum of 4 National Senior Certificate (NSC) subjects at a rating of 4 (50 – 59%).  Students should also have NSC matriculation endorsement with at least 40% in English (first or second additional language). Students are further required to have an Admission Points Score (APS) for the desired course.

Most courses further require that you have completed the following subjects at matric level: English (home language or first additional language), Mathematics, and Physical Science.