Closing Date:

30 September 2014 (Will only be extended if there are still places available)

Application Fee:

R100 (details on the last page of the application form)

Attach to Application Form:

- Copy of deposit slip (R100)
- ID copy
- Copy of latest Matric Results
- Copy of Age exemption letter from Matric Board (if applicable - older than 23)

Contact Details:

Edwinah Egelser
Sonet van Niekerk
053-807 5300
086 544 2766 (f)


Sol Plaatje University has been conceived as a source of pride, both for the Northern Cape Province and for South Africa. It has been orientated to take a respectful place among the institutions of higher learning that serve our nation. It will provide young people with education and qualifications in a range of fields, as much for their personal advancement as for the benefit of our nation and economy. The university will draw on the distinctive strengths and heritage of the Northern Cape, stimulating provincial and national development.

In its first year (2014), the university will offer three programmes: a Diploma in Information Technology: Applications; a Diploma in Retail Management; and a Bachelor of Education Degree for secondary school and FET teachers of mathematics, natural science and technology. Decisions on future programmes are still under discussion but the areas that are being envisaged for future qualifications at the institution include renewable energy, African languages, mining, arid-terrain agriculture, commerce, heritage studies, museum studies, restoration architecture and archaeology. Given its location in the Northern Cape and proximity to as the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) and the South African Large Telescope (SALT), Sol Plaatje University will also be developing knowledge and skills in disciplines related to space exploration.

As President Jacob Zuma said earlier this year, the university has the potential to inject new life and purpose into this historic mining city. Kimberley was the birthplace and hub of South Africa’s mining industry, a place bursting with energy that attracted people from all over southern Africa and from other continents. Sol Plaatje University will now give Kimberley the opportunity to inject similar energies into the kinds of academic, intellectual and cultural pursuits that can revitalise the city.


For Application and Registration Information:
The Registrar
Tel: 053 807 5300

Follow us on social media: Twitter @mySPU or on Facebook


Download the application form here


Download the brochure here

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the start-up programmes for 2014 and how many students will be accommodated?

The 2014 start-up programmes for the Sol Plaatje University in the Northern Cape are:

• Bachelor of Education (Senior Phase and Further Education and Training)
• Diploma in ICT (Applications Development)
• Diploma in Retail Business Management

The Bachelor of Education will accommodate 75 students; the Diploma in Retail Business Management will accommodate 30 students and the Diploma in ICT a further 30 students.

2. How will the Sol Plaatje University recruit students? When will applicants be informed of admissions decisions and when will the university open in 2014?

The recruitment strategy of the university is to focus on encouraging applications from good students from schools and colleges in the region whose learners are known for strong performance in mathematics, science and technology studies. Members of the senior management team of the university will be visiting these institutions over the next month to identify such students and to encourage them to apply for admission to the university in 2014.

All applicants will be informed of the results of their applications during the early part of January 2014, after there has been an opportunity to consider the NSC results of applicants currently in Grade 12. Admission decisions may be made earlier for applicants who previously completed the matric examinations or any other higher education studies. The academic year is expected to commence in the second week of February 2014.

3.Will there be financial assistance available to support students?

Successful applicants will be eligible for financial aid support in the form of Fundza Lushaka bursaries (for teacher education studies), NSFAS loans for financially and academically deserving students in any area of study, as well as from bursary programmes that will be directly administered by the University. Applicants who wish to be considered for financial aid must indicate this by completing the appropriate sections on the application form, on the Fundza Lushaka website and on the NSFAS website.

4.Where will the academic programmes for the 2014 start-up programmes be delivered?

The programmes will primarily be delivered at the existing buildings of the old Legislature Building which currently houses the National Institute for Higher Education (NIHE) in Chapel Street, Kimberley, and in the (previously) William Pescod School buildings.

5.Why was Kimberley selected as the site to host the Sol Plaatje University?

Kimberley offers the best conditions and environment to support the establishment of a world-class university with a student population of around five thousand in the medium term. The city offers a range of retail and community facilities and is an established tourism and recreation centre. Structurally, the Kimberley is well located within the national movement structure – on the Cape Town to Gauteng route – by both road and rail infrastructure. The city is also serviced by an airport that connects it to major cities in South Africa.

The University Seat is situated in a central location in the inner-city, enjoying high visibility as an institution of national importance with the ability to establish an iconic identity. The location of the academic and administrative component of the university is focused on the established central civic open space of the city, with maximum accessibility to the city and surrounds. The central location offers various existing amenities, which have the capacity to



This course provides students with the knowledge, insight and skills needed to follow a successful management career in the retail or wholesale fields. Retail and wholesale businesses strive to satisfy the needs of consumers by providing the necessary products and services.

The retail industry offers national and international career opportunities for the graduate. The variety of retail and wholesale business is enormous and includes departmental stores, hypermarkets, shopping centres, speciality stores, general dealers, chain stores, supermarkets, factory stores, boutiques and restaurants.

Retail managers are generally required to work in teams and the programme therefore focuses on the development of professional communication skills which prepares students to work both independently and as part of a team. Strong emphasis is placed on problem solving and approaches to programmed management.

The retail industry is dynamic in nature and managers must remain aware of developments and continuously update their skills. The programme therefore focuses on developing the lifelong learning skills of students. Students are also exposed to uncompromising approaches in the ethical practice of this management discipline.

Graduates can choose from a wide variety of entry level positions, e.g. as a trainee manager or a position in buying, stock control, merchandising, sales, administration, logistics, housekeeping or the finance section of a retail business.

This qualification forms a base for further specialisation in fields such as buying, merchandising, store lay-out and merchandise planning.

Graduates who want to start their own businesses will benefit from the entrepreneurship component of this course.


The B Ed programme in Senior Phase and FET Teaching is specifically designed to prepare students for teaching in the South African schooling system. National imperatives such as the shortage of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology teachers were important considerations in the design and development of this programme. It is intended for students who would like to obtain a degree in Education, specialising in Mathematics, Natural Sciences or Technology, which would qualify them as professional educators for the Senior and Further Education and Training phases. This qualification is also suitable for expertise in education-related careers such as training officials.

The purpose of the B Ed degree is to provide a well-rounded education that will empower graduates with an integrated knowledge base enabling them to demonstrate competence, commitment and responsibility as academically and professionally qualified beginner teachers. The curriculum and the accompanying classroom practice is a “shaping force” of the students admitted to this university. The approach to teaching, learning development and assessment on this degree programme is strongly guided by the intellectual and professional attributes that our graduates need to develop in order to have a positive impact on the schooling needs of the diverse communities in our country.

The following aims will assist in exploring and fulfilling the purpose of the B Ed degree:

  • provision of subject/discipline knowledge;
  • provision of pedagogical content knowledge;
  • fostering self-reflexivity and self-understanding to enable commitment to the highest level of professional work ethics;
  • development of students as active citizens who will respond to and initiate change, and
  • development of competences to organise learning among a wide range of learners in diverse contexts.

This programme targets potential students who have successfully completed Grade 12 with admission to degree studies and who want to teach one or more of the following subjects at school: Life Sciences; Geography; Technology; Engineering Graphics and Design.

Diploma in Information and Communication Technology (ICT)Specialised in Applications Development

The pervasive use of computers has resulted in an ongoing need for a wide range of highly skilled human capacity in ICT disciplines. The field is subject to rapid technological changes and therefore requires professionals who are well-educated, who keep up-to-date with the latest developments in the field and who can engage future trends and developments in the field.

The purpose of this Diploma qualification is to provide a career-focussed, professional qualification featuring industry-referenced knowledge and skills transfer, technological competencies, critical cross-field skills as well as attitudinal development. The programme deals with the conceptualisation, design, development, implementation and testing of computer software applications to meet the enormous commercial and social demand for such products. Students are prepared for careers in Computer Programming and Systems Analysis & Design but will gain exposure to a wide range of related topics. The diploma graduate will be knowledgeable and competent in the discourse and practice of the ICT discipline and have specialist knowledge of the Applications Development sub-discipline of ICT. The curriculum features a range of professional and personal development initiatives relevant to the ICT industry and the promotion of lifelong learning skills. Qualifying students will therefore be proficient in the general discourse of ICT but have specialised knowledge and skills that are focussed on Applications Development. The programme is designed to promote initiative and responsibility in an academic and/or professional context to respond to the local, regional and national, community and industry needs.

Diploma graduates in ICT specialising in Applications Development are able to:

  • Create and modify general computer applications software or specialised utility programs for stand-alone and distributed environments including the web environment,
  • Analyse user needs and produce a suitable specification for a system, covering a medium sized business problem,
  • Develop computer programs to demonstrate the ability to store, locate and retrieve information from different data sources, and
  • Deploy a suitable, secure software solution based on a given scenario demonstrating an understanding of systems architectures.

ICT practitioners are generally required to collaborate in teams to accomplish a common goal by integrating personal initiative and group cooperation around ICT projects. The course therefore also focuses on the development of professional communication skills which prepares students to work both independently and as part of a team. Strong emphasis is placed on creative problem solving and structured project management approaches.

The dynamic nature of the ICT industry demands that practitioners remain aware of developments and continuously update their skills. Practitioners must be au fait with the best practices and benchmark standards of the ICT industry. The programme therefore focuses on developing the lifelong learning skills of students.

Security of information has become a key concern in the modern business environment. As future ICT practitioners, students will therefore be exposed to uncompromising approaches in the ethical practice of their profession.

Applicants to the Diploma in ICT qualification must have a Matric with reasonably strong First Language (and English) and Mathematics or Mathematics Literacy marks. It is highly recommended that applicants should also have Computer Applications Technology (CAT) or Information Technology (IT) as subjects in their Matric curriculum. The specific minimum admissions requirements are available from the SPU website.

An exciting career awaits those who successfully complete the Diploma in ICT specialised in Applications Development qualification. A world without ICT and software application is unimaginable! Applications Development manifests in every facet of life – mobile phone apps, ATMs & banking, mining, television, medical equipment, agriculture, finance & accounting, education, geographical information systems, film & video, motorcars and aeroplanes, toys, social media & the internet… The list is endless.

In South Africa and across the globe, ICT is regarded as a “scarce skill” and opportunity awaits those who have the right knowledge, skills and attitude. Good luck!

For further information on the applications process, please contact:
Tel: 053 807 5300 or


This document sets the minimum academic requirements for admission into study programmes at Sol Plaatje University in 2014. The requirements are based on the results that applicants achieve in the South African National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations. Applicants who hold certificates from a different examination system will be considered individually for admission.

Note that if you satisfy the minimum admission requirements stated here, this does not automatically mean that you will be admitted to the study programme at SPU. The final decision on your admission will be based on your academic performance and the availability of space in the programme. The better your academic performance above this minimum, the better will be your chance of being admitted to study at SPU.

Calculating the SPU Admissions Points Score (APS)

NSC Achievement Level NSC % SPU Points Score Additional points for Mathematics and LOLT or HL Points for Life Orientation
7 90 - 100 8 +2 4
7 80 - 89 7 +2 3
6 70 - 79 6 +2 2
5 60 – 69 5 +2 1
4 50 – 59 4 +1 0
3 40 – 49 3 +1 0
2 30 – 39 2 0 0
1 0 - 29 1 0 0
    0 0 0

Minimum Requirements for admission to study programmes at SPU

1. English Language: The language of learning and teaching at SPU is English. All our academic programmes require that students will have taken NSC English either as the language of learning and teaching (LOLT) or home language (HL); or as the first additional language. Note that, in calculating the APS, the additional points apply to any of the official languages taken as the HL or LOLT.

2. Minimum requirements for the Bachelor of Education: B.Ed (Senior Phase & FET Teaching): NSC pass with Bachelor’s Degree requirement English LOLT or HL: NSC level 4; or English 1st additional language: NSC level 5 Mathematics: NSC level 4; if Biology is an elective, Life or Physical Sciences: NSC level 4; APS: 30 points

3. Minimum requirements for the Diploma: >Information & Communication Technology (Application Development) : NSC pass with Diploma requirement English LOLT or HL: NSC level 4; or English 1st language: NSC level 5 Mathematics: NSC level 3; or Mathematical Literacy: NSC level 5 APS: 25 points

4. Minimum requirements for the Diploma: Retail Business Management: NSC pass with Diploma requirement English LOLT or HL: NSC level 4; or English 1st language: NSC level 5 Mathematics: NSC level 3; or Mathematical Literacy: NSC level 5 At least one of the following at NSC level 4: Accounting, Business Studies or Economics APS: 22 points

Message from the Chair of the Interim Council


Ms Jennifer Glennie

It is with excitement, humility and a deep sense of responsibility that the Interim Council Members of Sol Plaatje University embark on overseeing the establishment of this institution. This university and the University of Mpumalanga are the first to be established in the democratic era of our beloved country. As such, they need to reflect the quest for development and the commitment to democracy and social justice embodied in our founding constitution. Sol Plaatje University is located in a remarkable region of our country – a region with a unique natural beauty, a distinctive heritage of the earliest inhabitants, a historical role in the industrial evolution of the country, and a future which grasps cutting-edge science through the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope, and the technological potential of alternative sources of energy.

The curricula of Sol Plaatje University will be imbued with and celebrate this diversity. The modes of teaching and learning will embrace the digital age and will draw on successful approaches to ensure that students can succeed despite the varying preparedness. Based on these commitments, the diplomates and graduates will be well positioned to advance the development aspirations of the region.

The interim council members


Ms Jennifer Glennie

Ms Glennie is the Founding Director of the South African Institute for Distance Education (Saide). She is a long-standing Council member of Unisa and served as the South African government’s representative on the board of the Commonwealth of Learning (CoL). As a member of the Minister’s Council on Higher Education, Ms Glennie was an active participant in the establishment of South Africa’s first Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC) in 2011, and served for 10 years on the Committee. She was the founding president of South Africa’s distance education association, NADEOSA. She has received honorary awards from both CoL for her significant contribution to distance education and the University of Pretoria for her contribution to education in South Africa. Ms Glennie has a Masters degree from University of London.


Mr Abel Madonsela

Mr Madonsela is the Regional Manager: Public & Corporate Affairs at De Beers Consolidated Mines, where he is responsible for development and implementation of overarching strategies and programmes which impact positively on the image, reputation and internal and external brand of De Beers. Mr Madonsela has an MBA degree from the North-West University.


Mr Maruping Lekwene

Mr Lekwene is the Head of Caucus in the Office of the Chief Whip of the Northern Cape Legislature. Mr Lekwene has served on the Executive Committee of Sol Plaatje, and as a Chairperson of the Sports, Recreational and Youth Development and Finance sub committees. He represented the Northern Cape in the working group of Governance and International Relations of SALGA.


Dr Yvonne Muthien

Dr Muthien has served in several senior executive positions in major South African corporates. Apart from her positions as Founding Executive Director: HSRC and Public Service Commissioner, she has been a lecturer at the University of Natal and the University of the Western Cape. She has served on various Boards of Directors and as the Ministerial Appointee to the Council of the University of Stellenbosch. Dr Muthien holds a D.Phil. (Sociology and Politics) from Oxford University.


Prof Vishnu Padayachee

Professor Padayachee is a Professor Extraordinaire in the Institute of Social and Economic Research at Rhodes University. He has held various visiting fellowships at prestigious institutions in Europe and the USA. He has been a member of the Board of Directors of the South African Reserve Bank and served on both its Remuneration and Audit committees and as Chairperson of the former. He has served on a number of Boards of Directors and has been elected to the Institute of Directors of South Africa. Professor Padayachee received his PhD from the University of Natal in Economics and Economic History.

The Interim Head


Professor Yunus Ballim

Yunus Ballim holds B.Sc., M.Sc. and PhD degrees in Civil Engineering from The University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (Wits). He spent six years in the construction industry and has been in academia since 1989. He currently holds a personal professorship in Civil Engineering and was the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) and Vice-Principal at Wits between 2006 and 2012. He is a member of the Council on Higher Education and is Chairperson of the Higher Education Quality Committee. He has served as the founding President of the African Materials Research Society and he held the Bram Fisher-Oxford Fellowship in 2000.




Akpofure Taigbenu is Professor of Water Engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand and heads the Water Research group in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He holds a doctoral degree from Cornell University, USA and has over 30 years experience in higher education. He has served in various capacities in academia as Professor, Dean and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, and his research and teaching interests are in computational methods, water resources management, and behaviour of groundwater systems. He is the founder of the computational technique: The Green Element Method (GEM), which is a powerful computational solution tool for engineering systems.

In this lecture, Prof Taigbenu discusses some of the possible effects of fracking on the Karoo's groundwater.



Sol Plaatje University presents a public lecture by Professor Carol Finnegan, an Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. She has a PhD in Retailing and has conducted research in International Marketing and Retailing, Channel relationships, and Marketing Strategy. She has published widely and internationally and her research interest is in Retail Strategy, Marketing Strategy and International Business.

In this lecture, she talks in broader terms about regional expansion of retailing and retail businesses; the movement and adaption of Retail Corporations across regions and the impact of regional or multi-country operations on national retail activity.



Sol Plaatje University presents a recording of the first public lecture in a series on Fracking, Energy and Groundwater titled "Shale Gas in the Karoo - the scientific facts ??" and presented by Professor Danie Vermeulen - Director of the Institute for Groundwater Studies,University of the Free State on the 19th June 2014 at the William Humphreys Art Gallery, Kimberley.

In this lecture, Prof. Vermeulen presents some of the facts around shale gas and hydro-fracturing and raises questions about the extent of our scientific knowledge and our ability to make good decisions on the subject; the ability for the Karoo to deal with shale gas exploitation without harming the environment; the availability and pollution potential of regional ground water resources and the place of shale gas in relation to South Africa's energy needs.


There are no positions currently available.

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Download the application form here


Closing Date:

30 September 2014 (Will only be extended if there are still places available)

Application Fee:

R100 (details on the last page of the application form)

Attach to Application Form:

- Copy of deposit slip (R100)
- ID copy
- Copy of latest Matric Results
- Copy of Age exemption letter from Matric Board (if applicable - older than 23)

Contact Details:

Edwinah Egelser
Sonet van Niekerk
053-807 5300
086 544 2766 (f)