|Port Elizabeth, Nelson Mandela
metropole, Eastern Cape
The University of Port Elizabeth has the biggest
campus in the southern hemisphere.
Study at a unique African address -
cutting edge programmes in a natural setting
The University of Port Elizabeth (UPE)
offers students a wide choice of stimulating and market-oriented
courses, opening up a variety of career opportunities.
Academic support, the opportunity to participate in
cutting-edge research and relevant community services,
and a variety of sporting and social activities are
all part of the package at this vibrant university.
Our vibrant, multicultural student population
makes UPE one of the most racially, culturally and
linguistically diverse universities. The increasing
number of international students contributes to this
Location and brief history
UPE is located in Port Elizabeth, a port city with a strong industrial sector
and an important centre for the South African motor industry. PE boasts
interesting architectural and historical sites, beautiful beaches, excellent
sporting facilities and a vibrant cultural life. The Eastern Cape is malaria-free
and has numerous game reserves where game, including the ‘Big Five’ (elephant,
buffalo, lion, leopard and rhinoceros), can be viewed. Port Elizabeth has
more sunshine than any other coastal town in South Africa and temperatures
are moderate all year around.
The University of Port Elizabeth has
the biggest campus in the southern hemisphere and it
is the southernmost in Africa. It enjoys a unique location
in a nature reserve and is close to the sea. The 830-hectare
nature reserve protects one of the most threatened
fynbos habitats and is home to many species of birds,
mammals, reptiles and amphibians.
The University of Port Elizabeth was
founded in 1964. Today, it has more than 8 000 contact
students, with the Faculty of Economic and Building
Sciences being the most popular. In addition, over
10 000 students throughout Southern Africa are enrolled
via distance learning.
Decade of democracy
UPE prides itself on being at the forefront of the political and educational
transformation of higher education in South Africa. A proactive approach
to transformation has resulted in a peaceful, stable campus environment
where students and other stakeholders play a significant role in decision-making.
The University is committed to providing students with equal opportunities
for access to tertiary education, and ensuring that everyone has a chance
to succeed in their studies.
UPE operates on a semester system. The academic year starts at the end of January
and this first semester ends in June. The second semester runs from July
to November. Pogrammes are modularised and international students may choose
to enrol for either a full degree programme or selected stand-alone modules.
Faculties and degrees
Courses are offered in six faculties: Arts, Education, Economic Sciences, Science,
Law and Health Sciences.
Degree and diploma programmes are offered
at undergraduate, Honours, Masters and Doctoral level
in all faculties. All the institution’s qualifications
are internationally recognised. UPE's academic programmes
are designed to equip students with the knowledge and
skills in demand in today's workplace.
The UPE Advancement Programme (UPEAP)
is a one-year foundation course for students who do
not meet UPE’s standard admission requirements.
UPEAP bridges the gap between school and university
and provides students with a solid foundation for success
in their degree studies.
The UPE website www.upe.ac.za has been
upgraded with comprehensive information on academic
programmes, curricula and syllabi. One can access a
timetable for each module, with a map to the lecture
The basic entrance requirement for undergraduate studies is a matriculation
exemption certificate or equivalent. Some subjects have certain minimum
requirements. Holders of international school-leaving certificates must
provide original certificates (or copies certified by a South African embassy,
consulate or trade mission) to the University for submission to the Matriculation
For admission to postgraduate studies
(Honours/ Masters/ Doctoral degrees), the University
may require an evaluation of the student’s previous
Students who wish to enrol for selected
modules, and not for a full degree, will be registered
as visiting students. Such students are required to
have a school-leaving certificate or equivalent qualification.
Applicants from non-English speaking
countries must submit proof of English proficiency.
Application forms are available online
at www.upe.ac.za or from the Office for International
Facilities and services
Students can get involved in community outreach projects and have access to
various sporting and social activities. An indoor sports centre, a sports
stadium, international-standard athletics track and a covered heated swimming
pool are among the sporting facilities which cater for a wide range of
sports at both competitive and social levels. Sport for the disabled is
also offered .
UPE offers a vibrant international student
culture. A number of societies operate on campus, giving
students the opportunity to make friends and interact
with students with the same interests. These student
societies cover a wide range of academic, religious,
social and recreational interests. UPE’s choir
has claimed international success and was one of the
first multicultural choirs in South Africa. Student
media includes a campus newspaper and a youth community
UPE's modern campus offers convenient
facilities including a well-stocked library, information
technology infrastructure, laboratories and scientific
equipment, cafeteria, tuck-shops and second-hand book/stationery
shop. Health services include a campus clinic and the
Unit for Student Counselling (trained counsellors assist
students with academic, career and personal issues).
of Arts: The Faculty of Arts incorporates
the schools of Languages, Music, and Social Sciences & Humanities.
The traditional Bachelor of Arts has been replaced
with career-oriented programmes in fields such
as Media, Communication & Culture, Human Resource
Management, Public Administration and Music. Bachelor
Degree Programmes: Languages; Media, Communication & Culture;
Social Sciences (Anthropology, Geography, Political
Studies, Psychology, and Sociology); Human Resources
Management; Public Administration and Music (Education,
Performing Arts, Music Technology). Diplomas are
offered in: Music Education and Music Technology.
of Economics & Building Sciences: The
Faculty of Economic Sciences includes the building
disciplines of Architecture, Construction Management
and Quantity Surveying. Bachelor Degree Programmes:
General Accounting; Chartered Accounting; Business
Management; Human Resource Management (Industrial & Organizational
Psychology); Computer Science & Information Systems;
Computer Science & Information Systems & Statistics;
Marketing Management; Law; Sport & Recreation
Management; Economics & Statistics; Small Business
Development; Architecture; Construction Studies and
Faculty of Education: Bachelor Degree Programmes:
Foundation Phase Education (grades 1-3) and Intermediate
Phase Education (grades 4-7).
Note: [Students who follow an Arts,
Science or Economic Science Bachelor Degree programme
with teaching subjects can enter into secondary teaching
(grades 8-12) after completing a postgraduate teaching
Faculty of Health Sciences: Bachelor Degree
Programmes: Psychology (General, Counselling & Sport
Psychology); Human Movement Sciences; Sport Science & Recreation;
Social Work; Youth Work; Nursing Science and Pharmacy.
Diplomas are offered in: Exercise Science.
Faculty of Law: Bachelor Degree Programme: Law
Faculty of Science: The Faculty of Science
covers the biological, earth, mathematical and physical
sciences. Bachelor Degree Programmes: Biochemistry;
Chemistry; Physics; Botany; Microbiology; Zoology;
Mathematics & Applied Mathematics; Mathematical
Statistics; Computer Science & Information Systems;
Information Technology; Geology; Geography and Information
UPE offers a dynamic environment for postgraduate studies geared towards meeting
local development priorities and the challenges of the global knowledge
economy. An Honours degree is a one-year postgraduate qualification following
on a three-year undergraduate Bachelor’s degree. In most cases, it
is the entrance requirement for Master’s degree studies. Graduates
with a four-year undergraduate degree do not usually need the Honours degree
in order to enrol for a Master’s programme. Research Masters and
Doctoral studies are offered in most of the undergraduate fields of study
in all Faculties. Taught Master’s degree studies usually consist
of course work (core/compulsory) and/or elective (chosen by the student)
modules) as well as a mini-treatise (short research project). Course Work
(Taught) Master degree studies are offered in:
Christian Studies, Conflict Management, Development
Studies, Labour Relations & Human Resources, Media
Studies, Public Administration, Sociology, South African
Literature, and South African Politics & Political
Economy); Economic & Building Sciences (Labour
Relations & Human Resources, Taxation, Built Environment); Education (Masters
in Education); Health Sciences: (Specialized
Nursing, Industrial Pharmacy, Clinical Psychology,
Counselling Psychology, Psychology, Clinical Social
Work, Social Development & Planning); Law (Masters
in Law, Criminal Justice, Labour Law, Tourism Law,
Taxation); Science (Only Research
The University of Port Elizabeth is home to specialist expertise in a number
of areas. UPE’s Institute for Coastal and Environmental Management
is nationally renowned for its work in marine ecology and environmental management.
The Department of Computer Science and Information Systems offers postgraduate
students the opportunity to participate in multimedia applications, computer-assisted
learning and the development of a virtual campus and virtual classrooms on
the Internet. Interdisciplinary studies in the humanities and social sciences
address important social and political issues. The University is also highly
regarded for its work in labour relations and labour law.
Other specialist programmes include
health and welfare management, educational management
and curriculum development. Areas of excellence include
Accounting, Business Management, Pharmacy, Nursing
Science, Law, Architecture, and Media, Communication
and Culture. A recent addition to the University’s
centres of excellence is the Centre for Tourism Studies
in cooperation with the Shamwari Game Reserve.
Why Study at UPE?
At UPE we have a wide range of quality academic programmes
developed to create leaders in a vast array of professions.
empowers students with top academic and internationally
UPE is one of
the most racially, culturally and linguistically
in Southern Africa.
its students through a vibrant social network and
UPE is a learner-centred
and flexible institution that values life-long
learning and recognises prior-learning.
students to become global players.
UPE is a smaller
and more progressive university committed to the
development of the community
UPE enjoys a
unique location in a nature reserve and is close
to the beach.
University of Port Elizabeth
Office for International Education
The University of Port Elizabeth
(UPE) welcomes international students on-campus. We
believe that international students
enrich our institution and make possible a diversity
of views and cultural values both in and outside
the classroom. Currently, there are over 1 200 international
students registered from approximately 60 countries
UPE's Office for International Education
assists international visitors and students with information
travel, visas and academic studies. The support
network is comprehensive and visitors and students
confident that they will be made welcome and be looked
their time at UPE.
The Office for International Education
will soon relocate to new offices and will be renamed
the Centre for
International Education. The Centre, which will
include a coffee shop, will also serve as a meeting
international and local students.
The Office for International Education offers a
full suite of services to International students.
It is well-resourced
with 12 full-time and half-day staff members as
well as a number of student assistants and interns.
and registration: The Office
for International Education is responsible for
of all international students into UPE. The office
answers all enquiries and processes admission
and registration are also part of the service
Finance: The Office for International Education
has a dedicated finance department to deal with
accounts and financial matters.
Study Permits: Students are assisted with study
permit applications and the renewal of temporary
Accommodation: The Office for International
Education assists international students in finding
International students can find housing in modern
comfortably furnished apartments in the International
Student Village, UPE houses or residences on
campus. The Student Village and UPE houses are
about 20 minutes walk from campus, close to the
beach and a
shopping mall. The residences are within walking
distance of each other and the main UPE campus.
Important information: The Office for
International Education provides advice, information
admission and registration, as well as health,
safety, visas and living and learning effectively
Africa. The Office for International Education’s
website and a detailed Pre-Arrival Booklet are
sources of information for students.
Arrival and orientation: The Office for International
Education meets students at the airport and above
all, assists them in adjusting to their new environment.
provides new students with an orientation programme
which focuses on providing vital information.
a tour of the campus as well as of Port Elizabeth.
As the UPE also offers a comprehensive orientation
to all UPE students, international students have
the opportunity to meet and interact with South
during orientation programmes.
PORT Elizabeth boasts excellent sporting facilities,
beautiful beaches and a vibrant cultural life.
English skills programmes
There is a choice of two English skills programmes,
namely, a semester-long programme and a one-month
Events and excursions
The Office for International Education organises
events and excursions in conjunction with
various UPE societies
(including the International Student Society),
the SRC (Student Representative Council)
Cultura is an organisation at UPE that is
concerned with the development of arts and
and around campus
(drama productions, drama courses, poetry,
music, creative writing and public-speaking.)
An annual highlight is ‘Culture Week’.
This is an opportunity for different cultural
groups to show
off their traditional clothing and talk about
their customs and traditions. A variety of traditional
foods can also
The Office for International Education
has a full-time programme on diversity and
integration of cultures.
Cultures’ Project is a joint project between UPE
and Columbia University, USA. The office also has a full-time
researcher. One of the office’s ongoing projects
is exit questionnaires which provide information on students’ experiences
Study Abroad and Exchange students
Study Abroad and Exchange students have
a choice of courses. The transcripts
records can be adapted
(i.e. UPE credits can be translated into
ECTS or American University-related credits).
Education also assists South African
students to participate in exchange programmes.
The University of Port Elizabeth has
numerous official linkages. The Office
fosters international relationships
and manages inter-institutional
linkages. It brings international perspective
to the University community through
|University of Port Elizabeth
|Office for International Education
University of Port Elizabeth
PO Box 1600, Port Elizabeth 6000
Eastern Cape, South Africa
Tel: +27 (0) 41 504 2161
Fax: + 27 (0) 504 2771