The University of Venda (UNIVEN) is a quality driven, financially sustainable, comprehensive university located in Thohoyandou in the Vhembe district of the Limpopo Province. UNIVEN’s vision is to be at the centre of tertiary education for rural and regional development in Southern Africa.
UNIVEN’s academic community is constituted by approximately 13,500 students and a core of dedicated academics, among who are international staff members from all over the world. Its institutional culture is based on the core values of quality and excellence, accountability, transparency, integrity, respect, diversity and social responsibility. It delivers its academic programmes through eight Schools, namely the School of Agriculture, the School of Education, the School of Environmental Sciences, the School of Health Sciences, the School of Human and Social Sciences, the School of Law, the School of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, and the School of Management Sciences.
UNIVEN provides academic leadership in various fields such as Biotechnology, Ecology, Indigenous Knowledge Systems and African Linguistics. It plays an active and leading role in the field of Community Engagement. The Vuwani Science Resource Centre brings science, mathematics and technology closer to rural communities. UNIVEN is proud of the community-based research of the Centre for Rural Development and Poverty Alleviation. International partnership in community engagement is a specific strength of the University, for example, a the Warwick in Africa Programme developed in partnership between the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom and the University of Venda
UNIVEN is geographically well situated to conduct research in the fields of rural development, indigenous knowledge systems and indigenous law. It is located in an area where traditional governance structures dominate the daily lives of many people. Simultaneously, it is the closest institution of higher learning to three of the most significant archeological sites in southern Africa: Mapungubwe, Thulamela and Great Zimbabwe. Consequently, UNIVEN provides an ideal destination for international researchers who want to engage with the rural African context. UNIVEN’s research output is rapidly growing. The University has sixteen South African National Research Foundation rated researchers.
The University is a member of the African Association of Universities, the Southern African Regional Association of Universities, the International Education Association of Southern Africa and various professional organisations.
The University of Venda is/was a partner university in several Erasmus Mundus Partnerships programmes, including the EUROSA programmes coordinated by the University of Antwerp.