NWU @ a glance

Where we are

The NWU is a multi-campus university with a footprint across two provinces. The Mahikeng and Potchefstroom Campuses are situated in the North-West Province and the Vanderbijlpark Campus is in Gauteng. The head office, known as the Institutional Office, is in Potchefstroom, situated near the Potchefstroom Campus.

Who we are

“It all starts here” is the NWU’s pay-off line. The NWU was established on 1 January 2004 through the merger of two universities with very different histories, personalities and cultures: the Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education and the University of the North-West. The staff and students of the Sebokeng Campus of Vista University were also incorporated, adding further to the richness of our heritage.

Today, the NWU is recognised as one of the best-managed and most innovative universities in South Africa. We continue to celebrate and encourage multiculturalism, multilingualism and multinationalism.

Corporate Profile

One word that captures the spirit of the North-West University is “innovative”. This characteristic runs across all our activities and operations, from the research we conduct to our academic offerings, management model, campus structure, student body, community engagement and sports achievements.

The publication known as the “Corporate Profile” reflects the innovative culture and management excellence of the NWU.

The NWU brand

The NWU has a powerful brand that proudly projects our personality and aspirations to the world. The essence of this brand is that we are a leading and sustainable teaching-learning and research university that harnesses diversity and pursues innovation to make a meaningful difference in South Africa and the world.

The brand has three main elements: the NWU logo, name and pay-off line:

Our logo: The chain of three inter-locking links symbolises the unity of the University and visually express the resolve and sense of partnership within it. The three colours symbolise the diversity of the three campuses and the NWU’s use of diverse education and institutional offerings to contribute to improving the human condition and human relationships.

Our name: the word-mark North-West University identifies all our teaching, learning and research offerings or sub-brands.

Our pay-off line:  The pay-off line of the University hints at a place where dreams begin - a place where you can visualise your aspirations and future success. It shifts the focus from the University as an institution to the stakeholders of the University and what the University means to them.

Study choices

The NWU offers students an exceptionally rich range of study choices at undergraduate and postgraduate level. Our offerings span the spectrum of academic disciplines, from agriculture and the arts through to commerce, engineering, education, health, law, the natural sciences and theology.

Academic programming

Academically, every NWU campus has something special to offer. For example, the Mahikeng Campus is unrivalled in its approach to animal health and agricultural sciences, while the Potchefstroom Campus has unique nuclear engineering strengths and the Vanderbijlpark Campus specialises in economic sciences and information technology.


The NWU has a clear vision for research and innovation. This is to move from being a tuition-based university that does focused research towards a balanced teaching-learning and research university.
Research Entities Model

To speed up the move towards becoming a balanced teaching-learning and research university, the NWU has introduced a new Research Entities Model.  This model is designed to put research output on a high-growth, high-performance path by encouraging the establishment of more research start-up groups and creating more scope for growth for existing research teams.

There are four levels of research entities, starting with the “entry level” entity, that of a niche area, followed by a focus area, then a unit and ultimately a centre of excellence.