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Wits Facts

Wits University has five faculties and 33 schools. It boasts two campuses - in Braamfontein and Parktown - that are spread over 400 acres in Johannesburg. It includes 11 libraries and 17 residences. 

Interesting Facts about Wits
  • Wits Actuarial Science Honours’ student Jimmy Yuan wins the Adrian Gore Fellowship Award for 2021. 
  • In 2019 the Actuarial Society of South Africa welcomed 52 new Fellow Actuaries into the profession, of whom 17 were Wits graduates, the most from any one university, also the most demographically diverse in South Africa.
  • In 2019, Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize appointed Wits Professor Johnny Mahlangu as Chairperson of the board of the South African Medical Research Council.
  • Wits is home to one of the largest fossil collections in the southern hemisphere and is internationally recognized as a leader in the palaeo-sciences. Wits scientists have been contributing to the palaeo-sciences record for almost a century.
  • The University owns the Sterkfontein Cave (in the  World Heritage Site), the Wits Rural Facility in Mpumalanga, and half of a private teaching hospital, the Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre.
  • Our medical school is one of the best on the continent and through the Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre we train more specialists and super-specialists than any other university in southern Africa.
  • Wits will host the second African IBM Research Laboratory, one of only 12 such mega-labs across the world.
  • Wits staff and students have access to 1 206 144 book volumes, 150 012 print and electronic journal titles, 234 online databases and over 3 300 collections of historical, political and cultural importance, encompassing the mid-17th Century to the present, some of which are being digitised for preservation.
  • The Wits Arts Museum is one of Johannesburg’s premier tourist attractions located in Wits’ cultural arc, currently numbering over 9 000 items.
  • The former Chancellor of the University, Dikgang Moseneke, is the former Deputy Chief Justice of South Africa. Wits Law School, one of the country's premier institutions, produced two of South Africa's post-1994 Chief Justices of the Constitutional Court.
  • The Origins Centre, a worldclass international tourist site at Wits, includes exhibitions on the Khoisan and Rock Art and tells the unique story of humankind's creativity. The University also boasts one of the largest and most diverse groups of geoscientists in Africa.
  • The Wits School of Governance is the largest postgraduate school of public management in southern Africa.
  • Wits offers a range of services to the community. The Disability Rights Unit is a model centre for higher education institutions that caters for disabled students, while the Centre for Deaf Studies offers support and education to caregivers and families of the Deaf. The Speech Pathology and Audiology offers speech and hearing therapy, counselling and psychotherapy to the public and acts as a practical training ground for students in this area.
  • Wits University Press was established in 1922 and is South Africa’s oldest university press. It has a long history of publishing in fields as diverse as politics, psychology, history, archeology and Rock Art, theatre and literary studies.
  • Wits is the only university globally to have supplied both an image and the motto for its country’s coat of arms. In 2000, former President Thabo Mbeki asked scholars at Wits’ Rock Art Research Institute for an indigenous rock art image and motto for South Africa’s coat of arms. The image of a human figure represents the Khoisan people, the country’s oldest known inhabitants, and was copied from the Linton Panel, a slab of rock art removed in 1918, housed at Iziko in Cape Town. Wits rock art specialist Professor Emeritus David Lewis-Williams translated the phrase, “people who are different come together”, supplied by the President in English, into the no longer spoken |Xam San language, with the |Xam words ǃke e꞉ ǀxarra ǁke. The whole panel may be seen on a touch screen in the Origins Centre Museum, alongside a modern interpretive artwork by |Xam San descendants.