The period between 1947 and the 1980s was marked by considerable growth - student numbers increased rapidly to 6 275 in 1963, 10 600 in 1975 and 16 400 by 1985. In 1951 the University awarded its 10 433rd qualification, in May 1981 its 50 000th and by 1988 its 73 411th.
The acquisition of additional property in adjacent areas became imperative. The medical library and the administrative offices of the Faculty of Medicine moved to a new building in Esselen Street, Hillbrow during 1964. The Graduate School of Business was established in Parktown in 1968. In 1969 the Ernest Oppenheimer Residence was formally opened in Parktown. Savernake , the official residence of the Vice-Chancellor, also located in Parktown, was made available to the University during 1969. In the same year the clinical departments in the new Medical School were opened. However, the Medical School moved premises again and is now situated in York Street, Parktown - the complex was opened on 30 August 1982.
Aerial view of campus (foreground) looking south, with Johannesburg CBD in background, 1963
Expansion into Braamfontein also took place. In 1976 Lawson's Corner, renamed University Corner , was acquired. Senate House, the University's main administrative building, was occupied in 1977. The Wedge , a building formerly owned by the National Institute of Metallurgy, was taken over by the University in 1979. The Milner Park showgrounds were acquired in 1984 from the Witwatersrand Agricultural Society and renamed West Campus. Today, the campuses are some 101 hectare in extent. In 1989, the Chamber of Mines Building for the Faculty of Engineering on the West Campus was opened, and the brick-paved AMIC deck was built across the M1 motorway to link the East and West campuses.
The University's interests have not been confined to development and expansion at Milner Park and adjacent areas. In the 1960s the University acquired from the Stegmann family the farm Sterkfontein , with its world-famous limestone caves, rich in archaeological material. In 1968 the neighbouring farm, Swartkrans, also a source of archaeological material, was purchased. In the same year, the University acquired excavation rights in caves of archaeological and palaeontological importance at Makapansgat in the area now known as the Limpopo Province.