Wits 2033: the leading edge of the Global South
The University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg has for the past century stood proudly in the heart of South Africa’s, and the continent’s, most dynamic city. As the University enters its next century, it will expand its role as a leader that shapes society – both locally and globally.
From our early beginnings as a mining school, to becoming a fully-fledged university in 1922, our driving force has always been the pursuit of knowledge and innovation. Wits was born from the need at the time to provide our city – and the country – with an institution that would provide outstanding professional training and research that was needed both to advance industry and to develop the emerging city and region.
From its inception, Wits has led change in society. Through its leaders, academics, students, and alumni it has been a pioneer for change in industry, an agitator for change in the higher education system, a catalyst for change in society, and a thought leader for change in public policy. Leading change is what defines Wits and will do so into the future.
Our academics, research leaders and students, from fields as diverse as evolutionary sciences and clinical medicine, to nuclear sciences, engineering, and the humanities, have pioneered technologies and solutions that have not only advanced their disciplines, but have transformed lives and societies. We count four Nobel Laureates and the largest number of CEOs of publicly listed companies in Africa amongst our alumni. Our graduates were some of the leading political figures in the fight against apartheid and have continued this proud tradition of fighting for social justice in the democratic era. The community we have created continues to define who we are and what we do.
Wits will be the ‘leading edge’ as the foremost research-intensive university in the Global South bridging the world’s divides using our location in Johannesburg to act as an interlocutor between the Global South and North, and being driven by our motto, Scientia et Labore, to achieve this.
Our goal is to lead in:
- Growing the next generation of change-makers and global scholars;
- Innovating and pioneering knowledge;
- Using our knowledge and influence to advance society by tackling climate change and inequality, and promoting social justice and public health from the Global South;
- Strengthening democracy and governance in South Africa; and
- Transforming the global university landscape, taking our continental partners on this journey with us.