Rand Afrikaans University

The Rand Afrikaans University (RAU) was a prominent South African institution of higher education and research that served the greater Johannesburg area and surroundings from 1967 to 2004. It has since merged with the Technikon Witwatersrand and two campuses of Vista University to form the University of Johannesburg.

Rand Afrikaans University
Randse Afrikaanse Universiteit
TypePublic university
Active24 February 1968–2004[1]
Location, ,
LanguageAfrikaans, English
ColorsGreen and Grey


On 5 November 1968, 468 delegates at a conference unanimously accepted a motion to establish an Afrikaans University. An act of Parliament was promulgated on 4 August 1965 to establish such a university in Johannesburg. Rand Afrikaans University (RAU) was founded as an Afrikaans language university in 1967 with just over 700 registered students. The first campus was situated in a brewery in Braamfontein. The RAU was officially opened on 24 February 1968. The first chancellor of the University was Dr Nicolaas Diederichs (then Minister of Finance of South Africa) and the first rector was Prof Gerrit Viljoen.

The first women's residence was named "Amper Daar" (Almost there) and the first hostel for men "Afslaan" (Tee off), after the golf course on which it was built.

Over time the university evolved to a dual medium institution, offering nearly all degree courses in both Afrikaans and English.


The faculties of the RAU were as follows:


What was the main campus is now the APK Kingsway Campus Auckland Park of the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and is situated in Auckland Park, Johannesburg, South Africa. Satellite campuses in Auckland Park, Soweto and Doornfontein are now APB, DFC and SWC campuses of UJ.


Rector of the University

Surame Name From To
Viljoen G.vN. 1966 1979
de Lange J.P. 1979 1987
Crouse C.F. 1987 1995
van der Walt J.C. 1995 2001
Botha T.R. 2002 2005

Chancellor of the University

Surame Name From To
Diederichs N.J. 1966 1978
Meyer P.J. 1978 1983
Viljoen G.vN. 1983 2000


On 1 January 2005, Rand Afrikaans University, Technikon Witwatersrand and some campuses of the Vista University ceased to exist as such, when they merged to become the University of Johannesburg. The outgoing and final vice chancellor of the University was Prof Roux Botha.


  1. "The Rand Afrikaans University opens". SA History Online. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
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