University of Fort Hare

University of Fort Hare

Welcome to the University Of Fort Hare (UFH), South Africa’s leading Institution in Agricultural Sciences, the only university to fall firmly into the quadrant depicting good equity and good per capita research output in 2013. Take your time and enjoy your browse through our site, stopping along your journey to chat with our various communities on a social network of your choice.

Spend time with us understanding how we continue to produce African leaders of global stature, how we manage to keep the passion for our brand with all those who have been touched by UFH. Journey through our site and enjoy our heritage as expressed in various art-forms and virtually page through NAHECS, the home of South Africa’s liberation archives as documented by the various liberation movements.

Take your time with our unique academic offering and allow us to share what gives us comfort in the understanding that teaching and learning is a trans-disciplinary issue, to a large degree encompassing humanising pedagogy and critical thinking.

History Of University of Fort Hare

Many forces have interacted in the Eastern Cape.  Incoming Afrikaners and British met with Xhosa-speakers in the eighteenth century, and the long process of conflict, followed by the subordination and expropriation of the indigenous people, took place over more that one hundred years.  An important British base at this time, named after a military officer , and a small town of Alice grew near its environs. The  process  of  colonization  and  expropriation was  paradoxical.    Brutal  military conquest, and integration of the population into the colonial economy, was accompanied by the spread of Christianity.

The missionaries who carried the new ideas were themselves part of colonial expansion, but brought with them a creed which was taken by Africans and forged into a tool for grappling with the challenges of the colonial world.  The South African Native College, later the University of Fort Hare, was,  ironically, founded in  1916 on  the  site  of  the  earlier British military stronghold. The college originated from the sometimes uneasy alliance between the new class of educated African Christians, supported by a  number of  traditional Southern African leaders, and early twentieth-century white liberals, many of them clergy.

The religious tradition at the heart of Fort Hare‟s origin, shared by blacks and whites alike, heralded “plain living and high thinking‟, and a form of education that was undeniably Eurocentric.   However it did not make the assumption, central to the Bantu Education implemented in South Africa from the 1950’s, that black Africans required or deserved a different, inferior education. Thus, the University of Fort Hare produced graduates from South Africa and as far north as Kenya and Uganda, who knew they were as good as the best.  Many went on to prominent careers in fields as diverse as politics, medicine, literature and art. Some politically active alumni like Oliver Tambo, Nelson Mandela, Govan Mbeki, Robert Sobukwe and Mangosuthu Buthelezi in South Africa, Robert Mugabe and Herbert Chitepo in Zimbabwe, and Elius Mathu and Charles Njonjo in Kenya, have impacted their nations. In the arts Fort Hare has released from South Africa, poet Dennis Brutus, Drum journalist Can Themba, sculptor and painter Ernest Mancoba and Xhosa author and scholar Archibald Campbell Jordan. The first black Zimbabwean medical doctor, Ticofa Samuel Parirenyatwa, and the historian, novelist and politician Stanlake Samkange were also among the many non-South Africans who spent formative years at Fort Hare.