University of Mpumalanga: Exploring Higher Education Opportunities in South Africa

The University of Mpumalanga, located in South Africa, represents advancements in higher education within the region. Established to provide quality tertiary education, UMP caters to a diverse student population with a variety of academic and community-based programmes. Its campuses in Mbombela and Siyabuswa are central to delivering educational opportunities and contributing to the local and national development.

With a solid structure of faculties and schools, the university prides itself on offering comprehensive courses in areas such as Agriculture, Natural Sciences, and Education. The University of Mpumalanga aims to equip students with the necessary knowledge and skills to meet the demands of the South African economy and to address global challenges effectively.

As UMP progresses, it remains committed to strengthening its community engagement and research capabilities. By fostering partnerships within and beyond South Africa’s borders, the institution seeks to enhance its academic offerings and to provide an enriched learning environment for its students.

History and Establishment

The University of Mpumalanga (UMP), located in the picturesque Lowveld of South Africa, was established to serve as a beacon of higher education in the region. This section tracks UMP’s inception and its growth trajectory over the years.

Founding of UMP

The University of Mpumalanga was officially introduced in 2013, as a result of a formal governmental announcement on 22 August 2013. It was launched later that year on 31 October 2013. The first class of students, numbering 169, began their studies in February 2014. At the outset, UMP offered three programmes to cater to the educational needs of the region.

Evolution Over the Years

Since its inception, the University of Mpumalanga has experienced significant growth:

  • Student Population: Starting with an initial group of 200 students, the institution has expanded to accommodate over 8000 students in the current academic year.

  • Academic Programmes: It began with foundational degrees in Education, Agriculture, and ICT.

  • International Partnerships: UMP has established 32 partnerships globally, spanning continents such as Europe, North America, Asia, and Africa.

The university celebrates a decade of providing education in 2023 and continues to play a pivotal role in the development of the Lowveld region.


The University of Mpumalanga operates from two distinct campuses located in the Mpumalanga province, offering a combination of academic programmes and facilities.

Mbombela Campus

Situated at the corner of R40 and D725 roads, the Mbombela Campus serves as a principal location for the university. It boasts a variety of academic faculties, student services, and amenities designed to support the education and well-being of those enrolled.

  • Location: Mbombela, 1200
  • Facilities: Academic buildings, libraries, student support services

Siyabuswa Campus

The Siyabuswa Campus, primarily focused on teacher education, is based in Siyabuswa. The campus addresses the needs of students specialising in foundation phase teaching, enriching the region with well-trained educators.

  • Location: Bheki Mfundo Drive, Siyabuswa, 0472
  • Specialisation: Foundation phase teacher education
  • Facilities: Academic departments, administrative offices

Admission and Application Process

The University of Mpumalanga provides a structured online application process for prospective students. With specific closing dates and required documentation, applicants must follow the procedure to secure their admission.

Undergraduate Admission

For those aiming to enrol in undergraduate programmes, they should note that the application cycle opens on 01 June 2023 and concludes on 30 November 2023. Candidates must hold a Senior Certificate or National Senior Certificate and are required to pay a non-refundable application fee.

Application Checklist:

  • Biographical Information: Complete personal details
  • Educational Institution Detail: Submit particulars of previous schooling
  • Academic Application Details: Choose preferred qualification
  • Results Details: Input academic results, focusing on relevant subjects
  • Identity Document: Provide a certified copy
  • Proof of Application Fee: Attach evidence of payment
  • Additional Documents: As instructed per specific programme requirements

For RSA/SADC applicants and those from other African countries, certified copies of all pertinent documents must accompany the application. Applicants from countries outside Africa will need to furnish additional documentation as per the university’s international policy.

The application platform prompts users to:

  1. Add Qualification
  2. Upload Document: Choose/Browse file and Save to Load/View Document
  3. Complete Upload: Ensure all required documents are loaded
  4. Verify/Check Your Application Details: Use a 5-digit PIN for access
  5. Confirmation Page: Save or print as proof of successful submission

Postgraduate Admission

Postgraduate candidates seeking admission into Honours Program

Academic Programmes

The University of Mpumalanga offers a comprehensive range of academic programmes that cater to a variety of fields, structured under different faculties to provide specialised education and research opportunities. These programmes are designed to equip students with knowledge and skills that meet both local and international standards.

Undergraduate Programmes

The University of Mpumalanga houses several undergraduate programmes within its Faculties. The Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Sciences offers degrees that focus on agricultural and environmental science disciplines. In contrast, the Faculty of Education prepares students for a career in education with its various teacher education programmes.

Honours Programmes

Upon completing an undergraduate degree, students may choose to continue their studies with an Honours programme. These one-year programmes provide an opportunity for specialised study and research in a student’s chosen field.

Advanced Diplomas

For those looking to enhance their qualifications, the University offers Advanced Diplomas. These programmes are industry-relevant and tailored to provide additional professional skills and knowledge, bridging the gap between undergraduate studies and the workforce.

Postgraduate Diplomas

Postgraduate Diplomas are also available for graduates who wish to gain extra expertise or change their career path. They serve as a foundation for further postgraduate study or for immediate application in professional practices.

Masters Programmes

Students can pursue Masters Programmes across a variety of disciplines. These advanced degrees involve in-depth research under the guidance of experienced faculty members, contributing to the wealth of knowledge in their respective fields.

Doctoral Programmes

Doctoral Programmes represent the pinnacle of academic achievement at the University. Candidates undertake rigorous research to produce original contributions to their area of expertise, guided by the University’s academic staff. These programmes prepare students for the highest level of professional and academic pursuits.

In each case, the University of Mpumalanga demonstrates a commitment to delivering quality education across their broad spectrum of academic offerings, fostering development and knowledge within South Africa and beyond.

Tuition Fees

The University of Mpumalanga’s tuition fees are a crucial factor for prospective students to consider. They encompass various charges that students are required to pay for the academic services they will receive during their time at the institution.

Fee Structure for Different Programmes

The fee structure at the University of Mpumalanga varies depending on the programme and the student’s nationality. International students, particularly those from countries outside the Southern African Development Community (SADC), are typically subject to different fee requirements.

  • Undergraduate Programmes: For students from SADC countries, 50% of the tuition and accommodation fees are required as an initial deposit. In contrast, students from regions other than SADC must pay 100% of these fees upfront.

  • Postgraduate Programmes: Tuition fees for postgraduate studies tend to be higher, with international students often paying between R2,700 and R3,000 per academic year.

  • Accommodation and Meals: For the academic year 2023, self-catered accommodation fees were set at R19,194.

The institution makes it clear that these fees cover not just the instructional aspects of university life but also application, accommodation, and certain other administrative costs. Students are advised to visit the University of Mpumalanga’s official website or consult their fees handbook for detailed and up-to-date information.

Faculties and Departments

The University of Mpumalanga offers an array of academic programmes organised into distinct faculties, each specialising in areas essential for regional and national development. Below, the faculties and their respective departments are outlined to guide prospective students in making informed decisions.

Faculty of Education

The Faculty of Education is committed to training the next generation of educators, with a focus on leadership in the African context. Programmes within this faculty stress multilingual education, recognising the importance of mother-tongue instruction.

  • Undergraduate Programmes:

    • Bachelor of Education in Foundation Phase Teaching
  • Postgraduate Programmes:

    • Master of Education

Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Science

This faculty concentrates on disciplines critical to preserving and utilising natural resources sustainably, offering pragmatic and theoretical training relevant to the agricultural sector.

  • School of Agricultural Sciences:
    • Diploma in Animal Production
    • Diploma in Plant Production
    • Advanced Diploma in Agriculture

Faculty of Economics, Development and Business Science

The Faculty of Economics, Development and Business Science provides a comprehensive education in the economic and business principles needed to drive development and understand the dynamics of the business world.

  • Departments Include:
    • Department of Business Management
    • Department of Development Studies
    • Department of Economics

Each faculty is dedicated to fostering a supportive and stimulating environment for both their staff and students, contributing to the overarching aim of achieving excellence in research, teaching, and community service.

Library and Information Services

The University of Mpumalanga has experienced significant growth in its Library and Information Services, evolving from a modest beginning to a modern facility staffed by a dedicated team.

UMP Library

Initially, the UMP Library started as a one room library with only a single staff member. It has since transformed into a state-of-the-art library, reflecting the institution’s commitment to providing comprehensive learning resources. Presently, the library boasts a total staff complement of 14 members who are dispersed across its two campuses, Mbombela and Siyabuswa.

The library provisions range from electronic copies of academic texts to databases for research. With a focus on leveraging technology, the library ensures that information services are agile, user-centric, and forward-thinking. Their electronic resource offerings include:

  • A collection of open access books and peer-reviewed literature.
  • Multiple databases dedicated to various disciplines.

In ensuring the library keeps pace with academic demands, it underlines the university’s dedication to delivering information services that cater to scholarly pursuits and continuous learning.