network of new opportunities
Rhodes University

Rhodes University

Rhodes University, established in 1904, has a widely acknowledged reputation for academic excellence. Located in Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa, Rhodes is a small university which enjoys the distinction of having among the best undergraduate pass and graduation rates in South Africa, outstanding postgraduate success rates, and amongst the top research output per academic staff member.  This is testimony to the quality of students and academics that Rhodes attracts, and to the commitment of Rhodes staff to student development and success.

Of our more than 8 000 students broken down as follows: 4833 are South African undergraduate and 1799 postgraduates. 843 are international undergraduates and 647 postgraduates. Our international students are from 40 countries around the world, making Rhodes a dynamic and cosmopolitan knowledge institution. Students are able to undertake an extensive range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in the faculties of Humanities, Science, Commerce, Pharmacy, Law and Education. With the most favourable academic staff to student ratio among South African universities, Rhodes students are guaranteed easy access to academics and close supervision of their intellectual growth.

The University takes pride in its motto, Where Leaders Learn, and producing graduates who are knowledgeable intellectuals, skilled professionals, and critical, caring and compassionate citizens who can contribute to economic and social development and an equitable, just and democratic society.

Thematic priorities of the university in the BRICS Network University

Ecology and Climate Change

The educational programmes, which the university offers to the partner NU universities in the framework of the thematic priorities of BRICS NU

Marine Biology, Coastal Research, Southern Oceans

Professor William Froneman, E-mail:

This is a group of scientists who work and offer courses on a range of aspects of the ecology, utilization and management of marine resources and the coastal environment. The work is interdisciplinary, and focuses primarily on areas are intertidal ecology, sustainable utilization of invertebrate resources, and estuarine food webs.

Environmental Learning Research

Professor Heila Lotz-Sisitka, E-mail:

All the research programmes in the Environmental Learning Research Centre contribute knowledge of social learning and global change with an emphasis on social learning processes in different contexts; programmes focus on the re-orientation of education, training and social systems. An active research network focussing on social learning and global change exists, hosted by the ELRC which is increasingly acting as a ‘Social Learning and Global Change’ ESD research hub.

Environmental Science

Prof Sheona Shackleton, E-mail:

Research and Coursework in human-environment interactions and in the governance and sustainable management of complex social-ecological systems, which recognise that we are living in a globalising and rapidly changing world characterised by numerous interconnected environmental and social challenges. Environmental Science undertakes research on the ecological and socio-economic dimensions of these challenges, with the goal of contributing towards more resilient, equitable and sustainable pathways into the future. The nexus between human well-being, livelihoods, vulnerability, ecosystem services and change is central in all of its work.

Biological Control

Professor Martin Hill, E-mail:

The Centre for Biological Control focuses the majority of its research on understanding the ecological dynamics of invasive pests, aquatic and terrestrial weeds in particular. A large proportion of this work is the development of biological control methods for these invasive plants, which can then be implemented by Governmental Scientists and Management. Biological control is a particularly appealing solution because it is not toxic, pathogenic or dangerous to humans. It also has the advantage of being self- perpetuating once established and usually does not harm non-target organisms found in the environment.

Biodiversity and Climate Change Course

Dr Suzi Vetter, E-mail:

This interdisciplinary course is offered jointly by the departments of Botany and Environmental Science at Rhodes University and is housed in the Botany Department. The course was developed in response to the increasing number of career opportunities in biodiversity conservation in South Africa and worldwide, and the accompanying demand for graduates with relevant training. The Biodiversity and Conservation Honours is an academically rigorous degree that may lead on to postgraduate study in conservation biology, environmental science or ecology. While the course is designed to address the requirements of the job market it can also form the basis of an academic career.