About Fort Hare University

Fort Hare University, as its name suggest, began as a British fort built during the 19th century in the wars between British settlers and the Xhosa. Parts of the fort still remain as do the graves of those British soldiers who died during the battles.

Did you know? Originally known as the South African Native College, and established in 1916, Fort Hare had at its core an ethos of 'plain living and high thinking'.

Its pivotal role was the part it played in higher education for black Africans between 1916 and 1959, when it offered a Euro-centric academic education; its graduates forming a black African elite. As such, it was recognised as one of the most reputable universities on the African continent.

Its alumni include: Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo, Desmond Tutu, Chris Hani, Govan Mbeki, Robert Sobukwe, John Hlophe, Mangosuthu Buthelezi, Ernest Mancoba and Dennis Brutus.

During the years before apartheid, the university was racially tolerant, with black, coloured and Indian students studying together, whilst its mainly white staff included black academics.

This endeavour was brought to an abrupt halt as soon as the National Party took over the university in 1959, when it became nothing more than an ethnic college for Xhosa speakers. A new academic staff, loyal to government, was installed, and the campus lost its independence and self-governance.

The university went from being one of the greatest centres of black higher education to what some have described as a 'bush college', similar to those created in the homelands by the National Party.

The university speaks of how progressive academics and the tradition of excellence managed to survive so that post-apartheid many former supporters of the university returned. The university plays heavily on its historical reputation to redefine itself.

Fort Hare became the custodian of the Liberation Movements archival material in the early 1990s as a way to memorialise the liberation struggle. The material is an important resource for documenting the untold history of South Africa. The archives include material from the ANC, PAC, AZAPO, BCM and the New Unity Movement.

All of the leaders of the respective movements chose Fort Hare as the rightful home for the archives.

Photo credit: Fort Hare's famous Theology building in Alice, South Africa. Photograph by and copyright Valerie Hinojosa via Flickr.com.

Need to Know

WhereFort Hare University, Ring Road, Alice, Amathola District, Eastern Cape, South Africa

WhenDaylight hours.

Telephone+27 (0)40 602-2011

OvernightStay in Fort Beaufort Accommodation, Eastern Cape

Disclaimer

Please note, business details can change. While we endeavour to ensure all information provided by the service provider is correct at the time of publication, we do not assume any liability caused by errors or changes, such as price, cost, time, and location. Please check with the provider that the activity/business is still offered as described, before making any travel plans.

Feedback?

If this is your attraction, you can let us know if anything on this page is outdated or contains inaccuracies, by email. We regret, we do not have any other information, please contact the provider if you have questions.

Nelson Mandela

Fascinated with Past President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela? Nelson Mandela is one of the world's most remarkable leaders. Find out more about his past and his impact on South Africa's present and future, and follow in his footsteps with our curated Mandela Route of South Africa.

A Tribute to Nelson Mandela

The Mandela Route

In the vicinity

Hotels & other accommodation options in Amatola

Things to do in the area

Accommodation convenient to Fort Hare University

FIND / South Africa Accommodation / Eastern Cape Accommodation / Amatola Accommodation / Fort Beaufort Accommodation

Fort Beaufort as a destination

Want to stay overnight?

Dates

When would you like to stay?
Choose dates

Number of Guests

Why book with SA-Venues.com
  • Your card is safe with us; strictest card verification in the industry and we don't store card numbers.
  • No airy fairy service fees; you save!
  • We care. Service with integrity.
  • Multiple payment methods:
    credit card, SID instant EFT, bank transfer.
  • All Fort Beaufort property owners / managers are verified (our experience protects you from online fraud).
  • Secure your booking
Our Payment Protection Guarantee only applies if your deposit payment is made via SA-Venues.com

SA-Venues.com has been assisting travellers with their South Africa travel plans since 1999, and is the largest, independent online travel guide for South Africa available in both English and German.