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Historic background of the University

The Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education (PU for CHE) developed out of the Theological School of the Reformed Churches in South Africa (GKSA).

The founders of the Theological School on 29 November 1869 in Burgersdorp decided that education will also be offered to prospective teachers and to persons without any particular profession in mind with their studies. Dirk Postma and Jan Lion-Cachet were the first lecturers, with only five students at the beginning.

At the beginning of 1877 a Literary division/department was established, with its own professor in the person of Petrus Postma. They were specifically instructed to educate students for academic degrees or as teachers.

The Theological School, with its Literary department, was transferred to Potchefstroom for a number of reasons, where it continued its activities in 1905.

For the sake of subsidies, the Literary department was separated from the Theological School in 1919 and "Het Potchefstroom Universiteitskollege voor Christelike Hooger Onderwijs"came into being. At the same time the PUK was developed as an institution for higher education independent from the GKSA. In terms of this co-operation agreement the training of ministers of the GKSA, apart from other theological training, is still supported from the perspective of the Theology.

In 1921 the Potcefstroom University College, without is familiar "of", was incorporated with the University of South Africa. After repeated attempts the PUK in 1933 legally got back its title "for Christian Higher Education". In 1951 the PUK was recognised as an independent university which was to be known as the Potchefstroom University for Christian higher Education (PU for CHE).

In 1966 the Vaal Triangle campus in Vanderbijlpark (Gauteng Province) was established, in response to the request of a number of leaders in various fields in the Vaal Triangle.

A significant number of co-operation agreements were also made with other institutions for higher education in South Africa, elsewhere in Africa and the rest of the world. This process is still continuing. In the interaction which resulted from this, the emphasis is always on the addition of quality and the fulfilment of our calling.

In 1993 the Private Act was thoroughly revised. In 1998 the Statute of the PUK was completely rewritten to enable the PUK to continue to fulfil its important role as part of the single, co-ordinated system of higher education in South Africa, while reserving its institutional culture of Christian higher education, based on its original foundation.

In 1996 the first courses via telematic learning systems (contact education over a distance) were offered. Learners in more than 25 study centres nationwide are supported through interactive study guides, the systematic use of multimedia and personal facilitation of the learning process. On 17 March 2001 commemorates the PUK fifty years of independence.

In 2004 the PUK becomes part of the first real multicampus en multidiverse university, North-West University, in South Africa. The North-West University consists of four campusses in Mafikeng, Mankwe, Potchefstroom and the Vaal Triangle.


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