Academic Jobs and Vacancies in South Africa Universities

You may not have thought of a university as a workplace, but be aware that getting a job in academia at a higher education institution is one of the greatest career prospects. In fact, there are actually plenty of vacancies in South Africa universities apart from teaching that you can explore.

Vacancies in South Africa Universities
Photo: @kampus on

But why is working at university one of the best things you can experience in your professional life? You may have doubts about the availability of a position that fits your educational background and skills, but believe me, there are a wide variety of vacancies in South Africa universities, from marketing to IT.

Particularly, if you are someone who values a balance between work and personal life, then you should definitely consider taking this path.

In fact, the generous annual leave allowance will go a long way toward maintaining a work-life balance. Additionally, you will also have good access to fantastic wellbeing support facilities on campus.

Another reason this would be a great opportunity for you is that it gives you the opportunity to give back to society. Later, you will have the daily satisfaction of knowing that what you are doing has helped people gain an education. Automatically, it also helps make the world a slightly better place for everyone.

Are you ready to find recommendations for higher education jobs in South Africa? Check out the following list. Below, we’ve put together the vacancies from 12 top universities around the country for you.

1. University of Cape Town

About UCT

The University of Cape Town (UCT) is a public research university in Cape Town, South Africa. It is situated in the Western Cape province. UCT was established in 1829 as the South African College, making it the country’s oldest higher education institution.

Fascinatingly, it is the oldest university in South Africa and the oldest surviving university in Sub-Saharan Africa, with full university status.

The university has approximately 29000 to 30000 students studying liberal arts, pure sciences, and technical degrees ranging from bachelor’s degree (NQF 7) to doctoral degree level (NQF 10). Furthermore, it is made up of 57 departments organised into six faculties and the multidisciplinary Centre for Higher Education Development.

Working at UCT

Former workers at UCT admit that it is demanding work and requires commitment. Consequently, this may be unpleasant if you want a good work-life balance. However, you can earn plenty of benefits here. Besides, the workplace setting is unmatched.


  • Good salary
  • Great experience
  • Plenty of incentives or bonuses, e.g. free lunch and the right amount of breaks
  • Staff bursary scheme


  • Long working hours
  • Autocratic style leadership in certain areas
  • No development programme for PASS staff
  • Weekend working

Common University of Cape Town Vacancies

The following are some of the positions commonly offered at UCT:

  1. Architectural Technologist
  2. Creditors Clerk
  3. Dean of Faculty
  4. Driver
  5. Facilitator
  6. Fieldworker
  7. Genetics Counsellor
  8. Human Resources Business Partner
  9. Junior Research Fellow
  10. Lecturer
  11. Project Coordinator
  12. Research Coordinator
  13. Scientific Officer
  14. Senior Research Officer
  15. Specialist
  16. Student Housing Cleaner

2. University of Fort Hare

About University of Fort Hare

The University of Fort Hare is a South African public university located in Alice, Eastern Cape. From 1916 to 1959, it was a central institution of higher education for black Africans, providing a Western-style formal education to students from all over Sub-Saharan Africa, resulting in the formation of a black African elite.

Interestingly, Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Robert Sobukwe, Oliver Tambo, among others attended the university.

Working at the University of Fort Hare

The work environment is laid-back, enjoyable, yet competitive. Moreover, employees have opportunities to learn and develop. Furthermore, the experience you’ll acquire will be eye-opening.


  • Short working hours
  • Good work ethics
  • Healthy work environment


  • Far travelling between campuses
  • Competitive work culture
  • Exhausting paperwork

Common University of Fort Hare Vacancies

You can expect the following position at the University of Fort Hare:

  1. Lecturer

3. University of Johannesburg

About UJ

The University of Johannesburg (UJ) is a public university located in Johannesburg, South Africa. From the 26 public universities that make up South Africa’s higher education system, it is one of the largest comprehensive touch universities. In fact, more than 50000 students attend UJ, including more than 3000 foreign students from 80 countries.

Working at UJ

During the course of employment at UJ, you will learn how to carry out your job responsibilities effectively. Practically, you will also have the opportunity to connect with students and professors a variety of ways to suit their goals.


  • Great teamwork
  • Bursary opportunities
  • Fun work environment
  • Great working experience


  • Long working hours
  • Short lunch break
  • Strict project deadline

Common University of Johannesburg Vacancies

Apart from providing university lecturer vacancies, you can also apply for the following positions at UJ:

  1. Director
  2. Manager
  3. Senior Technician

4. University of KwaZulu-Natal

About UKZN

The University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) is a South African university with five campuses in the KwaZulu-Natal province. In 2004, the University of Natal and the University of Durban-Westville merged to create the university.

The University of KwaZulu-Natal is made up of four colleges, each of which is made up of several schools. However, the majority of the time, a subdivision spans one or more of the university’s campuses. For instance, the Chemistry Department is located on both the Pietermaritzburg and Westville campuses.

Working at UKZN

The university has a very good and helpful working environment for workers which makes working there easier and more enjoyable especially for beginners. Additionally, all employees uphold a strong work ethic. Also, they always ensure that not only team goals but individual goals are also achieved.

Common University of KwaZulu-Natal Vacancies

UKZN offers some of the most sought after vacancies in South Africa universities, including:

  • Head of Executive Education
  • Senior Lecturer
  • Head of Research
  • Academic Leader
  • Head of Master’s and Post Grad Programmes
  • Lecturer
  • Technician
  • Head of Doctoral Programmes
  • Finance Administrator
  • Administrative Officer

5. University of Limpopo

About University of Limpopo

The University of Limpopo is a South African university located in the Limpopo Province. The University of the North and the Medical University of South Africa (MEDUNSA) merged on January 1, 2005, to form the University of Limpopo.

The university is located in Mankweng township, halfway between Polokwane and Tzaneen, in the foothills of the Hwiti (Wolkberg range).

Working at the University of Limpopo

Working at this institution may be challenging but it will give you a good experience. Besides, you will meet lots of people and make meaningful connections from there. Also, there is diverse management at work.


  • Good environment for growth
  • Hands-on practical experience


  • Long working hours
  • Competitive

Common University of Limpopo Vacancies

The following are some of the positions commonly offered at the University of Limpopo:

  1. Tutor
  2. Lecturer

6. University of Mpumalanga

About UMP

Mbombela, South Africa is home to the University of Mpumalanga. It first opened its doors in 2014, with a small intake of 140 students. In fact, it is one of two new universities in South Africa, the other being Sol Plaatje University in Kimberley (formerly the University of the Northern Cape).

Working at UMP

Although the institution is very new, it is a workplace where workers can learn many things about their responsibilities. The University of Mpumalanga also presents different types of leadership. Only the hardest working people reap the benefits of working there.


  • Free lunches
  • Plenty of educational opportunities
  • Provides incentives or bonuses
  • Conducive working environment
  • Provides the opportunity for growth


  • Long working hours

Common University of Mpumalanga Vacancies

You can expect the following positions at the University of Mpumalanga:

  1. Technical Assistant
  2. Lecturer

7. University of Pretoria

About UP

The University of Pretoria (UP) is a public research university with several campuses in Pretoria, South Africa’s administrative and de facto capital. The university began as the Pretoria campus of the Johannesburg-based Transvaal University College in 1908. Besides, it is the fourth South African institution to be granted university status in continuous operation.

UP has risen from 32 students in a single late Victorian house in the early 1900s to about 53000 students in 2019. There are nine faculties and a business school at the university. The University of Pretoria Faculty of Veterinary Science was established in 1920 and is Africa’s second oldest veterinary school. Also, it is South Africa’s only veterinary school.

Working at UP

Working at the University of Pretoria will be your best achievement. There, you can learn about different cultures and good teamwork. Furthermore, you will meet other friendly workers with the same mind.


  • Excellent pay
  • Productive
  • Good management
  • Provides rooms for further personal growth and development


  • Long working hours
  • Demanding working environment
  • Race politics are deeply entrenched in the system

Common University of Pretoria Vacancies

Apart from providing junior lecturer vacancies, you can also apply for the following positions at UP:

  1. Communication Manager
  2. Senior Administrative Officer
  3. Senior Executive Assistant
  4. Senior Manager
  5. Associate Professor
  6. Professor
  7. Head of Department
  8. Lecturer
  9. Project Manager

8. University of South Africa

About Unisa

The University of South Africa (UNISA), also known as Unisa, is the country’s largest university system by enrollment. In fact, it enrols a third of all South African students in higher education.

Unisa has over 400000 students through its various colleges and affiliates, including foreign students from 130 countries, making it one of the world’s mega universities and the only one in Africa.

Many prominent South Africans have graduated from the university, including two Nobel Laureates: Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first constitutionally elected president, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Working at Unisa

The standards of the working environment at the University of South Africa are good according to former employees. Most importantly, the workers also have good relationships. It encourages them to be professional and productive.


  • Provides insightful working experience
  • Gives access to growth
  • Enjoyable workplace


  • Long working hours

Common University of South Africa

Unisa offers some of the most sought after vacancies in South African universities, including:

  1. Web Editor
  2. Communication Manager
  3. Head of Department

9. Stellenbosch University

About SU

Stellenbosch University (SU) is a South African public research university located in the town of Stellenbosch in the Western Cape province. Stellenbosch University is South Africa’s oldest university and the oldest university in Sub-Saharan Africa.

In fact, the university is one of only three public universities in the Western Cape, and one of around 20 in South Africa.

Stellenbosch University was ranked third in Africa and 251-275 in the world in the latest edition of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. Moreover, QS World University Rankings, another authoritative ranking system, recently placed the university at 390 in the world and third in Africa.

Working at SU

Working at Stellenbosch University will provide you with an experience like no other. This is an environment where your academic experience is tested and improved to raise your confidence and problem-solving ability. The institution management is very well organised and fantastic in organisational management.


  • Free food
  • Good salary
  • Flexible timetable
  • Close to nearby attractions
  • Medical aid available
  • Low pressure
  • No strict supervision


  • Long working hours
  • Lack of benefits

Common Stellenbosch University Vacancies

The following are some of the positions commonly offered at Stellenbosch University:

  1. Programme Coordinator
  2. Lecturer
  3. Technical Officer
  4. Graduate Intern
  5. Vice Dean
  6. Maintenance Technician
  7. Advisor
  8. Project Manager
  9. Professor
  10. Researcher
  11. System Administrator

10. University of the Free State

About UFS

The University of the Free State (UFS) is a public multi-campus university in Bloemfontein, the Free State’s capital and the country’s judicial capital. Originally, it was founded as a tertiary section of Grey College in 1904 as an institution of higher learning.

In 1950, it was renamed the University of the Orange Free State and declared an autonomous Afrikaans-language university. In fact, the university was desegregated in 1996 after being a whites-only precinct for several years.

Working at UFS

The university has an excellent platform to improve on work and personal skills. Management only adheres to the rule and regulations as required from Human Resources to make sure the employees feel safe and secure and are treated equally. All in all, it is an excellent workplace that provides diversity.


  • Decent salary
  • Lots of vacation days
  • Great working environment
  • Free lunch
  • Bursary programmes


  • Not much room for growth
  • Does not provide many benefits
  • Monotonous job
  • Long working hours
  • Demanding working environment

Common University of the Free State Vacancies

The following are some of the positions commonly offered at the University of the Free State:

  1. Lecturer
  2. Professor
  3. Emergency Care Practitioner
  4. Programme Director
  5. Research Coordinator
  6. Academic Facilitator
  7. Assistant Officer
  8. Counselling or Clinical Psychologist
  9. Intern
  10. Chief Officer
  11. Shelver
  12. After-Hours Librarian
  13. Acquisitions Librarian
  14. CCTV Monitor
  15. Director

11. University of the Western Cape

About UWC

The University of the Western Cape (UWC) is a public university in Bellville, South Africa, which is a suburb of Cape Town. The Western Cape University has a long tradition of imaginative resistance to injustice, prejudice, and disadvantage.

Interestingly, it has been at the forefront of South Africa’s historic shift, playing a unique academic role in assisting in the development of an inclusive and diverse society.

Working at UWC

UWC offers a great employment opportunity as there’s room for growth in all its departments if you show commitment.


  • Great growth opportunities
  • Collaborative working environment
  • Free lunch and accommodation


  • Long working hours

Common University of the Western Cape Vacancies

Apart from providing academic-related vacancies, you can also apply for the following positions at UWC:

  1. Manager
  2. Teaching & Learning Specialist
  3. Senior Lecturer
  4. Professor
  5. Director

12. University of the Witwatersrand

About Wits University

The University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg is a South African multi-campus public research university located in the north-central region of Johannesburg. In fact, this university is better known as Wits University. The university has roots in the mining industry, as are Johannesburg and the Witwatersrand.

Founded in 1896 as the South African School of Mines in Kimberley, Wits University is the third-oldest operating university in South Africa.

Working at Wits University

The university is a good organization to work provided that management at particular departments are able to manage well. Moreover, the culture at the university is very professional and efficient. Most importantly, it hires the best staff who are from diverse parts of the world.


  • Flexible working hours
  • Free lunch
  • Good work-life integration


  • Mundane jobs
  • An enormous amount of workload
  • Little opportunity for promotion
  • Few benefits

Common University of the Witwatersrand Vacancies

University of the Witwatersrand offers some of the most sought after vacancies in South Africa universities, including:

  1. Senior Lecturer
  2. Professor
  3. Programme Manager
  4. Online/Blended Learning Coordinator
  5. Head of School
  6. Community-Based Programme Facilitator
  7. Senior Business Architect
  8. Community-Based Dietician
  9. Senior Administrator
  10. Stakeholder Relationship Manager
  11. Learning Experience Designer
  12. Environmental Health Specialist
  13. Finance Manager
  14. Communication Officer
  15. Technician

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