The List: Opening dates for SA universities in 2022

On January 21, matric results will be released. Pupils across the country will find out what marks they have earned. Following that universities will send out acceptance letters to prospective students. This kicks off the registration process for the 2022 academic year. Here’s what you need to know about university registration and academic activities in 2022. 

PSA: This list will be updated as and when more universities release the information. 

NSFAS extends deadline for 2022 applications

University of Stellenbosch

Online registration has been in place for a number of years at SU and most students will be able to register for the 2022 academic year online. Classes for undergraduate students (with the exception of some MB,ChB clinical rotations) start on February 14.

The University’s Institutional Committee for Business Continuation made a decision in late 2021 to have a full return to campus and into the classroom for the 2022 academic year. The university will be continuing with augmented remote teaching learning and assessment for the 1st semester of 2022. This is a flexible hybrid mode of learning and teaching. The university’s vaccination rule is still being finalised.

Wits University

Online registration for first year students commences on January 21-27. Assisted registration is available if required. In the past five years, most students registered online with a few coming on campus for assisted registration. With regards to returning students, each faculty has specific dates and deadlines for both online and assisted registration.

Teaching and learning will commence on February 28 in blended mode. This means that some activities will take place on campus, including experiential learning and interactive learning and teaching sessions. Other activities, such as presentations, discussion forums and formative assessments, will be conducted online.

The Wits Council passed the COVID-19 mandatory vaccination policy, which came into effect on January 1 2022. However, everyone will have until March 1 2022 to get vaccinated or apply for reasonable accommodation.

Tshwane University of Technology

Registration for the FTEN students will start on January 31 2022. The online system has been enhanced, including pre-selecting all compulsory first-year subjects and confirming registered first-year learners. Registration will close on February 25. Classes will begin on February 10.

Walk-in student admissions will not be allowed. However, students with difficulty registering online will be assisted in TUT laboratories.

Covid-19 risk levels will be assessed before the commencement of academic activities and throughout the 2022 academic year. If risk levels allow, mask-to-mask classes will be considered in terms of the directions on venue capacity. TUT is in the process of drafting their policy on Covid-19 vaccination and will only be in a position to comment once that draft has been taken through the consultation process.

University of Free State

Online academic advice and online registration for senior students will take place from January 17-31 and for first-year students from February 1-11.

All first-year and senior students will register online.

The academic year will begin on February 14. UFS is planning for the return of all staff and registered students in 2022 in a way that minimises risk. Classes will be presented on campus in 2022, except for a few qualifications and modules that will be presented in a blended format.

UFS will be implementing its COVID-19 Regulations and Required Vaccination Policy as from February 14 2022. The policy does not force anyone to vaccinate. “It is aimed at restricting campus access to vaccinated persons” – barring medical and religious exemptions.

University of the Western Cape

Online registration for Masters and PhD students opened on January 10 2022. For senior undergraduate and Honours students registration opens January 24 and concludes February 11. For first-year and returning undergraduate students hybrid assisted registration opens January 31 and concludes on February 11.

Registration will be conducted online via the student portal and e-advising platforms. Certain programmes will have in-person curriculum advising and this will be communicated to the respective students along with the designated dates and times.

The academic year will commence on February 14. A hybrid/blended approach will be followed. In-contact classes will take place in 2022 if national regulations permit. Flexible online learning and teaching will also continue in most faculties for 2022. All staff and students will have to be vaccinated in order to enter campus or attend university events. Therefore, unvaccinated students will not be allowed to attend classes on campus, however flexible online learning and teaching will continue in most faculties for 2022. It will be mandatory for staff, students and anyone else (such as service providers and visitors) to be vaccinated before they are allowed access to campus. This policy came into effect on January 3.

University students’ thoughts on proposed mandatory vaccinations

Mangosuthu University of Technology

MUT registration for the 2022 academic year is scheduled for February 14-25 2022, for new and returning students. Students are encouraged to make use of MUT online registration platform which allows them to register where they are without having to come on campus. This is meant to reduce the risk of having large groups gathered at the university, in line with the COVID-19 protocols. MUT’s academic year begins on February 14 2022. MUT, like all other universities, takes its directive from the department on whether students can fully return to the university or if they can return in parts.

MUT has consulted a legal opinion before putting in place a vaccination policy. The legal opinion received was that MUT should do further work before deciding whether to make the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory or not. The Committee has resolved that the matter on COVID-19 mandatory vaccines would be referred to Senate to determine the approval of the proposal.

University of Johannesburg  

Registration for senior/ returning students commenced on January 17 2022 until February 11 2022. As for first-year students, once the university selection process has been finalised, the UJ student enrolment centre will inform the applicants of their admission status by email. Registration for undergraduate (first years) commences on January 21 and will be open for three weeks. UJ has planned its academic activities for 2022 in accordance with different scenarios and the university is ready to implement any one of the scenarios, depending on the Covid-19 situation.

All registrations are done online and off-campus

The start of academic activities for first year and senior students is on February 14 2022. As for on-campus learning, UJ’s council has resolved that all the university’s campuses and facilities will be mandatory vaccination sites from 2022. Exemptions, based on medical or religious grounds, will be considered. Fully vaccinated students’ access cards will be activated for all campuses and facilities. Partially vaccinated students are conditionally registered with access granted to the campuses and facilities. Accommodation in campus residences will be allowed. 

Students have until March 31 2022 to comply with the conditional registration i.e. to become fully vaccinated or risk having their studies cancelled.  

Rhodes University 

Post Grad registrations opened on January 10. First-year registration will open on February 12 and for returning students on February 18.

The registration process will be online.

Lectures are scheduled to start on February 21. The university will be monitoring developments in relation to the pandemic and adapt their plans according to the evolution and trajectory of the virus.  They encourage all students and staff to get fully vaccinated.  Rhodes University has a vaccination mandate rule towards a full return for staff and students to campus in 2022. They are adopting a hybrid approach that will be followed for many of the academic activities in order for returning students to prepare for the 2022 return to campus.

Students will only be able to continue with their online administration registration once their vaccination certificate has been verified. If they are not vaccinated, they will only be allowed to continue if they have been granted an exemption. 

What you need to know about NSFAS 2022

University of Limpopo

The registration period is between January 24 – 28. The academic year will begin on January 24 for returning students and January 31 for first year students. 

Registration will be conducted remotely through their online facilities

Their approach remains multimodal teaching, learning, and assessment. Repatriation will continue to be done in a phased approach guided by an ongoing risk assessment. The university has considered it important that they do not rush into a particular position with regards to vaccination. Final admission status will be accessible on their online facilities from January 21 2022.


At the University of South Africa, first semester registration commenced on January 4 and will close on January 24 2022. Students may also register their modules for semester 2 during this period if they wish to do so. This is provided there are no pre-requisite requirements for modules. The second semester registration period will commence from June 20 to July 18 2022.

University of Cape Town

Orientation and registration are scheduled to commence on February 1 until February 11. UCT will put in place the First Year Campus Reception (FYCR) programme, which was introduced in 2021. Teaching and learning is scheduled to start on February 14. The university has a framework which guides the teaching and learning process. 

All students, whether they are South African or international, are expected to be in Cape Town throughout the academic year and to come to campus as required. Students will have increased contact time with academic staff. All forms of face-to-face on-campus teaching and learning activities need to have an online alternative.

A draft vaccination policy is in place and will go through the consultation process and thereafter a final decision will be made. The draft policy proposes the introduction of a campus-wide vaccine mandate that will be applicable to all staff, students, independent contractors, and other visitors. The draft policy provides for staff and students to apply for an exemption to the vaccine mandate on narrow medical grounds and religious grounds.