Southern African Regional
Universities Association

Southern African Regional Universities Association

The Power of the Network
Towards a strong, responsive higher education system for innovation, resilience and sustainability in the SADC.

What is SARUA?

The Southern African Universities Association (SARUA) is a membership-based association of public and private higher education institutions in the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Serving as a pivotal hub for higher education in the region, we are committed to driving change and fostering collaboration among the higher education community within the SADC. Our mission is to be an agile, impactful, and responsive regional network that champions policy advocacy, advances innovation, and builds resilient academic ecosystems.

Our Value Proposition: Our Four Strategic Pillars

At the heart of our mission lies a steadfast commitment to advancing the higher education sector in the Southern African region. Our work is rooted in four key strategic pillars:

1. Collective Sense-Making and Policy Advocacy

Creating a shared understanding on regional issues and grand challenges to foster a more enabling environment for the regional higher education sector.

2. Engagement for Regional Impact

Promoting knowledge co-production through participative approaches that address regional priorities.

3. Capacity-building

Crafting tailored leadership and professional development programmes that spur institutional excellence within our network.

4. Communities of Practice

Establishing platforms for skill-sharing and dialogue among higher education professionals within our network.

Strategic Goals and Focus Areas

Informed by our deep understanding of our dynamic context, we draw on our value proposition to define six strategic goals. These insights guide us in formulating our four strategic focus areas, within which we translate our strategic goals into actionable programmes and activities.

Knowledge Co-Production

Leadership and Professional Development

Institutional Quality Management

Digital Transformation

News and Events

Get involved

The Power of the Network

The strength of our network lies in its diversity. Our members represent the Southern African Development Region.


Our webinar and workshop series will present information, discussion and capacity development opportunities relating to all four strategic focus areas and our strategic enabler.


SARUA regulary hosts events that focus on our extensive programmes and strategic focus areas.

Facts about the Southern African Development Community

The SADC has a combined population of 380 million people.

SADC’s headquarters can be found in Gaborone, Botswana.

There are 16 SADC Member States.

For information on the SADC visit sadc.int.

from the director’s desk


The launching of SARUA’s new website marks a significant milestone in the Association’s evolution as a dynamic virtual higher education network. Now, more than ever, we need to unlock the potential of digital communication platforms to support regional networking and collaboration.

Prof Martin Oosthuizen, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Higher Education collaboration should be a focus of university leadership as well as ordinary members of staff. A collaborative platform such as SARUA will provide answers to the current and future complexities facing higher education institutions.

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Access relevant discussions around higher education in the SADC
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