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?

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 SADSC. Our mission is to be an agile, impactful, and responsive regional network that champions policy advocacy, advances innovation, and builds resilient academic ecosystems.

SARUA Strategic Focus Areas

SARUA’s Strategic Focus Areas (SFAs) serve as the backbone of our initiatives. Structured to meet regional challenges and propel the advancement of higher education institutions in the SADC, our SFAs are instrumental in shaping the future of the educational landscape.

Our Pillars

Our strategic pillars (as reflected in our value proposition) are:

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.

Engagement for Regional Impact Promoting knowledge co-production through participative approaches that address regional priorities.

Capacity-building: Crafting tailored leadership and professional development programmes that spur institutional excellence within our network.

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

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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Become a member

Access relevant discussions around higher education in the SADC
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