SARUA Membership


The Power of the Network

SARUA’s membership proposition revolves around the concept of collective action and networking, emphasizing the importance of connecting higher education institutions (HEIs) in the SADC for regional innovation, resilience, and responsiveness. SARUA functions as an inclusive and vibrant membership organization that represents the entire SADC higher education region and strives to cater to the diverse needs of both public and private higher education institutions. The Association is committed to empowering the regional higher education sector to contribute positively to socio-economic, and environmental development in the region, while strengthening its capacity to adapt and thrive in a rapidly changing higher education environment.

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Membership: Balancing Affordability and Sustainability

At SARUA, we recognize the pivotal role of higher education in contributing to regional development in the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Our commitment to this cause is unwavering, and it is reflected in our approach to membership.

From 2013 to 2020, we maintained our membership fees at a constant level, despite various economic challenges. This was a conscious effort to ensure that all member institutions could continue to benefit from the diverse opportunities and resources that SARUA offers, without financial strain.

In 2021, we took a bold step forward. Understanding the financial pressures faced by higher education institutions across the SADC, we decided to reduce our membership fees substantially – by between 30% to 50% depending on specific membership bands. This decision was not taken lightly; it reflects our deep commitment to making SARUA’s membership more accessible, while still ensuring the sustainability of our operations and initiatives.

This fee reduction is more than just a number – it’s a testament to our belief in the power of collective action and shared knowledge. By lowering the financial barriers, we aim to encourage broader participation, foster greater collaboration, and facilitate the sharing of best practices across the region.

Our members are our strength, and by making SARUA more accessible, we are not only investing in individual institutions but also in the educational and developmental future of the SADC region. As we move forward, we remain dedicated to balancing affordability with the operational vitality needed to support our shared goals.

Join us in this journey towards a stronger, more interconnected higher education landscape in Southern Africa.

Membership Fees

SARUA membership fees are calculated using a fair and equitable fee formula based on student numbers (headcount enrolments) and the World Bank’s Classification of Countries according to GNI per Capita, as agreed by members at the SARUA Triennial General Meeting.

1. Categorisation of SADC Countries according to GNI

The Classification of SADC countries follows the method used by the World Bank which identifies four country bands according to the Gross National Income per Capita:

GNI Range
Country Band 1:
Lower Income
$ 1085 or less
Country Band 2:
Lower Middle Income
$ 1086 to $ 4255
Country Band 3:
Upper Middle Income
$ 4256 to $ 13 205
Country Band 4
High Income Countries
$ 13 205 or more
Country Band
Country Band SADC Countries
Band 4 Seychelles High Income Countries
Band 3 Botswana, Mauritius, Namibia South Africa Upper Middle Income Countries
Band 2 Angola, Eswatini, Lesotho, Tanzania, Zimbabwe Lower Middle Income Countries
Band 1 Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia Lower Income Countries

2. Illustrative Fee Range for SARUA Members

SARUA Membership Fees 2024
Category 0 Category 1 Category 2 Category 3 Category 4 Category 5
Country Band <2000 Students <2001 – 5000 Students 5001 – 10 000 Students 10 001 – 20 000 Students 20 001 – 30 000 Students > 30 001 Students
Band 4 $2025 $2700 $5400 $8100 $10800 $13500
Band 3 $1350 $1800 $3600 $5400 $6600 $7500
Band 2 $945 $1260 $2520 $3780 $4680 $5520
Band 1 $720 $960 $1920 $2880 $3600 $4200

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