Est. 2007

SARUA's Approach

SARUA’s mission is to build and sustain a vibrant higher education community that makes a distinctive contribution to regional socio-economic development and integration through collaborative networks and partnerships. The Association contributes to capacity development in higher education in the SADC through a strategic focus leadership and management development, teaching and learning development, quality management and technology-enabled innovation in higher education.

SARUA enables collaborative networks and partnerships that develop the institutional and human capacity of the region’s universities in order to make a distinctive contribution to regional development and integration.

A brief history of SARUA

SARUA was established to assist in the revitalisation and development of the leadership and institutions of higher education in the Southern African region, thus enabling the regional higher education sector to meaningfully respond to the developmental challenges facing the region. Since then, SARUA has conducted numerous leadership dialogues, and undertaken a wide range of research projects. By means of these projects, SARUA has done pioneering work in mapping the status and profile of the higher education sector within the SADC, including country profiles. It has also produced various reports on compelling themes such as climate change, science and technology development within the SADC, and strategies for strengthening the interaction between higher education, the public sector and industry. These studies have made a significant contribution towards the development of a comprehensive and shared development agenda for the region, and to the definition of priorities that the higher education sector must address.
Building on this work, SARUA has continued to host regular annual leadership dialogues in which vice-chancellors and other senior university leaders consider topics such as internationalisation in higher education, open access and research publications in Africa, global trends in technology in higher education, and the contribution of universities and innovation to inclusive regional development. The purpose of these exchanges is to contribute to planning and policy, but also to joint research and curriculum development.

  • 2007

    SARUA established

  • 2010

    SARUA Programme for Climate Change Capacity Development (PCCCD) initiated at a meeting of SADC Vice-Chancellors. Programme introduced to significantly enhance the climate adaptive capacity and resilience of the SADC region through the development of a collaborative network of HEIs.

  • 2015

    Creation of the Curriculum Innovation Network (SCIN).

  • 2017

    SARUA collaborated with the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Council on Higher Education (CHE) in South Africa, and the Southern African Quality Assurance Network (SAQAN) to present a workshop on quality assurance in the SADC.

  • 2018

    Professor Martin Oosthuizen appointed as executive director of SARUA.

  • 2020

    MOU signed with OBREAL Global.


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