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With its strong ethos of community service and skillful blend of academic and research programmes, the Mafikeng Campus embodies the NWU’s commitment to being locally engaged, nationally relevant and internationally recognised.

Situated in Mafikeng, the capital of the North-West Province, the Mafikeng Campus is the second-largest of the University’s three campuses. Students from over 22 countries were among the 8 000 students enrolled in 2009 at its five faculties – Agriculture, Science and Technology; Commerce and Administration; Education; Human and Social Sciences, and Law. 

Some of the academic programmes offered at the Mafikeng Campus are not available elsewhere in South Africa. The Centre for Animal Health Studies has the only BSc Animal Health degree and the only residential Diploma in Animal Health recognised for registration by the South African Veterinary Council. Similarly, through the Mafikeng Campus, the NWU is the only university in the country that has accredited undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS).

In community engagement, the Campus has entered into various value-adding partnerships to promote the economic development of the province. Current partners include the Mafikeng Industrial Development Zone, the Industrial Development Corporation, the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Environment, and the Umsobomvu Youth Fund. These partnerships support a wide array of community-based services, from the development and empowerment of emerging cattle farmers to community training in human rights and research into mineral and beef beneficiation.

Nationally, a flagship partnership is that involving the Mafikeng Campus’s Centre for Applied Radiation Science and Technology (CARST), which was established in 1998 as a collaboration between the NWU and major nuclear industry stakeholders in South Africa. The Centre has attracted significant international attention. In 2008, in a first for Africa, the United Nations Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization visited CARST and set up a mobile laboratory to measure radioactive noble gases. In another recent visit, four Russian scientists and a British expert from Sheffield University conducted a training workshop in radioactive waste minimisation for postgraduate students and staff.

Beyond the laboratories and lecture halls, Mafikeng Campus students are active culturally and on the sports field. The Campus has distinguished itself in music, choral and multicultural drama, and has a thriving, well-resourced Soccer Institute that is helping to develop soccer in the province and the country. Other popular sports on the Campus are ju-jitsu, aerobics, softball and table tennis.