University Of Fort Hare Wikipedia, It was a key institution of higher education for black Africans from 1916 to 1959. It offered a Western-style academic education to students from across sub-Saharan Africa, creating a black African elite. Fort Hare alumni were part of many subsequent independence movements and governments of newly independent African countries.
In 1959, the university was subsumed by the apartheid system, but it is now part of South Africa’s post-apartheid public higher education system. It is known for its notable alumni, which include several heads of state and Nobel prize winners.
Originally, Fort Hare was a British fort in the wars between British settlers and the Xhosa of the 19th century. Some of the ruins of the fort are still visible today, as well as graves of some of the British soldiers who died while on duty there.
During the 1830s, the Lovedale Missionary Institute was built near Fort Hare. James Stewart, one of its missionary principals, suggested in 1878 that an institution for higher education of black students needed to be created. However, he did not live to see his idea put into operation when, in 1916, Fort Hare was established with Alexander Kerr as its first principal. D.D.T Jabavu was its first black staff member who lectured in Latin and black languages. In accord with its Christian principles, fees were low and heavily subsidised. Several scholarships were also available for indigent students.
Fort Hare had many associations over the years before it became a university in its own right. It was initially the South African Native College attached to the University of South Africa.[ Then as the University College of Fort Hare associated with Rhodes University.[In 1959, with the passing of the Promotion of Bantu Self Government Act, higher educational institutions would be strictly segregated along racial lines and saw Fort Hare becoming a black university in its own right in 1970, strictly controlled by the state government.[
Centenary logo in 2016
It was a key institution in higher education for black Africans from 1916 to 1959. It offered a Western-style academic education to students from across sub-Saharan Africa, creating a black African elite. Fort Hare alumni were part of many subsequent independence movements and governments of newly independent African countries.[
Liberation movement archives
Several leading opponents of the apartheid regime attended Fort Hare, among them Nelson Mandela, Govan Mbeki and Oliver Tambo of the African National Congress, Mangosuthu Buthelezi of the Inkatha Freedom Party, Robert Sobukwe of the Pan Africanist Congress, Desmond Tutu, and others African country presidents Kenneth Kaunda, Seretse Khama, Yusuf Lule, Julius Nyerere, Robert Mugabe and Joshua Nkomo. Mandela who studied Latin and physics there for almost two years in the 1940s, left the institution as a result of a conflict with a college leader. He later wrote in his autobiography that “For young black South Africans like myself, it was Oxford and Cambridge, Harvard and Yale, all rolled into one.”
During the apartheid years, the school was nationalized and segregated along racial and tribal lines; blacks had previously gone to classes with Indians, coloureds and a few white students. It became part of the Bantu education system and teaching in African languages rather than English was encouraged.[
After the end of apartheid, Oliver Tambo became chancellor of the University in 1991.[