Top 10 Best Accounting Universities In South Africa (2023)

Before deciding on a higher institution to attend, it is important to ensure that the course you are interested in studying is a strength of that particular university. The best accounting universities in South Africa are some of the most renowned institutions of higher learning, where students intending to have careers in accounting usually go to acquire the knowledge which will enable them to excel in this field.

The reputations these universities now boast of took years of hard work to achieve; and the governing councils continue to ensure that the high standards that have been achieved in the past continue to be maintained, and so they ensure that the learning environment is conducive, and that the students are productive.

Best Accounting Universities In South Africa

1. University Of Pretoria (UP)

The University of Pretoria is considered the best accounting university in South Africa and on the continent as well. This university was founded in 1908, and is the largest physical contact university in the country with a student body of more than 56,483.

This institution has built a culture of excellence especially in the field of accounting; the university receives tons of applications every year. With an acceptance rate of just 15%, this university has to turn down most applications. Students who make it into the University of Pretoria to study accounting therefore know that excellence is expected of them.

2. University Of South Africa (UNISA)

The University Of South Africa is overall, the largest higher institution in South Africa with a student body that is around 400,000. However, a large number of its students study via the long distance learning programs of which the university has become famous.

The University of South Africa was established in 1873 in Cape Town, and has since grown to become known a mega university, which enrolls nearly one-third of all South African students.

The University of South Africa has established itself as one of the best places to study Accounting, although it must be stated that an institution of this magnitude may be better for highly motivated students who have above all else, a desire to succeed despite all odds.

3. Stellenbosch University (SU)

Stellenbosch University was founded in 1918 in Stellenbosch, Western Cape and is one of the oldest institutions of higher learning below the Sahara desert. The public research institution has a student body of over 32,500 students, and the students come from over 100 other countries.

As a place of studying accounting, this is an excellent institution. Stellenbosch University was the first institution in Africa to receive triple international accreditation from AACSB, AMBA, and EQUIS. Presently its Global accounting ranking is 213.

Aside from accounting, this is also a great place to study economics, business, and many other such courses. This university has contributed immensely to South Africa and the continent; it has raised the level of capacity, and has also produced several notable people who have made their mark in society.

4. University Of The Witwatersrand (Wits)

University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) was established in 1922 in Johannesburg, and its origin is tied to the mining industry. Wits University then became a center for student political activities; this institution was at the forefront of the fight against apartheid which was the system of government ruling South Africa at the time.

The University of the Witwatersrand is a public research university; one of the best that offer chartered accountancy in South Africa. The institution has a student body numbering over 37,500 and an acceptance rate of 25%.

Standards are high in this institution, and the culture of political participation still continues even today.

5. University Of Johannesburg (UJ)

University of Johannesburg (UJ) was established in 2005 in Johannesburg, by the merger of Rand Afrikaans University, the Technikon Witwatersrand, and Vista University’s Soweto and East Rand Campuses.

The institution’s student body is about 49,910 strong; across its four campuses. The University of Johannesburg is a great place to study accounting, as well as economics, business, arts, law, engineering and the built environment, agriculture, and so many more.

The University of Johannesburg has steadily risen as one of South Africa’s top institutions consistently over the years, and it traces its history to 1900 with the formation of the institution that later became the Technikon Witwatersrand.

6. University of Cape Town (UCT)

The University of Cape Town (UCT) was established in 1829, and got full university status in 1918. This is without a doubt one of the oldest institutions in South Africa, and the continent in general. It is a public university, and has a strong leaning towards research.

The institution’s Global accounting ranking is 451, while its Overall global ranking is 235.

With a student body of around 22,500 this institution promises a calm learning environment that is not at all crowded, and that will allow students to express themselves.

7. North-West University (NWU)

North-West University (NWU) was established 2004 after the merging of the University of North-West and Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education. However, the institution traces its history back more than 100 years.

NWU has a tradition of excellence; its Global accounting ranking is 486, while its Overall global ranking is 1016. In view of its very good reputation, the school is very much sought after, and has a student body of over 45,000. However, the acceptance rate of 93% almost certainly guarantees that students will be accepted. This is either a god thing or a bad thing, depending on how you look at.

8. University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN)

The University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) was established in 2004, by the merger of the University of Natal and the University of Durban-Westville. Despite its recent establishment, the university’s history goes back to 1910.

The university operates five campuses, and has a student body of about 42,500, and the institution remains very popular; students in the region prefer to study at this institution.

This is a great place to study accounting; its Global accounting ranking is 594; while its Overall global ranking is 656. Other courses that one could study at this institution include business, law, education, commerce, urban and physical planning, and so on.

9. Nelson Mandela University (NMU)

Nelson Mandela University (NMU) is one of the best institutions in South Africa for the study of accounting. The university was established in January 2005, but its history dates back to 1882, when the Port Elizabeth Art School was established. Its Global accounting ranking is 707, while its Overall global ranking is 1613.

NMU has an acceptance rate of 55%; therefore there is a good chance of acceptance if only one should apply to this institution, and so ones dream of becoming an accountant can quickly become reality.

This institution has a student body that is over 27,500 across its seven campuses. Aside from accounting, one can also study administration, arts, literature, economics, and so many other courses. This university has also produced several notable individuals across many different fields of study.

10. University Of The Free State (UFS)

University of the Free State (UFS) was established in 1904 in Bloemfontein. This is one of the oldest and best established institutions in South Africa; it has a real tradition of excellence, and has produced prominent people including scientists, sports athletes, sports coaches, politicians and so on.

As an accounting institution UFS performs quite well; its Global accounting ranking is 864, while its Overall global ranking is 1104. The school has a student body of around 37,000, and has a reasonable admission rate.



Of course, the student’s personal ability and how hard he is willing to work are both important factors that go a long way in determining success. Never the less, the above have proved themselves over time as some of the best accounting universities in South Africa, where students can get excellent training in accounting, and other related fields of endeavour.