Walter Sisulu University (WSU) was established on 1 July, 2005 in terms of the Higher Education Act No 101 of 1997, as amended. WSU, a comprehensive university, resulted from the merger of the former University of Transkei (Unitra); Border Technikon and Eastern Cape Technikon. The new university was named in honour of an icon of the South African liberation struggle and close comrade of Nelson Mandela, the late Walter Max Ulyate Sisulu.
From 2002 to 2005, the South African higher education landscape underwent an extensive merger and incorporation process to bring about a more equitable dispensation to meet the requirements of a fast-developing new nation. The thirty-six universities and ‘technikons’ were merged in various ways to produce twenty-three universities in three categories:
Traditional academic universities;
Universities of Technology and
Comprehensive Universities (which offer both academic and technological qualifications).