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Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU) was established when the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Blade Nzimande in terms of section 20 of the Higher Education Act 1997 (Act 101 of 1997), promulgated the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU) in the SA Government Gazette no: 37658 of 16 May 2014.


The promulgation followed the announcement made in 2011, by Minister Nzimande, when he announced his intention to separate the Medunsa Campus from the University of Limpopo. The minister’s intention was based on the findings and recommendations of the task team that was established and led by Prof Malegapuru Makgoba, former Vice-Chancellor of University of Kwa-Zulu Natal (UKZN) and Dr Max Price, the Vice-Chancellor of University of Cape Town (UCT).


To be the benchmark institution providing holistic health sciences education that meets the health needs of the individual, the family, the community, and the population.


  • Diligence
  • Integrity
  • Commitment
  • Humility
  • Respect
  • Relevance
  • Transformative leadership


  • Provide high-quality primary health care-oriented health sciences research, education and services.
  • Deploy educational approaches that include evidence-based methods for curriculum development and delivery that are rooted in the community.
  • Promote interdisciplinary research, education and skills training that recognise the cross-disciplinary nature of holistic health care provision.
  • Produce a cadre of health professionals with the transformative leadership capacity to identify, analyse and address the health needs of the individual, the family, the community and the population.
  • Create an environment that supports innovation and harnesses the power of new technologies to address the health needs of the community.