Capital projects

Alice Library Extension

The University desires to consolidate the gains made, refresh and revitalize stakeholder commitment, and build an objective programme for its continued growth and sustainable development.

The University of Fort Hare, spread over three campuses, has experienced tremendous growth since the three libraries serving these campuses were built. The Alice campus Library was built in the early 1970s, and since then the student and academic populations have increased sixfold.

Identified as the University of Fort Hare Alice Library Centenary Project, our aim is to complete this project by 2016, our 100th anniversary. An accurate estimate to see this vision through has been calculated at R100 million.

With the ever-increasing pace in technological advances and new approaches in the use of a university library, the library does not just need to grow in size, but needs to be upgraded and modernised to be a socially interactive and educational space for the 21st century.

Our existing library has fallen behind in providing our students with the resources and space needed to meet their educational needs. The proposed extension and upgrading of the currently inadequate Alice campus library facilities will have an enormous impact on the quality of teaching and learning at the University of Fort Hare, and of the graduates it produces.

The upgrading of Fort Hare's existing library facilities on the Alice campus and the proposed new extension is based on international best practice, and will provide the university community with world-class facilities in an integrated, user-friendly and inspiring environment, conducive to promoting the love of learning and the sharing of knowledge.

With a steady increase in the university’s research output being recorded over the past years, the new library will provide the resources to ensure that the University of Fort Hare’s goal of re-establishing its place among the top universities in South Africa will become reality.

The establishment of a Postgraduate Centre at the Universities Alice Campus is vital in meeting its research targets set by the university and the department of Higher education and will provide the infrastructure and support to facilitate the education, training and continuing development of postgraduate professionals in  the Eastern Cape and beyond. Fort Hare also envisages PGC also that has an active role in planning education and encouraging multidisciplinary learning and teaching across the University.

The Centre will coordinate, extend and enhance the postgraduate support systems, assist the university in attracting, training and delivering quality postgraduate students, help increase the numbers of students at Master’s and Doctoral level and improve throughput.

The Postgraduate Centre is an exciting new initiative which aims to promote fundamental scholarship, sound intellectual engagement and the development of a new generation of scholars.

The centre will assist the University in attracting, training and delivering quality postgraduate students; and Increase the number of postgraduate students (Masters and Doctoral).

Collaborative Library a - LIFE-LONG LEARNING CENTRE

The University of Fort Hare, University of South Africa and Walter Sisulu University entered into a Collaboration Agreement to build and maintain a library facility on the UFH East London Campus and will support Teaching, Learning and Research for these three institutions within the East London area.

This library is envisaged to have a capacity to deal with the volume of students from all these universities, and have easy accessible to students and staff of all three institutions. The library will built at the intersection of Oxford and Church Streets, and through to Hill Street, East London.

This new library will be the custodian of books, a showcase for new information, a place for thought, discussion and reflection – with library

Potential dynamic presence in the city of East London


The Library’s capacity is expected to be approximately 18 000 students. It will have a capacity to seat at least 2500 students at any given time. This Collaborative Library will house but will not be limited to

  • Book collections,
    • E-resources,
    •  Multi media centre,
    • Reading and study space, as well as
    • Administrative offices.

The university partnership has acknowledged and agreed that this Collaborative Library shall be built on land owned by the University of Fort and that UFH, Coordinate and manage the development phase of the project, as administrators, through the guidance of a Steering Committee to which UFH shall be accountable and shall manage the library after the completion of the development phase and during the operational phase.