About the author: Donovan Williams is Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Calgary, Alberta. He holds doctorates from the University of the Witwatersrand and the University of Oxford where he was a Senior Scholar of New College, Beit Senior Research Scholar in Imperial and Commonwealth History and Frere Exhibitioner in Indian Studies. During the 1950s he was first Lecturer and later Professor and Head of the Department of History at the University College of Fort Hare.2001 0-7734-7398-X
In 1916, under missionary auspices, the South African Native College was established, the first college instituted for higher education of the Blacks in Southern Africa. In 1951 it was affiliated with Rhodes University and renamed The University College of Fort Hare. By that time it had acquired an enviable reputation. Among its graduates are many who today hold high office in and outside South Africa, Nelson Mandela being the most distinguished. In 1948, the Afrikaner Nationalist Government was elected. It was committed to the implementation of apartheid, including the creation of separate educational facilities, and in 1960 the University College of Fort Hare was taken over by that Government, as a college for Xhosa students only. It became one of four ethnic colleges, while admission to the White “open” universities was severely curtailed. This book examines how staff and students opposed the legislation to place the college under government control and reduce its staff to civil servants. The affairs of the college are discussed against the background of rapidly changing conditions in South Africa, with campus disturbances and protests sometimes linked to the wider application of apartheid.