The newly merged North-West University symbolises a new era in higher education. On the first day in January 2004 an apartheid induced divide was overcome when the University of North-West, a historically black university merged with the Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education, a historically white university. The new university was named the North-West University.
This move formed part of the minister of education’s plan to restructure the higher education landscape in South Africa by merging 36 tertiary institutions into ultimately 21 institutions. The managements and councils of both of the former universities accepted the inevitable and decided to make a success of the merger. The then universities realised the reconciling role this new institution could play and the obligation it had to the people of South Africa in fulfilling its role as a new, truly South African university.