Australia's biggest university, Monash, has become one of only two foreign institutions to receive South African government approval to operate a campus in that country.
Monash University South Africa will enrol students for next year on a new campus in Johannesburg and will soon begin advertising internationally for staff.
As part of its plans to establish bases around the world, Monash will also open an Australian centre in King's College London this year.
Monash vice-chancellor David Robinson said he hoped that within two years up to 1,000 students from across southern Africa would be enrolled in undergraduate courses in Johannesburg. Initially these would range from arts, business and commerce to information technology, computing and business systems.
Eventually, some 6,000 students will be located on the 250-acre site at Roodepoort - a suburb about 16km from the city centre.
Professor Robinson said Monash was collaborating with South African developer Ronloth to build the university campus, which will occupy only a small part of the whole site. The financing of the operations was based on other groups also using the site.
"Tuition costs will vary depending on the courses, but they will probably be around R30,000 (Pounds 3,000) for a full-time student per year. We are a private institution with no assistance from the South African or Australian governments so we have to make the books balance out of fees. But, as is the case in Malaysia, one in ten of the students will be on scholarships," said Professor Robinson.
The South African ministry of education this month released the names of 32 private education institutions that had received or been offered conditional registration.
Monash and the Business School of the Netherlands were the only two foreign institutions.
Fifteen British universities failed to be registered, including London, North London, Wales, Surrey, Heriot-Watt, Leicester, Leeds Metropolitan, Oxford Brookes and the Open University.