Rhodes owes its unique character among South African universities to a combination of factors some historical, some geographical, some cultural and some architectural. An important influence in this respect is the University's smallness which, together with its residence system, allows unusually close contact between students and their lecturers, in surroundings that foster fellowship and learning. Small classes mean more personal attention and encourage greater involvement of students in their work. The end result is that successive generations of Rhodes graduates have had an influence on southern Africa and world affairs out of all proportion to their small number.
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