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Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) will use its official lunch period and offer duplicate lessons as a temporary solution towards possible overcrowding in the second semester.

The decision reached by management is to avoid the challenges experienced during the first semester when more than 100 cases of overcrowding were reported. NMMU opened up three new venues ahead of time to solve many, but not all, of the cases.

The University experienced a larger-than-expected influx of students in 2016 as more students both enrolled and returned to NMMU mainly because of the institution’s intervention to offer debt and down payment relief to help widen access for academically deserving, but financially challenged students.

There was a 7% increase in student numbers, as well as a 10% increase in the number of module registrations compared to the usual 2% to 3% increase in both numbers year-on-year. 

With time now on its side, the University’s Central Timetabling Committee (CTC) has been able to pro-actively plan for expected cases of overcrowding, and offer alternative arrangements.

“NMMU will use the lunch period and offer duplicate lessons as a temporary solution towards possible overcrowding when the second semester starts on Monday (11 July),” says NMMU Director: Academic Administration Thomas Kungune  

The University’s official lunch time each weekday, bar Friday, will be used to hold a double period of lectures, and duplicate lectures will be held before 5.30pm daily whenever possible.

CTC has identified 47 cases of possible overcrowding across all faculties and factored all into a new timetable for the remainder of the year as part of a short-term solution.

NMMU has close to 27 000 students at six different campuses. They have a choice of more than 350 undergraduate programmes which translates into 2 100 modules or 8 000 classes that need to be built into a timetable.

The team is already working on more permanent solutions subject to availability of facilities, staffing, curriculum design and student numbers.  

Please alert the Central Timetabling Office of any overcrowding by providing details in an email to

ALTERNATIVE VENUE … The University opened up new venues, including its new Science block, ahead of time to alleviate overcrowding in some venues.