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Even as Nelson Mandela University continues to attend to all outstanding challenges that come at the start of every academic year, it is happy to report a 34.7% increase in the number of new first- time entering students from 2021.

Some 8184 new first-years students have registered to date, compared to 5972 last year and 5283 in 2020. In total, 29 397 have registered to date. This figure is also expected to rise further as solutions to various challenges are overcome and more students are able to register before the late registration date of 4 March. (See additional figures below).

Addressing challenges

Many  students with challenges have already joined online or mask-to-mask lectures thanks to various efforts made (special IT access, the provision of data and special permission for accommodation) to include qualifying students who have been unable to register for reasons beyond their control.

Such efforts, including a trip to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) headquarters in Cape by a team from the University, helped to quickly end protracted on-campus protests.

However, there are still outstanding challenges and the University continues its efforts to address these.


As at today (25 February 2022), 29 397 students had registered with the University. Of these 26 864 are for undergraduate study, while 2 533 are for postgraduate study. Postgraduate registrations continue throughout the year. The University also offered assisted registration.


A total 23 888 students are funded by the National Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), of whom 22 664 are reflected on the list of funded students, effectively clearing them for registration. Of these NSFAS-funded students, 20 265 have been cleared for accommodation registration.

The progress made with regards to NSFAS funding clearance has enabled more students to be able to register.

Financial Concessions

As at Wednesday (23 February 2022), the University had received 8 525 applications for financial concessions for qualifying students up to and including the “missing middle” students (whose household income is more than R350 000 and less than R600 000), with 5 423 applications approved.

A number of those approved (2 032) were ultimately funded by NSFAS and have since fallen off the list. A total 743 applications were unsuccessful due to students not meeting the criteria, and the University received 378 appeals. Yesterday, 197 concessions referred for approval were approved, while the office is presently assessing 181 concession applications and hopes to conclude these expeditiously.


The Student Housing office continues its work to finalise the residence admissions at the Gqeberha and George campuses.

As at Wednesday, 23 February 2022, 2 005 first year and senior students were registered for on-campus accommodation in Gqeberha, with 562 who are not yet registered. Of the 629 students admitted to on-campus accommodation at George Campus, 463 have registered.

For accredited off-campus accommodation, a total 8 438 students were admitted, of whom 1 749 are registered. The remainder of students admitted to off-campus accommodation are urged to register online as they take residence.

Outstanding financial aid challenges and the need for additional on-campus residences are some of the challenges that are being addressed. The completion of another two residences later this year , providing an additional 1300 beds, will greatly assist in this regard.

Student Housing continues to work with institutional stakeholders to address outstanding matters at the Gqeberha and George campuses.


Students who make use of the University’s Shuttles are urged to book their spots via to enable better management of the University fleet and its routes. Thank you to students who responded to the call to book their transport, pushing original student numbers up from 959 on Wednesday to 1732 bookings yesterday.

Support for new students

The transition from high school to university or even from one institution of higher education to another is not easy, so we appeal to all staff to reach out and welcome all newcomers to Mandela University. Below is a useful contact list that you can share with new and even returning students.   

Important contacts

  • Undergraduate and Advanced Diplomas:
  • Postgraduate Enquiries: