Change the world


Nelson Mandela University continues to be consistently guided by excellence, equality, social justice, Ubuntu and integrity amongst our values.

These values guide our approach to the deployment of learning and teaching and the provision of services to our students, staff and stakeholders.

Since 2015, which marked a watershed moment in higher education occasioned by the #feesmustfall movement, Mandela University has enacted policies, practices, protocols, and measures aimed at progressively broadening access to academically deserving students, particularly those who come from working class and poor backgrounds.  These measures are enhanced annually in a collaborative manner that taps into the agency of our students. In this way, the University has provided quality, transformative and life changing higher education opportunities for thousands of students who would not have otherwise been able to realise their life choices and aspirations.

It is against this background that our University responds to and engages with students to co-create solutions to the vexing challenges of access, especially within the context of a declining economy.  Our response to the issues raised by protesting students is informed by our proven commitment to inclusive access for financially needy and academically deserving students.  To this end, the following measures have and/or are being implemented:

  1. The University has registered 30 616 students as at 03 March 2022 and is very close to meeting its target of registering 30 905 students for this academic year.
  2. In line with our commitment to inclusive access, about 21 936 students are NSFAS beneficiaries, all of whom have been cleared for registration.
  3. This year, our concessions regime facilitated access to more than 6 000 academically deserving and financially needy students who would have been unable to continue their studies had this measure not been in place. We are currently concluding the last batch of appeals.
  4. The extension of registration to the 11th March 2022 is intended to allow for the conclusion of outstanding issues related to registration especially those that are contingent upon NSFAS.
  5. To this end, a joint delegation of management and students will engage in a working session at NSFAS offices in Cape Town from 8-9 March 2022. The session is aimed at resolving all outstanding student issues including the problem of funding for Higher Certificate students.
  6. Critical staff, through their line managers, are working towards the smooth conclusion of the registration process.  Our Human Resources division is developing protocols for approval by Management for a planned, managed, and safe return to campus with a view to improving accessibility to on-campus services.
  7. Students who have not yet registered are encouraged to attend classes whilst attending to their registration challenges. Should they encounter difficulties regarding class attendance, they are advised to contact their lecturers and/or faculties.

I therefore call upon our student leaders and students who are still experiencing outstanding registration-related matters to work with the relevant departments to resolve these expeditiously. Let us work together in the true spirit of collaboration while not compromising the integrity of the academic year.

I thank you all.

Professor Sibongile Muthwa