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Nelson Mandela University operations are in full swing, with academic and support staff gearing up for the official start of the 2019 academic year.

The start of the year is always a busy time and not without some glitches and Mandela University staff and student organisations are working hard behind the scenes to ensure that students return to a university ready to perform its core business – teaching and learning.

Important dates to note

January 25: Residence open for new students

January 28 – February 8: Registration

February 2: First-year welcoming ceremony

February 11: Lectures commence

Financial Aid:

More than 15 000 Nelson Mandela University students applied for NSFAS financial aid, with more than 10 000 applications approved. The University’s Financial Aid office has been in constant contact with the government financial aid scheme to ensure timeous approvals and allocations, with the first tranche of funding for academic studies expected at the end of January.

The Financial Aid office is also working closely with NSFAS towards ensuring the timely disbursement of the applicable allowances.

In line with the University’s continued efforts towards widening access to higher education, particularly to poor and academically deserving students, a number of concessions remain in place to ensure students’ timeous registration.

Academic admissions:

The University’s admissions office is finalising placements of students, having received a total 130 008 applications. More than 105 000 applications were received from first-time entering students, with 10 544 accepted. This is up from 79 318 applications and 8 469 admissions last year.


Online registration opened on 15 January, with 5 443 students having taken up the opportunity to register thus far. This figure is almost 6% up from 5156 at the same time last year. Of those already registered, 687 are postgrad students and the remaining being undergraduate students.

Residence admissions:

More than 33 000 residence applications were received for 2019. The Student Housing office is busy placing first-year and returning students to the more than 10 000 on-campus and accredited off-campus residences. On-campus capacity presently stands at 2 849 and accredited off-campus at about 8 000. To date 358 students have registered online for on-campus residences.

With the demand for suitable student accommodation quite high, it should be noted that there are strict criteria needing to be met in order to secure residence admission (for first-time entering students) and re-admission (for returning students).

The demand for accommodation still outweighs supply and the University is working on the construction of a new 2000-bed on-campus residence – 1800 beds in Port Elizabeth and 200 for George campuses.


Nelson Mandela University welcomes all new and returning students to what promises to be an exciting year, with the institution continuing its work towards becoming an institution of choice and home to its staff and students.


Contact information
Ms Zandile Mbabela
Media Manager
Tel: 0415042777