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Nelson Mandela University continues its innovative work towards the establishment of the country’s 10th Medical School on Missionvale Campus, which will be officially and fully operational once the requisite accreditation process has been formally concluded.

The accreditation process requires approvals from numerous officiating bodies, including the departments of Higher Education and Training and Health, as well as the Council for Higher Education (CHE) and Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA).

To date, the University has received some of the necessary approvals from the Department of Higher Education and Training and recently the Health Ministry, while CHE has approved the proposed MBChB (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) curriculum, subject to conditions.

Outstanding final approvals are from the HPCSA and CHE, who will undertake an accreditation visit to the University later this year.

It is therefore only when all the necessary professional and government approvals have been formally concluded that the university can finalise the recruitment of staff and open applications for prospective medical students.

Thereafter, an announcement will be made with regards the official launch of the medical school and the starting dates for the six-year medical degree.

Professional accreditation

The HPCSA and CHE approvals are still needed. Both these professional and education bodies will undertake a five-day accreditation visit to Missionvale Campus at the end of October to ascertain the university’s state of readiness in terms of human resources, infrastructure, equipment and curriculum.

Infrastructure progress

Infrastructure progress is on track in terms of readiness for the site visit in October. The refurbishment of lecture and laboratory facilities for the new programme is well underway at the Missionvale Campus.

Ongoing engagement

In the interim, the University continues to actively engage with a range of stakeholders on this massive undertaking that offers a solution to some of the challenges that South Africa and, in particular, the Eastern Cape faces, especially in terms of health care and development opportunities. The latter particularly for Nelson Mandela Bay, and for the Missionvale area specifically.

Internally, infrastructure, resource viability and academic work streams continue to report to a steering committee led by Vice-Chancellor Professor Sibongile Muthwa in ensuring delivery of an innovative, sustainable medical programme that will serve South African health needs in line with the ethos of our namesake.


In light of the outstanding critical steps in the accreditation process, it is therefore unlikely that the medical programme will be offered from 2020, as initially envisaged.

Given the magnitude of introducing such an innovative health education model that will embrace the benefits of high-end technology and use a distributive training platform, sufficient time is needed post accreditation towards the appointment of new staff, completion of all digital and technology training, fine-tuning the selection criteria and entrenching relations with various partners.


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Contact information
Ms Zandile Mbabela
Media Manager
Tel: 0415042777