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01/07/2021

Yesterday afternoon (30 June 2021), the Minister of Higher Education, Training, Science and Innovation, Dr Blade Nzimande, outlined sector-specific guidelines pertaining to the move to National Lockdown Adjusted Alert Level 4 announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa earlier this week.

As indicated by the President and elaborated on by the Minister, universities must plan how they will navigate the academic project during Adjusted Alert Level 4 within the provisions of the various regulations.

Throughout the pandemic, Nelson Mandela University has planned its response, in relation to both operations and learning and teaching, in such a way that it advances the academic project while ensuring – as far as possible – the utmost safety and wellbeing of its staff and students. We have always sought to balance #SaveLives with #CompleteAY2021.

Our response is further guided by the overarching principles of agility, adaptability, and equality as well as sensitivity to the varying contexts and needs of all our students. All of this is anchored in our resolve towards social justice.

Consequently, the following will apply:

  1. All on-campus mask-to-mask classes and experiential learning activities for groups of students ended  yesterday (30 June 2021). There are a few exceptions, which lecturers will communicate to individual students.
  2. All learning and teaching activities will continue online as we move to complete the first semester in July. Most of these activities will relate to end-of-module assessments (EMAs) and exams.  There will be no mask-to-mask exams in July. Instead, all exams will be online. There might be a few exams that will be postponed to when we can do mask-to-mask sessions again. Lecturers will communicate with students around any changes to the planned assessments for July.
  3. Residences will continue accommodating students until the recess period. Any student who might need to remain in the residences for academic reasons during recess should notify Student Housing in order to be accommodated. Other cases will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.  International students will remain in their respective residences.

Over the next two weeks, as per the Minister’s address, no mass social or other activities will be allowed on campuses, including residences. As a precautionary measure, the University’s gym will be closed, and all Madibaz sport training suspended for this period. 

Let us be reminded that we each have a responsibility and role to play in preventing the spread of the virus through non-pharmaceutical interventions – wearing masks, maintaining physical distancing and sanitising or washing hands with soap and water. These seemingly mundane tasks go a long way to protecting ourselves and those around us from this highly contagious virus that has affected nearly 2-million people nationally and claimed way too many lives.

In this fluid time, staff, students, and all University stakeholders are advised to regularly check the internal institutional communication channels, as well as the University’s website and official social media platforms for further updates.

Coronavirus Task Team

Contact information
Ms Zandile Mbabela
Media Manager
Tel: 0415042777
Zandile.Mbabela@mandela.ac.za