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Change the world

17/05/2021

The first cohort of 50 medical students at Nelson Mandela University’s Medical School on Missionvale Campus are hard at work with their studies.

Their selection for the six-year Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB) degree from more than 5500 applicants, marks a pivotal moment in the history of the university, the metro and province in pursuit of this long-held dream.

The new medical school is the country’s tenth and, as part of the institution’s Faculty of Health Sciences, is committed to making a valuable contribution to accessible healthcare and go some way to addressing the dire shortage of doctors nationally.

“As a university with a deliberate posture to be in the service of society, the Medical School makes a tangible contribution to our responsibility to take forward the legacy of Nelson Mandela by building skills and expanded capacity for pro-poor and accessible healthcare service delivery,” says Mandela University Vice-Chancellor Professor Sibongile Muthwa.

Last week Prof Muthwa welcomed the new medical students at a small, internal Oath Taking ceremony on Missionvale Campus.

The official launch of the Medical School will only take place after the pandemic for safety reasons.

The first 50 students are mainly school-leavers and who from across the country and were selected according to strict criteria. They began their studies on 23 March and recently completed their first test.

The Medical School’s strong community-based approach is aimed at graduating socially conscious medical doctors who can compete globally but who also have a deep passion to change the lives of poor communities.

This is why the University intentionally placed the programme in the heart of Missionvale township. Through experiential learning here, students will come to understand South Africa’s real health care needs by emphasising preventive and promotive health, as well as population and community health.

Professor Fikile Nomvete, as Director of the Medical School, is leading a team of top academics. Together with clinicians on the service delivery platform in clinics and hospitals, they are committed to ensuring the success of the medical students.

It is also their quest to honour the late Professor Lungile Pepeta who, as the former Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, tirelessly drove the creation of our new Medical School. It was his vision that guided the development of medical degree curriculum to better serve all South Africans, particularly the marginalised and vulnerable, about whom he cared greatly.

Next year’s intake - with applications now open for 2022 - will be increased to 80 as per the accreditation decision by the Health Professions Council for South Africa (HPCSA).

The first cohort of Mandela University medical students with some of the staff from the Medical School and the Vice-Chancellor (second from the left) at the recent Oath Taking Ceremony.

Contact information
Mrs Debbie Derry
Deputy Director: Communication
Tel: 041 504 3057
debbie.derry@mandela.ac.za