Change the world

For any university, its alumni are more than just graduates. Once they cross the stage and enter the workplace, these alumni become ambassadors who carry the university’s values and accomplishments into the world.

South Africa has a shortage of teachers, so how do we get the teachers we need for the education we want?


With the flutter of fins, Zandile Ndhlovu disappears underwater. While it feels like she is gone, the ripples she leaves on the surface extend way beyond this dive.

South Africa and seemingly the rest of the world is experiencing a shortage of software developers.

Gender-based violence (GBV) is a global public health concern. Evidence shows that women and girls are at a higher risk of experiencing GBV than men. 

On Tuesday, Nelson Mandela University joined educational and other organisations across the world to celebrate International Mother Language Day.

Nelson Mandela Univerisity Faculty of Education Dean Dr Muki Moeng outlines the benefits of being a comprehensive university.

It is common among people with disabilities to assume that access to higher education learning opportunities is difficult to achieve.

In the law of the sea, which is international law about the relationship between states and how they conduct themselves at sea, there has been an evolution in ocean governance, from the attitude that you can do whatever you like out there — hence the expression “freedom of the seas” — to the awareness of a pressing need for far greater collective ocean governance. 

Despite the many policy reforms and investment in education for almost 30 years of democracy, we witness less commitment to its improvement.

Only a sense of urgency, thinking outside the box, will set Ramaphosa apart.

Nelson Mandela University Faculty of Business and Economic Sciences department head Dr Ayanda Deliwe reflects on what makes someone a leader.

Matthew 25 is a well-known scripture referring to Jesus challenging us as his followers to reach out to those who are hungry and thirsty, without clothes and in jail.

Places where many people gather to work, study or live, and where they do not pay the water bill directly, are magnets for high water consumption.
Can Nelson Mandela University’s new medical school contribute healthcare change that benefits communities in the Nelson Mandela Bay metro and Eastern Cape?

Time is not on our side. For every year we do not achieve e-readiness in our schools, our learners fall behind. They don’t have access to online education lessons and all the incredible online resources that can be rolled out to every single school in the country once they are ICT-ready.

Floods, fires, droughts and other natural hazards are a fact of life – but many communities refuse to recognise the risk.


This year is the centenary of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics of which South Africa is one of the 13 founding members, and which has 60 member countries. 

The radical digital transformation of the financial services sector has severely affected the most vulnerable in our society.

All of our lives are increasingly impacted by global sustainability challenges. We are living in a historical time in which the world labours under multiple pandemics, including leadership crises, poverty, inequality, hunger, environmental degradation, racism and other forms of discrimination

How can we end the rape epidemic when we consistently ignore the insights that come from anti-rape activists?

To ensure productivity, leaders must constructively engage with the experience of all stakeholders — employees, clients, customers, service providers and consultants.

As higher education institutions we have to partner with schools to encourage more girl and boy learners to study maths and science. South African universities are not seeing sufficient enrolments in these subjects which are critical for research, innovation and the future of work. 

During a water shortage, water-saving strategies are widely communicated by municipalities to encourage minimal domestic use.

Nelson Mandela Bay has descended into a city under siege if the rampant killings that have gripped the metro are anything to go by.

The beautiful Garden Route natural landscape is undoubtedly one of the biggest assets of the George Campus of the Nelson Mandela University.

South African universities need to be globally competitive to attract partnerships, investment and top academic staff and students.

After two weeks of painful destruction in the Sundays River Valley, it is time for serious reflection.
In his latest book sociologist Professor Roger Southall, a prolific researcher who has written extensively about political dynamics in Southern Africa, avoids the “negative and condemnatory” approach generally seen in writing on white South Africans, the creators and beneficiaries of apartheid.

With the advent of missionary education and the introduction of literacy in 1823, black women and men in the Eastern Cape started to articulate, in writing, their discomfort with an education that uprooted their knowledge and values and replaced them with Western concepts of knowing.

The Eastern Cape has the highest level of biodiversity in SA. As such, it is important to protect the province’s flora and fauna from habitat loss, alien species, pollution, human activity and overconsumption. 

Computational and data science is a new essential language, and all students and graduates today need to be versed in computational thinking and data-handling skills.

Last year was a momentous one for Nelson Mandela University due to the long-awaited opening of the medical school on our Missionvale campus.

Without water and electricity, a university cannot have classes and use its technological infrastructure to drive research innovation and quality teaching and learning on a daily basis.

South Africa depends immensely on its natural resources for energy. This realisation has recently once more caused a stir in communities concerned about ecological devastation.

As the campaign against Shell intensifies, it is clear that local communities in South Africa are culturally diverse, hold rich knowledge foundations, espouse an environmental holism, and are deeply concerned about ocean and coastal health. 

Recently, South Africans witnessed protests against Shell’s proposed 3D seismic survey of the Wild Coast and the Amazon/River Club development in Cape Town.

As many across the country watched the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) interviews for South Africa’s next chief justice, patriarchy, the script of meritocracy and power intersected in public view.

Today marks 45 years since the Soweto uprising, a series of protests led by black schoolchildren in SA that began on June 16 1976 in response to the use of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction.

South Africa has implemented the Protection of Personal Information Act, according to which you have to give specific, wilful and informed consent for any party to use your personal information.

“We need a global advertising campaign that excites people to start safeguarding the Earth’s biodiversity on which we all depend and which we are currently losing at an alarming rate,” says South African scientist, Emeritus Professor Richard Cowling of the African Centre for Coastal Palaeoscience at the Nelson Mandela University.  

The whole of Central should be to Nelson Mandela University what Braamfontein is to Wits University, Greenwich Village is to New York University, and Bloomsbury and Camden are to the University of London.

In December 2019, news of a novel coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China, began circulating. The implications for global health were unknown, though there were murmurs of a potential pandemic.
There is so much more we can do to improve the health, quality of life and lifespan of everyone in SA, and, at the same time, achieve a better return from public health spend.
A Math-Art Competition for schools that was started to encourage pupils’ interest in maths and to stimulate creativity, critical thinking and problem-solving, has had a number of unanticipated and powerful outcomes.
As an engaged institution, Nelson Mandela University is committed to playing its part in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic by sharing of its expertise in partnership with others.
SA has enacted labour legislation aimed at protecting employee workplace rights. However, employees continue to suffer injustices and vulnerability when these rights are violated.

2020 will go down in higher education history as a time when we created pathways while walking.

The Covid-19 vaccination booking system developed by our team at Nelson Mandela University’s Centre for Community Technologies (CCT) was launched on Tuesday February 23.

The state-of-the-art Albertina Nontsikelelo Sisulu Science Centre was launched in Cofimvaba in the Eastern Cape on October 6, and from its conceptualisation the faculty of science at Nelson Mandela University was deeply involved.

What is being offered as schooling in rural South Africa is not nearly good enough and we need to stand together as communities to create something better; create community schools that produce top-achieving learners based on a culture of learning and teaching.

The 2021 Nobel prize in physics, shared by three laureates, means the conversation about climate change should no longer be about debating the science itself or whether climate change is real, but rather on what we should be doing about it. 

Over the last 18 months, our mental health and wellbeing have been stretched to their absolute limits.

Challenging the scepticism and resistance in the public response to the COVID-19 vaccine is deeply important to the state of public health.

Behavioural economics is key to helping escape the Eastern Cape’s water crisis – understanding how people view water allows for the development of strategies that can help change these views, and then the behaviour, in a systematic way.

The UN designated the decade 2014-2024 as the Decade of Sustainable Energy for All.

Close analysis of global heritage identification and conservation reveals enduring inequalities. 

The Covid-19 pandemic has tremendously impacted our student community by drawing bold lines that essentially deprive us of physical interactions, which used to define a vibrant student life known for its enriching experience through socialisation with one’s peers, while developing skills needed for university and beyond.

The Nelson Mandela Bay Metro and adjacent Kouga Municipality will soon run out of water.

The notion of the engaged university is far removed from its historical definitional identity. 

We want to send our medical graduates out into the world knowing how to practise primary healthcare in holistic, culturally sensitive and comprehensive ways. Impoverished areas – urban and rural – are massively underserved, and this was a major factor for Nelson Mandela University to place our new medical school in Missionvale.

Research and innovation in the ocean economy is essential if SA and Africa are to nurture the sector and contribute to the growth of the national and continental economies.

Each August, South Africans turn our collective attention to women’s historic contributions and contemporary value.

My personal experience of having worked with young adults in higher education for more than 30 years is that students who grew up in adverse social economic circumstances but who had the benefit of being exposed to reading from an early age, generally excelled despite their circumstances.

Ongama Mtimka writes that as Mandela month comes to a close, we should think about how we emulate the values Madiba modelled in order to honour his legacy.

Youth Month, June 2021, the month Nelson Mandela University launched its vaccination programme, will be remembered at our institution, and perhaps the higher education sector, as a critical moment in the ongoing battle to contain and turn the tide against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sport forms a critical component of SA’s social fabric and is recognised as one of the key pillars of nation building.

We are on the cusp of change and have always been in a changing world.

To meet the challenges of the climate crisis involves a fundamental rethink of how living and working spaces are designed and constructed. 

As SA heralds Gqeberha’s Aspen Pharmacare for producing 30 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, a chemistry professor in the same city is quietly hoping to take the drug story much further.

The third COVID-19 wave is due to hit the two big Eastern Cape metros of Nelson Mandela Bay and Buffalo City by the end of March/beginning of April. This is sooner than expected and we are confident of the prediction as it is based on a range of local and regional data and on a year of national modelling, from the time that COVID-19 hit South Africa in March 2020.

It is a massive concern that the official unemployment rate among people aged 15 to 34 in the fourth quarter of 2020 was 46%. 

When Klaus Schwab, the Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, coined the phrase ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ (4IR), he argued that this new industrial revolution would happen at an exponential pace, and that new technologies would change society in unpredictable ways. 

It is often hard to find light in the seemingly endless pandemic. Still, perhaps the single most valuable consequence for higher education during this time is that it has forced us to reimagine ways in which to reach and engage our students, industries and communities, and provided unexpected insights into what is possible when technology is optimally leveraged.

SA’s 10th medical school opens its doors this year at Nelson Mandela University after the idea of building a medical school in Port Elizabeth was first mooted in the 1940s.

A Covid-19 resurgence is upon us, as evidenced by the rising number of cases nationally. In particular, the Nelson Mandela Bay metro and George, where our campuses are situated, have been flagged as hotspots as the numbers continue to rise.

It takes a village to raise a child, and our experience from the onset of the coronavirus pandemic has demonstrated that our “village ” has many actors, or stakeholders, willing to ensure that our children achieve holistic education outcomes in a system still characterised by glaring inequality, especially in socio-economically marginalised communities.

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced academics to reflect and reimagine teaching and learning.

Professor Lungile Pepeta passed away on August 7. He was just 46 years of age.

The rural village of Ludeke in the town of Mbizana in the Alfred Nzo region of our province, birthed, grew and honed a fine young man, who would not only make them proud, but also ceaselessly exemplify his roots — humble beginnings, reaffirm his identity and most importantly, connect and carry the aspirations of his people, particularly the youth. 

Has the Eastern Cape hit the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic? While this question is on the lips of many, the answer, at least for the Eastern Cape, is no.

Right now South Africa needs to start reimagining our schools as places of hope and opportunity, not only for our children but for the residents of the area in which they are situated.

I write this reflection on those “Six Days in August” (the title of a DVD by Mikale Barry), the Northern Areas uprising in 1990, with a visceral memory of that tumultuous time in our history.

A shortage of nurses and doctors, coupled with the health sector's failure to have a coordinated response in the Eastern Cape, has ensured a tsunami wave is on its way, the dean of the Department of Health Sciences at the Nelson Mandela University, Professor Lungile Pepeta, has told News24. 

Hospitals in Nelson Mandela Bay were implementing emergency plans on Monday as the number of coronavirus cases in the metro neared 5,000 and was expected to double in the next 10 days.

Some schools, predominantly the better-resourced schools, have been able to carry on with teaching online whereas in many other schools, learners have had to make do with a couple of radio and television lessons.

Who would have thought that internal marketing would pay off at a time like this? Where traditional marketing focuses on satisfying external customers, internal marketing focuses on keeping internal customers — that is, the employees — happy.

The Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown have created significant challenges for the higher education sector, and our universities and colleges are working hard on strategies and solutions to achieve the end goal of catching up and completing the 2020 academic year.

Nelson Mandela University’s conundrum – online teaching when 35% of students don’t have digital access.

We need to mask up and ramp up local solutions to break the Covid-19 transmission chain in our diverse urban, township, informal settlement and rural communities.

The Covid-19 pandemic has shown the need for South Africa to manufacture life-saving drugs.