Nelson Mandela University
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|Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, University of Port Elizabeth, Port Elizabeth Technikon, Vista University PE campus and Saasveld Forestry College|
|Motto||Change the world|
|Established||1 January 2005 (merger of existing institutions)|
|Vice-Chancellor||Dr Sibongile Muthwa|
|Location||Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape and George, Western Cape, South Africa
|Campus||6 in Port Elizabeth and 1 in George|
|Colours||Dark Blue and Yellow|
|Affiliations||IAU, AAU, HESA, ACU|
|Sports||FNB Varsity Cup, Varsity Sports Football challenge|
|Mascot||Diba the dolphin|
Nelson Mandela University (formerly Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, NMMU) is a South African university with its main administration in the coastal city of Port Elizabeth. Nelson Mandela University was founded through a merger of three institutions in January 2005, but its history dates back to 1882, with the foundation of the Port Elizabeth Art School. The University draws international students from all over the world. There are over 3,000 international students, including students from the United States, France, China, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom and many African countries.
Nelson Mandela University is a comprehensive university offering professional and vocational training. The University has seven campuses – six in Port Elizabeth and one in George. The main campus of the university is South Campus. Students at Nelson Mandela University can study towards a diploma or a degree up to doctoral level qualifications. A number of courses include workplace experience as part of the curriculum at Nelson Mandela University. English is the university's medium of instruction.
- 1 History and formation
- 2 Governance and administration
- 3 Campuses
- 4 Facilities
- 5 Faculties
- 6 Research
- 7 Library
- 8 Students and staff
- 9 Student life
- 10 Residences
- 11 Sports
- 12 Music
- 13 Notable alumni and staff
- 14 References
- 15 External links
History and formation
Plans for the then NMMU where first revealed in 2002, by then Minister of Education, Kader Asmal. The proposal was a part of larger plan to restructure higher education in South Africa. The first step in the merger came with the incorporation of Vista PE by UPE on January 2, 2004 followed by the merger of PE Technikon and UPE on January 1, 2005.
NMMU was formed in 2005 through the merger of the Port Elizabeth Technikon, and the University of Port Elizabeth. In 2004, prior to the merger, UPE had taken control of the Port Elizabeth Campus of Vista University. PE Technikon had a satellite campus in George, which was also merged. The first Chancellor of the university was Chief Justice Pius Langa and Justice Ronnie Pillay was the first Chairperson of Council. Dr Rolf Stumpf was the first Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer of the university, who was then succeeded by Professor Derrick Swartz on January 1, 2008.
The name of the University was formally changed from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University to Nelson Mandela University on 20 July 2017.
PE Technikon had its roots in the Port Elizabeth Art School, which was founded in 1882 and was the oldest art school in South Africa, and was situated in Russell Road, Central. It was later renamed the College for Advanced Technical Education (CATE). The college moved to University Way in Summerstrand in 1974, and became PE technikon in 1979. The Port Elizabeth Teachers' Training College was located in 2nd Avenue, Summerstrand. It was taken over by PE Technikon in 1994, and became known as the College Campus.
Saasveld Forestry College was founded as the Tokai School for Forest Apprentices in 1912 in Cape Town. The school was an offshoot of the South African College Schools. In 1932, it moved to its current location, between George and Knysna. The campus was taken over by PE Technikon from the Department of Agriculture in 1985.
The Algoa College of Education was situated in Struandale, approximately 25 kilometres (16 mi) away from Summerstrand. It became part of the PE Technikon in 2001, and was known as the Algoa Campus. In 2001, the George Campus was added to by purchasing Hurteria Building in the city centre.
At the time of the merger, PE Technikon had more than 10 000 students. The institution's last Chancellor was former Speaker of Parliament Dr Frene Ginwala, the last Vice-Chancellor Prof Hennie Snyman and the last Chair of Council being Mr Clive Stanton.
University of Port Elizabeth (UPE)
UPE was the country's first dual-medium (English and Afrikaans) residential university. It came into being on January 31, with the adoption by Parliament of Act 1 of 1964. The first academic year commenced on March 1, 1965. Initially situated in a series of buildings on Bird Street, in the historic Central district, UPE moved to a modern, purpose-built campus – incorporating residences, a sports complex and the towering Main Building – in Summerstrand in 1974. The campus was officially opened in August 1975 and the final move from Bird Street came in 1979 with the opening of the science blocks at Summerstrand. The University retained some of its Bird Street buildings and these became the centre of community outreach activities.
Built on 830 ha of land donated by the then Port Elizabeth City Council, the campus was declared a nature reserve in 1983.
At the time of the merger, UPE had more than 9 000 contact students and almost 5 000 distance education students. The last Chancellor was Dr Brigalia Bam, the last Vice-Chancellor Prof Nthabiseng Ogude and the last Chair of Council Mr Trevor Jennings.
Vista University (Vista PE)
Vista was founded on 1981. The Port Elizabeth campus was built in 1982. Subsequently, seven decentralized contact tuition campuses were established, centred on township areas where the need for accessible and affordable higher education was most urgent. In 1982 the Port Elizabeth campus consisted of a small, prefabricated building patched between the national road to Uitenhage and the edge of Zwide township. Its location opened up access to higher education for many students from socially and financially disadvantaged backgrounds.
The campus had its first academic year in 1983 and in 1991 a permanent brick structure was completed. Later additions such as the Conference Hall and Arena provided accessible facilities for the surrounding community for large events. With seating for 5 000, the Arena is the Eastern Cape’s largest indoor venue.
Initially focused on the upgrading of teachers through its Education Faculty, in its subsequent growth Vista far surpassed the narrow field of expertise cut out for it, producing graduates in business, law, science and the humanities.
At the time of the merger, Vista PE had approximately 2 000 students and was led by Acting Campus Principal Prof Miemie Struwig. with its first academic year in 1983. It was taken over by UPE.
Governance and administration
The ceremonial head of the university is the Chancellor, who, in the name of the university, confers all qualifications. The Vice-Chancellor is responsible for the day-to-day running of the university. Deputy Vice-Chancellors for Research and Engagement, Teaching and Learning, Institutional Support as well as the Registrar, acting as the Secretary to the University's Council, assist the Vice-Chancellor in his duties. There is an Executive Dean for each faculty, as well as teaching and learning. Other management committee positions are the Dean of Students, and campus principals for the Missionvale and George campuses.
The current Chancellor is Santie Botha, appointed in 2010. The current Vice-Chancellor is Professor Derrick Swartz, who was appointed in 2008. He is the former Vice-Chancellor and Principal at Fort Hare University, where he is credited for leading a profound turnaround strategy. He founded the Institute of Government in 1995 and served as Professor and Chair of Inter-Governmental Relations. The current George Campus principal is Professor Quinton Johnson, who was appointed in April 2013. and the current Missionvale campus principal is Dr Phakama Ntshongwana.
Former office bearers
- Pius Langa (Chancellor, 2006–2010)
- Dr RH Stumpf (interim Vice-Chancellor)
- NA Ogude (acting Vice-Chancellor)
- Professor Derrick Swartz (Former Vice-Chancellor)
- Dr Sibongile Muthwa (Current Vice Chancellor )
The university currently uses six campuses. Five of them are located in Port Elizabeth, and one is in George. The South, North and Second Avenue campuses are all situated in Summerstrand, Port Elizabeth close to the beach.
South Campus is the main campus of Nelson Mandela University and it houses the main administration in its 18-story Main Building and is home to Nelson Mandela University's Vice-Chancellor. It was built on 830 hectares (2,100 acres) of land donated by the then Port Elizabeth City Council. The campus was declared a nature reserve in 1983, which covers 830 hectares and a conservation site for fynbos vegetation. The reserve has 22 mammal species (including springbok), 16 reptile species, four amphibian species, and 66 bird species. The 4.8 km Grysbok Trail is great for hiking and starts at the Biological Sciences parking area. Nelson Mandela University is also the only university in South Africa to offer game drives in a 4X4 vehicle. The campus is also home to the High Resolution Transmission Electron Microscope centre housing four state-of-the-art electron microscopes, including the only double aberration corrected transmission electron microscope on the African continent, making Nelson Mandela University the only place in Africa where one can view atoms.
North Campus is located adjacent to the South Campus. It was the main campus of PE Technikon before the merger. The campus houses the Engineering Building including a recently built bitumen Lab, conference centre, and many of the university’s support services along with the Art School. The Nelson Mandela UniversityArt School has a stained glass studio and is the only university in South Africa to offer studies in stained glass. This Campus has residence facilities for over 1000 students and also offers sport facilities and recreational areas.
2nd Avenue Campus
The campus was the PE Technikon's College Campus, and is now used for various diploma programmes. The campus is situated directly opposite the Boardwalk Casino and Entertainment complex and is about 5 km from the North and South Campuses. It houses the Business School - the first building in South Africa to receive an official Green Star design rating by the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) which uses this building as an official benchmark standard for future building designs in South Africa. Also on this campus is the university’s Archives and Exhibition Centre and the Governance unit. In addition, the campus offers sport and recreation facilities and residence accommodation for about 500 students. The Department of Fashion and Textile Design also calls Second Avenue home. The MMM Loubser Hall is on this campus which often hosts concerts and shows for the student body.
The campus is located along Johnson Road in the Missionvale area, within reach of communities such as Zwide and New Brighton. It is accessible on the thoroughfare between Port Elizabeth and Uitenhagea location identified as a major growth area by the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality. The Campus offers academic programmes in Engineering, the Built Environment and Information Technology, Business and Economic Sciences, Health Sciences and Law and will soon be home to the university’s Foundation Studies programme in the Faculty of Education. It was the PE campus of Vista University, and now houses the largest indoor venue in the Province.
Bird Street Campus
The campus was used by Rhodes University, prior to becoming the initial campus of the University of Port Elizabeth. It is located in PE's central business district. It was recently home to the university's Business School but is now being converted into the university's art hub. The historic buildings on this campus are home to the School of Music, Art & Design’s postgraduate programmes, the Jazz Unit, a conservatoire, a culturally-focussed “American Corner” to promote cultural engagement and a visual arts incubator providing technical and business support to selected “incubates” as they start up their own creative businesses. The campus also houses the newly built Oppidani (Off-Campus) Study Centre for students who live off campus, including a computer lab that is available throughout the week.
Ocean Sciences Campus
This is the university's newest campus (under construction in the early part of 2017) and is situated in Summerstrand, Port Elizabeth - in between the North and South Campuses. The Campus will focus on the inter-disciplinary Ocean Sciences activities of the university.
The George Campus is located 8 km outside the city centre (between George and Knysna) and specialises in environmental studies, particularly forestry, nature conservation and game ranch management. The George Campus is at the foot of the Outeniqua Mountains of George in the Southern Cape. The Campus aims to be a knowledge catalyst for the green economy and a more sustainable future through research, engagement, quality teaching and learning, innovation and entrepreneurship. The campus has gym facilities, a swimming pool, rugby stadium, football and cricket fields, tennis and squash courts, mountain bike and hiking trails, as well as residence facilities.
The University Shop is an Alumni project supported by the Nelson Mandela University Alumni Association that aims to promote and develop the Nelson Mandela University brand.
The University Shop is located at the Sanlam Student Village on University Way, Summerstrand. Satellite University Shops also operate on Missionvale and George Campus.
Nelson Mandela University Archives and Exhibition Centre
The Archives is the official repository of all historically significant University records and also of material that is necessary for research regarding the University. The Nelson Mandela University Archive Exhibition Centre was established at the beginning of 2011. The Exhibition Centre is housed in the Governance Administration Building on the 2nd Avenue Summerstrand Campus. The Centre can be visited from Monday - Friday.
The Nelson Mandela University Archive Exhibition Centre exhibits historic and cultural collections that reflect the origins of the University and the community within which it operates, as well as the development and achievements of its officers, staff, students, alumni and prominent persons and organisations associated with the University.
- Rendezvous Café
- Madibaz Café
- Madibaz Express
- Business Café
- Vodacom Nelson Mandela University Indoor Sport Centre (South Campus)
- Fitness & Aquatics Centre (South Campus)
- Nelson Mandela University Indoor Sport Centre (Missionvale Campus)
- Nelson Mandela University Madibaz Stadium (South Campus)
- Soccer, Rugby and Cricket Fields on most campuses
- Tennis and Netball Courts (North, South, Second Avenue and George Campuses)
Auditoriums and Conference Centres
- North Campus Conference Centre
- MMM Loubser Auditorium (Second Avenue Campus)
- Goldfields Auditorium (North Campus)
- Missionvale Campus Conference Centre
Faculty of Business and Economic Sciences
The faculty is made up of five schools, and offers courses on the 2nd Avenue, George, Missionvale and South Campuses. In addition, the Business School offers its Master of Business Administration program at satellite facilities in Cape Town, Centurion and East London. The MBA program received a four star rating (the highest possible) from Eduniversal.
- Nelson Mandela University Business School
- School for Industrial Psychology and Human Resources
- School of Accounting
- School of Economics, Development and Tourism
- School of Management Sciences
Faculty of Education
The faculty is made up of three schools.
- School for Initial Teacher Education
- School for Continuing Professional Development
- School for Education Research & Engagement
Faculty of Engineering, the Built Environment and Information Technology (EBEIT)
The faculty is made up of three schools, and offers courses on the North and South Campuses.
- School of Engineering
- School of Information and Communication Technology
- School of the Built Environment
Faculty of Health Sciences
The faculty is made up of four schools, and offers courses on the South Campus.
- School of Behavioural Sciences
- School of Clinical Care Sciences
- School of Lifestyle Sciences
- School of Medicinal Sciences
Faculty of Science
The faculty is made up of four schools, and offers courses on the North and South Campuses.
- School of Biomolecular & Chemical Sciences
- School of Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics and Statistics
- School of Environmental Sciences
- School of Natural Resource Management
The DVC: Research & Engagement portfolio is made up of the following departments/entities:
- Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research & Engagement
- Department of Research Management
- Department of Research Capacity Development
- Innovation Office
- HIV/AIDS Research Unit
- Library & Information Services
- Office for International Education
- Centre for Academic Engagement & Collaboration
- Centre for Advancement of Non-Racialism & Democracy
Nelson Mandela University Library and Information Services encompasses the university's six libraries. The libraries are located on the universities South, North, Second Avenue, Business School and George campus, with the main administration run from the South Campus library. All of the libraries use the Library of Congress Classification system for their books, and share a common university data base.
Students and staff
In 2017 there were approx. 27 000, students enrolled at the university. The student body's racial make up is 59% Black, 25% White, 14% Coloured and 2% Asian. Students from other African countries make up 6.5% of the student body, with a further 1.5% coming from non-African countries.
The university employed 4063 staff members. Their racial make up is 69% White, 28% Black, 2.6% Coloured and 0.4% Asian.
Student Representative Council (SRC)
The Student Representative Council (SRC) is the highest decision-making body of student governance. It represents all students at and their overall interest and social well-being in the university. It is involved in policy-making and co-operative decision-making on campus. it also often hosts social events for the student body.
The SRC is elected annually by the students and consists of 21 members who represent other student organizations. The SRC is a very important stakeholder within Nelson Mandela University, as there is no decision that can be taken without the student voice.
Arts, Culture & Heritage Unit
The Arts, Culture & Heritage Unit is involved in the broader Arts and cultural communities in the Nelson Mandela Metro and beyond. It represents the university community's involvement in the Arts and its development within this sector, and strives to provide learning and developmental opportunities for students by integrating activities and programmes into the broader learning and living objectives of the university. Their events ensure engagement in learning outside the lecture hall and encourage the social integration of the Nelson Mandela University Student body.
The NMMYou is the university's student run newspaper. The newspaper, released monthly takes the form of an electronic newspaper, tying in with the green image and footprint of the University as a whole. A dedicated team covers various categories and topics, including the covering of news, sport as well as various lifestyle tips and things to do in the Port Elizabeth area.
Student societies fall under three main groups: those managed by Arts & Culture, those managed by the Office for International Education, and those managed by Student Governance & Development.
Madibaz Radio is an online urban contemporary on campus music radio station that is focused on providing edutainment to the youth of Nelson Mandela Bay. The station carries a variety of programming including news, sports, and spoken word programming as well as general music. Madibaz Radio broadcasts in three official languages (English, Afrikaans and isiXhosa). The station broadcasts for 24hours live from the Nelson Mandela University South Campus, Monday to Sunday
The university has a number of residences. South Campus also offers housing for postgraduate students.
This residence is situated on the 2nd Avenue campus, and houses men and women. The residence is within walking distance of Port Elizabeth's beaches. Oceana Residence has separate housing for first year men and women. The students reside in mainly double rooms and share bathrooms. The residence can accommodate 112 ladies and 59 men. Facilities around the residences include a gym, sports fields and swimming pool.
Letaba & Lebombo Residences
These two residences are located on the North Campus, Letaba houses male students, while Lebombo houses female students. Lebombo can house 216 students. Letaba residence consists of ten individual double-storey units, each accommodating up to 34 students, with 272 students in total. The units comprise mainly double bedrooms and shared bathroom facilities, with recreational and sporting facilities including a swimming pool, tennis courts, sports fields and food courts.
This residence houses junior females. Melodi Residence is involved in sporting activities that are injunction with the Nelson Mandela University Residence League. The Residence swimming pool can be found at the Xanadu-Melodi (XM) Clubhouse. Students are able to study in the comfort of their room or to study at the Study Centre located behind the Residence. A computer lab where students can gain access to the internet and complete academic work if they do not have their own personal computers. The Residence is Wi-Fi enabled. Students are able to access Wi-Fi in the comfort of their room.
Xanadu Residence is an all-junior male residence located on the South campus, close to the Indoor Sports Centre. Each room in Xanadu houses two male students. Xanadu is an active living and learning environment that is centred on student participation. Students who live in Xanadu must have a desire to share their political, socio-economic and cultural knowledge with others as well as learn about political, socio-economic and cultural differences that are different from their own.
Veritas houses 309 ladies from all parts of the world with both single and sharing rooms, a conference room, a committee room, spacious bathrooms and lounges, as well as small flat lounges.
Unitas and Veritas were the first residences to be built at South Campus in 1972. Initially, Unitas was a male residence but with the increased demand for female residences, the Annex was converted into a female residence at the time of the merger (UPE to NMMU). Both Unitas Main and Annex feature single rooms with self-catering kitchens and are for senior male and female students. The Unitas residences are divided into 19 'flats' which house 17 students in each flat.
Sanlam Student Village-Indwe is a senior female residence that caters for 3rd year, 4th year, BTech and honours students. It is situated within walking distance from the south and north campuses.
Protea Residence is a modern self-catering residence for 312 senior students. It is located within the boundaries of the Sanlam Student Village.
Single rooms are configured in flatlets of two, three and four, sharing a kitchen, bathroom and a compact lounge. At the east end of each corridor, on each level, are common facilities such as a group study room, lounge and laundry. The buildings are "smart" and lights are controlled by sensors. The residence has fully accessible units reserved for people with mobility impairment. All four floors are serviced by elevators. The buildings are located between North and South campuses.
The George campus has four main residences, as well as 21 student houses on campus.
The university offers a variety of sports.
- Athletics: The athletics club is based at Xerox Nelson Mandela University Sports Stadium, on the South Campus. The stadium has an all-weather running track and is flood lit.
- Basketball: The Nelson Mandela University basketball club has an arena, with approximately 5000 seats, in indoor centre, located on the Missionvale Campus. As of 2013, the club has two men's teams and one women's team. The teams play in the USSA Eastern Cape League.
- Cricket: The Nelson Mandela University cricket club plays in the Eastern Province Super League, the highest league in Port Elizabeth. It has a cricket field located at the Summerstrand South Campus and at the 2nd Avenue Campus. The current club and its predecessors has produced national cricketers Ashwell Prince, Robin Peterson, Wayne Parnell and Simon Harmer.
- Golf: The University is situated right next to Humewood Golf Club (though located in Summerstrand). Nelson Mandela University students get special incentives at the Humewood Golf Club, if they are registered with the Nelson Mandela University Golf Club.
- Hockey: The Port Elizabeth hockey club is based on the North Campus, which has an Astro turf hockey pitch, with flood-lights. The team plays in the Eastern Province Premier League. The George campus has a hockey club based at York High School
- Netball: The 2nd Avenue and South campuses have outdoor netball courts. Netball is also played at the Indoor Sports Centres on Missionvale and South campuses. The netball team competes in the Varsity Sports Netball competition.
- Rugby: The rugby club is based at the Xerox Nelson Mandela UniversitySports Stadium on the South Campus. Nelson Mandela University participates in the FNB Varsity Cup, for universities, as well as the Eastern Province Grand Challenge, a club championship.
- Soccer: The Xerox Nelson Mandela University Sports Stadium is the home to NMMU F.C.. The club plays in the Varsity Sports Football challenge and the Port Elizabeth Football Association Premier Division. The stadium was used as a training venue during the 2010 FIFA World Cup. and 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. Residence soccer leagues exist.
- Tennis: The Nelson Mandela University Tennis club has tennis courts located on all campuses. On the South Campus, there are 14 tennis courts at the tennis complex.
- Other sports:
- Indoor sports include: aerobics, underwater hockey, bodybuilding (Nelson Mandela University has an on campus gym and its own Biokinetics & Sport Science Unit/Centre), indoor swimming, boxing, chess, dance, judo, karate, squash and table tennis.
- Outdoor sports include: surfing, body-boarding, hiking, rowing, softball, swimming, volleyball, badminton, archery and horse-racing.
Notable alumni and staff
- Styli Charalambous, CEO and publisher of Daily Maverick
- Johan de Nysschen, Executive Vice President of General Motors and President of Cadillac
- Nashwa Eassa, non-particle physicist
- Dr Bridgette Gasa, youngest member of the National Planning Commission
- Johan Jooste, Chief Investment Officer, Bank of Singapore
- Kemp J Kemp SC, advocate for South African president Jacob Zuma
- Alan Knott-Craig (Jnr) – technology entrepreneur
- Eben Olivier, former Springbok rugby player 
- David Powels, MD of Volkswagen do Brasil
- Dave Richardson – ICC general manager and former Proteas cricket player
- Paul Treu, rugby coach
- Eben Venter, Afrikaans novelist and master's graduate
- André Vos, former Springbok captain
- Garth Wright, former Springbok rugby player 
- Songezo Zibi, Head of Communications at Barclays Africa and former editor of Business Day
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