Nelson Mandela University - about us

Nelson Mandela University is a new generation university, distinguished by the wide range of study options and access routes open to students, and a firm commitment to harnessing the university's knowledge resources to contribute to local and regional development.

Aknowledging the past while focusing firmly on the future, Nelson Mandela University is committed to being a university of and for the new South Africa. Founded on more than a century of quality higher education, Nelson Mandela University nurtures innovation, fosters creativity, embraces technology and develops people to meet the challenges of tomorrow. Quality higher education is offered to more than 24 000 students across six campuses, making Nelson Mandela University the largest university in the Eastern and Southern Cape. As an engaged university, Nelson Mandela University aims to develop programmes, conduct research and offer services that are responsive to community needs, and to encourage reciprocal relations with universities nationally and internationally, especially in Africa.

Our commitment to the advancement of knowledge in the service of society is reflected in our programmes and structures to grow research capacity and support innovation and technology transfer. We are proud to be a valued partner in the socio-economic development of our region - enabling entrepreneurs, nurturing innovators, empowering communities and developing leaders.

We have the vision to see beyond the present, and the leadership to pioneer the future.

what do we offer?

Nelson Mandela University is one of six comprehensive universities in South Africa, offering both general and professionally oriented university programmes as welle as techonologically and career oriented programmes, from entrance level (certificate) through to research, working extensively in partnership with business and industry.

Our range of undergraduate programmes equips students for careers in more than 130 broad fields. Programmes are internationally recognized and accredited by the relevant professional bodies. Nelson Mandela University offers extended curriculum programmes to provide access for underprepared students, as well as a range of academic support programmes and student services. Comprehensive financial aid packages are available to assist financially needy, academically deserving students and top achievers are rewarded through a merit award system. Nelson Mandela University's planned Maths and Science Centre of Excellence at the Missionvale Campus is an active strategic intervention to enhance access and grow a pool of learners for the national priority areas of science, engineering, technology, building sciences, business, education and health sciences.

All academic, access, outreach and skills development activities focused on science, maths, technology and literacy development will be located in a focused hub on this campus, which has been extensively upgraded. The Nelson Mandela University business School, housed at the Bird Street Campus in Central, Port Elizabeth, offers a fully-accredited MBA degree as welle as highly sought-after practical programmes for all levels of management.

our location

Five of Nelson Mandela University's campuses are situated in Nelson Mandela Bay comprising of Port Elizabeth, Uitenhage and Despatch located in the Eastern Cape Province. These campuses are located in Summerstrand (three campuses, in Bird Street in the heart of the city, and in Missionvale.

Situated on the Garden Route, midway between Port Elizabeth and Cape Town, lies Georges - home to the George Campus of Nelson Mandela University. This scenic campus houses two centres of excellence - the School of Natural Resource Management and the School for Business and Social Sciences.

The Nelson Mandela University campuses are located within two provinces, namely the Eastern and Western Cape, both these provinces are severely affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The prevalence rates according to the national seroprevalence studies (DoH 2006) in the Eastern Cape is 29% and the Western Cape is 15.2%. Various HIV/AIDS programmes initiated by faculties on all campuses form an integral part of the institutional community outreach function thus benefitting the local communities as welle as the student population within their immediate geographical locations.



Total number of students: 23 688    
Distance education: 3 934   16.6%
Contact students: 19 217   81.1%
Non-formal students: 537   2.39%
Postgraduate students: 2 675   11.3%
Students from the Eastern Cape: 16 820   71.0%
International students: 1 945   08.2%
Student ethnicity:
African: 14 374   60.7%
Coloured: 2 874   12.1%
Indian: 600   02.5%
White: 5 840   24.7%
Student gender:
Female: 13 001   54.9%
Male: 10 687   45.1%
Total: 2 082   (permanent and temporary)
Female: 1 201   55.91%
Male: 881   44.09%
African: 518   24.9%
Coloured: 272   13.1%
Indian: 71   03.4%
White: 1 215   58.4%
Other: 6   0.2%
*As at December 2007      
**As at June 2008