Giving to Mandela University



“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to Change the World.” Nelson Mandela

On 20 July 2017, the university was officially renamed Nelson Mandela University, the only university in the world to carry the name of the global icon Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. Previously known as Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) which was established on 1 January 2005, it was the result of the merging of the PE Technikon, the University of Port Elizabeth (UPE) and the incorporation of the  Port Elizabeth campus of Vista University (Vista PE).

Nelson Mandela University is today a sought-after educational destination and the most diverse university in South Africa. Nelson Mandela dedicated his life to improving society and changing the world for the better and as the university that uniquely carries his name, we are honoured  and confident that we can do justice to his legacy. We embrace Mandela’s challenge and honour his name by leading our university into an era of transformative innovation, development and change. Gifts from alumni and friends of Nelson Mandela University are critical in supporting the institution in realizing its mission and goals and being in service to society. We are grateful for every contribution from individuals, foundations and private and public organisations.


Why give to Mandela University

Your kind donation is important because...
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Ways to give

Find out more about the various ways you can contribute, as well as applicable tax legislation.

Nelson Mandela University Trust

Find out what the Nelson Mandela University Trust is about.




Initiatives you can support


Despite Nelson Mandela University’s belief that no academically deserving student should be denied access to education due to their financial situation, there are still those who cannot take up the chance to study further.

There are many unfunded students and students in need of additional financial support, including:

  • “Missing middle” students
  • Students with historical debt and
  • Postgraduate students.

Broadening “access for success” for these groups is an important step in the transformation of the University. View more...

It also will contribute to breaking the cycle of inter-generational poverty, and to promoting greater social justice in South Africa.

However, the national drive to widen access to higher education by the government has increased the demand for funding for students who cannot be supported by statutory bodies, such as the National Students Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).

While it plays a huge role in funding students across the country, NSFAS does not provide funding to postgraduate students, who are more intensively involved in research.

There is therefore a great need for financial support for postgraduate students, particularly for financially needy final-year students whose dream is to go on to an honours or further degree.

Certain career fields also require advanced and further qualifications, which has an impact on NSFAS-funded students.

It also does not cover the so-called “missing middle” students, where their household income is too high to qualify for NSFAS funding but not high enough to comfortably afford tertiary education.

In addition, some students carry over historical debt from previous years, which prevents  them from graduating or receiving their certificates on completion of their studies. This becomes a challenge as they cannot gain employment without their certificates. 

A donation to Nelson Mandela University’s bursary and scholarship programme is not only building a better future for these students, it also is building the future of the nation.

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Our aim is to support the blue economy by “conserving and sustainably using the oceans, seas, and marine resources…” (United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 14) as well as to address global goals such as poverty, partnerships, resilient communities and climate change. View more...

Nelson Mandela University’s Ocean Sciences campus established in 2017 is a hub for creative, pioneering transdisciplinary, postgraduate ocean sciences research, teaching, innovation, and engagement that will build, maintain and develop critical mass and strategic impact in key niche areas.

The mission of the campus will span the three interdependent spheres of sustainability being the promotion of sustainable livelihoods for coastal communities by tapping the economic potential of the oceans while preserving marine biodiversity and ecological integrity for the benefit of future generations.

Based on the Ocean Science campus are several research chairs and entities including:

  • Law of the Sea and Development in Africa
  • Ocean Science & Food Security
  • Marine Spatial Planning
  • Shallow Water Ecosystems
  • Oceans, Culture and Heritage
  • The FishFORCE Academy
  • The Marine Robotic Centre
  • A Drone Unit for maritime, safety, surveillance and related applications

Donations towards these chairs and entities would make a significant impact on the goal of economic growth and development while supporting livelihoods and the health of the ocean.

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Lauded as a beacon of hope for the region, province, and country as the need for medical professionals mounts, our medical school’s educational focus on the Missionvale Campus is on preventative medicine, promoting healthier lifestyles, community engagement to achieve good health and wellbeing, enhancing food security as a means of poverty alleviation, and supporting economic development through cutting-edge research. View more...

Amid the uncertainty that the Covid-19 pandemic brought, Nelson Mandela University opened its medical school – the 10th in South Africa – at its Missionvale campus last year.

Why give to the Mandela University Medical School?

  • It uses an innovative, transformative, distributive teaching model with an emphasis on comprehensive primary health care and preventative medicine with a focus on leveraging the benefits of technology to deliver effective health professions education.
  • Its transformative interprofessional education model (IPE) will see doctors study and develop alongside nurses, radiographers, psychologists, environmental health practitioners, pharmacists, emergency medical care students, and the like, to offer holistic and integrated health care that instils a multidisciplinary approach to health problems and solutions.
  • The Faculty of Health Sciences’ health care ethos includes an integration of preventative, promotive, curative and innovative healthcare.
  • The Mandela University six-year, MBChB degree (a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) aims to produce graduates who fulfil all the graduate attributes as defined by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) and go beyond, all in a unique, community- focused setting.

The Nelson Mandela Medical School provides an opportunity to shape local and national history through producing doctors that are well-versed in global health challenges and solutions and inspired to plough back lessons learnt into our communities through dedicated service. 

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Founded in April 2020, at the early stage of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Nelson Mandela University Convergence Fund serves as the primary external resource mobilisation vehicle for the Engagement and Transformation Portfolio which drives the university’s promotion of social justice and equality initiatives.

Unlike the Learning and Teaching, and the Research Portfolios, the Engagement and Transformation work of the university is a mandate which is currently not receiving an equitable level of funding by the Department of Higher Education. Hence, the quest to mobilise resources in support of Nelson Mandela University's endeavours to explore co-constructed solutions to societal issues like hunger, unemployment, GBV, and psycho-socio-emotional challenges through the Hubs of Convergence. View more...

The objectives of the Mandela University Convergence Fund include:

  1. Mobilising resources for the University to contribute directly to challenges facing communities in aftermath of the pandemic.
  2. Enabling the University to partner with a range of stakeholder-communities, including civil society organisations, NGOs and other relevant structures to address poverty, deprivation and hunger in a pragmatic and practical manner.
  3. Providing the University community with a practical mechanism for expressing solidarity by donating funding to address inequalities in our society.
  4. Giving practical expression to our value of Ubuntu.
  5. Helping to foster a more humane society.
  6. Advancing the programmatic development of the Hubs of Convergence, buttressed on the principles of convergence, reciprocity, and multiple forms of output, at Mandela University.

Transformative Engagement through the Hubs of Convergence. 

The Hubs of Convergence (HoC) is envisioned as a collaborative equalising multi-stakeholder space of exploration for the positioning and re-positioning of the engagement and transformation interface of Nelson Mandela University. It is both a feasible and doable option for reimagining the institution as a university in service of society. Several projects are undertaken by the Hubs of Convergence, as outlined below:

Zwide Community Development Project

The Zwide Community Development Project is an initiative driven by Zwide Community members in convergence with the HoC. The community, alongside the HoC are exploring developmental projects for alleviation of poverty in Zwide, Gqeberha. The various individually led organizations within the Zwide Community acknowledge that they have several developmental activities and infrastructure in the area. However, there is a need for support in terms of planning, conceptualization and funding of these projects. Some of the challenges identified by the community include extreme poverty, abuse of drugs, gangsterism and unemployment.

The Zwide Community Development Project envisions the establishment of developmental projects including:

  • Skills Development Centre.
  • Community Kitchens and Home Gardening.
  • Educational Academy.
  • Arts and Culture Development Centre.
  • Sports Academy.
  • Environmental Programmes.

Gender Based Violence Group

This forum brings together Mandela University stakeholders - HIV Unit and Transformation Office along with local NGOs and CBOs focused on various aspects of gender-based violence. The purpose of the forum is to foster collaboration between fellow member organisations, build a network for understanding each other’s work, and a supportive environment for organisational development. 

Areas requiring support are:

  • GBV, HIV and Mental Health Awareness Campaigns.
  • Support for Health Professionals, Caretakers and Community Leaders.
  • Empowerment Programmes and Initiatives driven towards Children, Women, Men and Queer Communities. 

The Sewing Project

The Sewing Project endeavours to source and distribute masks, as well as to develop economic initiatives within local, marginalised communities in Gqeberha. In 2021, possibilities emerged to build small sewing enterprises or cooperatives along with stakeholder communities, through collaboration with Manyano Schools and the Association for People with Physical Disabilities (APD).

Manyano Schools has identified two people from within each of the schools’ communities who are interested in this programme, and the schools will work with their associated participants to develop possibilities for acting as the first ‘client’ for respective sewing enterprises. APD has for twenty (20) years run a sewing enterprise on their premises, has facilities to offer sewing training, and is committed to mentoring participants through the process of establishing their own small enterprises. 

Funding towards this project would assist in providing logistical support (transportation, stationery, catering, printing and consultations for the following):

  • Committee Strategic Sessions.
  • Workshops: Solidarity Economy/ Cooperatives.
  • Workshops: Funding Proposal Development.
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The Nelson Mandela University “My Contribution” Alumni Fund is a discretionary fund to support University and Alumni Association programmes. Your donations, regular or once off, as alumni and friends of Nelson Mandela University, will contribute to the development of our learning, teaching, research, engagement programmes to ensure excellence as a leading African university. View more...

The Nelson Mandela University “My Contribution” Alumni Fund is a discretionary fund to support University and Alumni Association programmes.

Your donations, regular or once off, as alumni and friends of Nelson Mandel University, will contribute to the development of our learning, teaching, research, engagement programmes to ensure excellence as a leading African university.

If 1000 alumni and friends donate R100 per month or R1200 annually, your alma mater will have R1.2m to ensure we have an enabling environment to develop world class graduates who potentially can help to Change the World. Imagine the impact if 2000 alumni and friends give R1200 annually or 5000 alumni and friends donate R1200 annually!

if you are interested in making a major gift or legacy donation. Email

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In July 2023, Ms. Vuyo Bongela, Director of Madibaz Sports will embark on an inspiring cycling journey, pedalling her way from the vibrant city of London to the romantic streets of Paris. This remarkable endeavour serves as a quest to raise funds for the establishment of a Sports, Arts, and Culture Hub within our university.View more...

Nelson Mandela University is committed to fostering the growth and development of communities through the promotion of Sports, Arts, and Culture. The university recognizes the immense value these disciplines hold in enhancing social cohesion, individual well-being, and community engagement.

To further this mission, we are dedicated to establishing a dynamic Sports, Arts, and Culture Hub within the Hubs of Convergence (HoC) in the Engagement Office. This hub will serve as a platform for converging community-based sports, arts, and culture initiatives with the university's activities, creating an enriching and inclusive environment for all.

By supporting the establishment and maintenance of the Sports, Arts, and Culture Hub, you are directly contributing to the growth and sustainability of these vital disciplines in our communities. Your donations will play a pivotal role in nurturing talent, facilitating collaboration, and providing essential resources for artists, athletes, and cultural practitioners.

Sports, Arts, and Culture have the power to inspire, empower, and transform individuals and communities. They promote creativity, self-expression, and personal growth, while fostering a sense of unity and shared experiences. Through our hub, we aim to create opportunities for engagement, education, and skills development, ensuring that these disciplines thrive and have a lasting impact on our society.

Why Give To The Sports, Arts, and Culture Hub?

  • Community Impact: Your donation directly supports the growth and enrichment of sports, arts, and culture within communities.
  • Promoting Inclusivity: Help create an inclusive environment that celebrates diversity and provides equal opportunities for participation.
  • Talent Nurturing: Support emerging talent in sports, arts, and culture by providing essential resources, training, and mentorship.
  • Collaboration and Innovation: Facilitate collaborations between community-based initiatives and the university, fostering innovation and creative exploration.
  • Well-being and Personal Development: Promote physical and mental well-being, self-expression, and personal growth through sports, arts, and culture.
  • Social Transformation: Contribute to larger societal transformation by challenging stereotypes and addressing social issues.

We invite you to join us in this important endeavour by donating towards the development and maintenance of the Sports, Arts, and Culture Hub. Your support will help us create a vibrant space that celebrates diversity, cultivates talent, and strengthens the social fabric of our communities.

Donations towards these chairs and entities would make a significant impact on the goal of economic growth and development while supporting livelihoods and the health of the ocean.

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