Learning and Teaching


VISION 2020     |     A new generation institution with an exciting vision for the future



Our Vision 2020 is to be a dynamic Africa university, recognised for our leadership in generating cutting-edge knowledge for a sustainable future.

The brainchild of former Nelson Mandela University Vice Chancellor Professor Derrick Swartz, Vision 2020 is a roadmap that provides a broad, overarching strategic framework to guide the university's choices and actions, to create the "university of tomorrow".

During the past decade we have embarked on ground-breaking initiatives, invested in smart, interactive technologies and built state-of-the-art institutions to ensure that all our facilities and services support our vision.


In pursuit of Vision 2020 and making Nelson Mandela University one of the finest in the world, we are committed to these six strategic priorities:


Embrace a distinctive educational purpose and philosophy that contributes to student access and success.


Foster an affirming, transformative institutional culture that promotes diversity and social cohesion.


Develop and cultivate an engaged, innovative scholarship culture that generates knowledge recognised for its contribution to sustainability.


Position the university as an employer of first choice by investing in talented, high-performing staff.


Enhance long-term financial sustainability through responsible resource stewardship.


Provide and sustain enabling systems and infrastructure that promote an exceptional experience for students, staff and key stakeholders.


AFRICANISATION     |     On a journey of transformation and decolonisation

To realise Our Vision 2020 goal to be a dynamic African university that responds to local, national and global requirements, we must continue focusing on transformation within the university. In particular, in curriculum renewal, pedagogy, assessment, and the creation of a learning environment that is conducive to teaching and learning, and which supports and enables student success "for life and work".

Our Education Faculty has been one of the key contributors to curriculum transformation and the decolonisation of higher education through its academic and intellectual project. The approach of Teaching and Learning has been to engage in interdisciplinary curriculum conversations, which provide guidance and inspiration for the decolonisation and Africanisation of the curriculum. Furthermore, the Decolonial Project is being interrogated by all faculties, to develop a unique approach which could enlarge and diversify the knowledge sources of the various disciplines. This is in order to offer a multifaceted curriculum that is grounded in local and global contexts, and represents a diversity of philosophical and ideological orientations and worldviews.

Nelson Mandela University is committed to decolonisation and Africanisation, to push us in a new direction and enable us to contribute to the challenges facing our country and the wider world. We are a new generation university, named in honour of a remarkable African leader, on course to become a great African university that is contributing to a sustainable future.


HUMANISING OUR TEACHING     |     Creating an environment for learning to thrive

Nelson Mandela University's teaching philosophy is recognised as a leader in the field of "humanising pedagogy", which is largely based on the philosophy and work of Paulo Freire. It is about dislodging outdated theories and narrow-minded preconceptions of teaching, learning and human engagement in order to stimulate an enquiring approach to education.

At our university we have embraced the philosophy and praxis of a humanising pedagogy, as we believe it addresses, underpins and advances the purpose and manner in which we cultivate our humanness, the ways in which we are best able to learn. and critical ways in which we seek to put our learning to use.

As a university with a distinctive. forward-looking culture of enquiry and engagement, we are actively trying to identify, experiment with and practice what a humanising pedagogy is — what is looks and feels like, and how it can be implemented in our daily pedagogical encounters.

Humanising pedagogies is one of the institutional research themes of Nelson Mandela University, with many staff and students currently researching within this area. The Learning and Teaching portfolio has established the Humanising Pedagogy Praxis and Research Niche (HPPRN) as a special project and hub to coordinate, facilitate and develop the scholarly work around the humanising pedagogy. University staff and students can access various readings, media and resources relating to human pedagogy on the HP Portal.


TECHNOLOGY-ENABLED LEARNING     |     Harnessing the full potential of modern technology

LEARNING AND TEACHING NEWS     |     Read more about Learning and Teaching approaches and activities