Improved connectivity to Mandela University students


As part of implementing its multi-pronged strategy of harnessing the power and ubiquity of technology, Nelson Mandela University recognises the importance of digital participation by all students.  Connectivity to the world wide web and access to digital learning, teaching and research resources remains a priority.

Throughout the cascading levels of the national lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the University has made deliberate efforts to ensure that no student is left behind. Initiatives such as the distribution of over 5,000 laptops to students and the monthly provision of 30GB data bundles bear testimony to the University’s resolve to give effect to its ongoing campaign to #SaveLives, #SaveTheAcademicYear

Phased return of students to Campus
Notwithstanding the volatile nature of the Covid-19 pandemic, the University took a principled decision to systematically invite students back to its various campuses. This controlled return was partly aimed at providing access to a supportive and enabling environment devoid of inhibitors to academic completion.  As a result, students have returned to their residences, on and off campus.  In keeping with the Covid-19 protocols, the physical access to the institution’s campuses is not arbitrary – it is electronically controlled through a system of online applications and booking.

Online learning, teaching and research from home remain the preferred mode of delivery under the prevailing conditions.  For students in residences, their new home is their respective residence.

Connectivity in Residences
Concerns with the state of connectivity in some of the accredited off-campus residences has come to our attention.  It should be borne in mind that connectivity is a mandatory pre-requisite for accreditation.  To this end, a team of the University’s Student Housing and ICT Services Department, with representatives from the SRC will be visiting the residences cited for poor connectivity with a view to finding a solution. Engagements with landlords in accredited off-campus establishments have commenced.

The Project of Wi-Fi connectivity for off-campus residences that was interrupted by the lockdown has also been reactivated. Details of the first two phases of the project and residences covered can be found on the website

The University requests students experiencing challenges with Wi-Fi at accredited off-campus residences to raise the concerns with the landlords, who in turn have been advised to liaise with the Student Housing Department.  The third Phase of the Project will no-doubt add to the residences covered. 

Data bundles will be issued to all students during the month of November as the University recognises the need to enable students with access regardless of their geographical location.

Please stay safe and adhere to COVID-19  measures – wear a mask. Wash your hands/sanitise and apply physical distance.


Luthando Jack
Dean of Students