Completing the 2023 Academic Year



Please update your contact details, especially your cellphone number, so that we can effectively communicate with you.

Data and laptops

Provision of data to students

All students registered for the 2020 academic year will receive 30GB of data with effect from 5 May 2020. The University has made arrangements with mobile network operators to load the data to bona fide students subscribing to their respective networks. Please ensure that your cell phone number has been updated.

Students are urged to be frugal in the use of data. Guidelines for data management can be found on this page. In addition, students are advised to seek zero-rated sites (sites that can be accessed without attracting data costs) with digital resources for learning, teaching and research.

Any enquiries on data can be directed at

Provision of laptops to students

The University is continuing its efforts to enable students to participate in online learning and research activities. The laptop offering is open to all 2022 NSFAS First Time Entry (FTEN) students. NSFAS FTEN students are encouraged to make use of this opportunity as online learning will continue to play a significant role in learning and teaching modules.

Laptop specifications:

The HP 250 G8 device has the following specifications:

  • 4Gb Ram and 500Gb hard drive
  • 3-year On-site warranty allowing you to take your device for repairs to the ICT Copy-Tech Shop at South Campus in Gqeberha or the SITS Centre at George Campus
  • Includes a backpack bag
  • Windows 10, with Microsoft Office 365 suite (instructions will be provided on how to load the software).

The laptop cost, of R5 200, will be funded from your book/technology allowance in two instalments over a two-year period.

Eligible students who wish to participate may indicate by opting in. The laptop opt-in system is open from 25 February 2022 for applications.

Please use the following link to opt-in for a laptop:

Distribution of devices

Hand-over sessions that will fully adhere to all COVID-19 regulations will be held on 10 and 11 March 2022 in Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth) and George where the new students will take possession of their new laptops. Further details regarding collection of devices on campus will be communicated by means of email.

The distribution of laptops will only take place on campus in Gqeberha and George.

Supporting information

Each recipient will receive a detailed How-To Guide offering step-by-step instructions to assist with the laptop setup. However, a team from ICT will also be available at the collection points to answer your questions and advise you of the software and other benefits of the laptop.

Enquiries can be emailed to

Zero-rated websites

Due to the impact of the COVID-19 on the University’s academic year, cellular service providers have offered to zero-rate certain learning websites for all universities. This means a user can access content via their cellular service at no cost. 

What does Zero-Rated Data mean?

  • Zero-Rated Traffic means that students can access specific websites without depleting their data bundle or airtime.

Which websites are Zero-Rated?

Website MTN Vodacom Cell-C Telkom Mobile

Yes Yes Yes Yes

Yes Yes Yes Yes

Yes Yes Yes Yes

Yes No Yes No

Yes Yes Yes Yes

Yes Yes Yes Yes

Yes No Yes No

Yes Yes Yes Yes

Yes Yes Yes Yes

Yes Yes Yes Yes

Yes Yes Yes Yes


Which websites / services are NOT Zero-Rated:

  • All Microsoft 365 websites (incl. Outlook, SharePoint and Teams)
  • Library content hosted externally ( has been submitted for consideration)
  • YouTube
  • Zoom

What does it mean:

  • Links within Moodle that direct to any other external website which is not Zero-Rated (e.g. to SharePoint or YouTube) will result in costs / data charges for Students.

Which Network Providers have implemented Zero-Rated Data:

  • All the Mobile Network Providers have implemented Zero-Rated Data
  • Vodacom and Telkom Mobile have excluded content heavy URLs (Unitube)

Are there any Limits or Download Caps?

  • Not on the Zero-Rated Websites

Whereas efforts have been made to test the zero-rated sites, we advise students to have minimal data credits (e.g. 5MB) to ensure no glitches with accessing all zero-rated sites.

This overview was released on the 23 April 2020. Please be aware that there will be ongoing changes to Zero-Rated Traffic Rules.

Guidelines for data management

Web browsing and social media:

  • Turn off automatic media downloads in apps such as WhatsApp
  • Turn off auto play in video apps like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram

Video and audio:

  • Turn off video when meeting online (audio only – Microsoft Teams and WhatsApp are the preferred tools)
  • Attempt to make media rich content (videos, images) optional/accompanied by text alternatives
  • When viewing videos, select low resolution options. High Definition (HD) videos use high volumes of data.

Hardware operating systems:

  • Turn off automatic system updates and if possible, choose critical updates only. Schedule these to take place at night.
  • If your device has low data or data saver modes, activate them.

Collaboration and communication:

  • Email documents in a zipped format but use email as a last resort. Content should rather be loaded on Moodle where possible. Moodle itself enables some communication methods:
    • The introduction of a standard discussion forum on Moodle courses to enable staff to address any student concerns collectively.  The Forum provides a means for students and staff to communicate as a whole class or in small groups.
    • The announcements forum is useful as a one-way broadcast channel that will reach all students; ideal for circulating important course information.
  • Moodle is zero-rated, but all content external to Moodle, like links to YouTube, Turnitin, Microsoft Teams, etc. are not even if they are in a Moodle site.
  • Turn off cloud storage and synchronizing options such as Microsoft OneDrive.
  • Synchronize or download content during lower rate periods, if applicable.

An example of data consumption using the Microsoft Teams online collaboration tool:

Voice to Voice
5MB for 5 minutes
60MB per hour

Voice sharing to Voice with PowerPoint
10MB for 5 minutes.
120MB per hour

One way Video
35MB for 5 minutes
420MB per hour

Two way Video
60MB for 5 minutes
720MB per hour

Recording is on par with data usage.

Video calls will scales to higher quality based on available internet speed and can consume higher data.