Discovering tomorrow

Faculty of Science

11/05/2017

Nelson Mandela University’s Science Faculty is set to paint Limpopo’s Vhembe District green next week as it embarks on a massive marketing drive in the area in a bid to attract some of South Africa’s cream of the academic crop. 

The University team, led by NMMU’s Dean of the Science Faculty, Prof Azwinndini Muronga, and the University’s student recruitment team will spend next week in the region; first taking part in the Science Beyond Borders Exhibition in Thohoyandou at which about 5000 pupils are expected to attend.

The team will also visit the province’s top three schools – all in the Vhembe district – where Grade 10, 11 and 12 maths and science pupils will be engaged on various topics, including preparing students for 21st century skills and equipping them for jobs that may not yet exist.

This engagement with the district – which was the top performing district in matric results in Limpopo for two consecutive years – is in line with the University’s efforts to widen access to academically deserving pupils from some of the poorest communities and schools.

The team will also visit the University of Venda to discuss any possible collaborations in the sciences, showcasing the diverse programmes that the institution has to offer at postgraduate level.

Prof Muronga, who is also the president of the South African Institute of Physics and has a passion for developing science among pupils, said the schools to be visited next week were selected based on their reputation of excellence.

“One of the University’s values is excellence and we look forward to establishing a long-term relationship with these schools as well as the entire district,” he said.

NMMU is a dynamic African university, recognised for its leadership in generating cutting-edge knowledge for a sustainable future. The university offers a diverse range of quality educational opportunities that will make a critical and constructive contribution to regional, national and global sustainability.

Later this year, the University will relaunch itself as Nelson Mandela University – the only institution in the world to bear the name of the iconic statesman. Drawing from the former president, the University adopted the values and principles of transformation and equity, respect for diversity, people-centeredness, student access, engagement, excellence, innovation and integrity. These values inform and define the institutions’ ethos and distinctive educational purpose and philosophy.

NMMU strives to reach out to the communities it serves through engagement that enables it to make a meaningful impact in those communities and, through various programmes, encourages staff and students to plough back into communities.

“We strive to produce students who will make a meaningful impact on society,” said Prof Muronga.

The University offers an array of programmes within the Science Faculty – which is a dynamic faculty intent on global excellence and stature, with an emphasis on critical thinking, sustainable development and multiple partnerships.

The faculty is committed to meeting the demands of tomorrow, shaping the future by building on our strengths and embracing creative solutions to meet the needs of students, employers and society.

NMMU boasts seven campuses – six of which are in coastal Nelson Mandela Bay (Eastern Cape) and one in George (Western Cape) – with about 27000 students and 3000 staff members. A new Ocean Sciences campus is due for launch later this year and will become South Africa’s first dedicated maritime centre of excellence underpinned by transdisciplinarity.

Work at the University’s innovative, bottom-up approach towards the country’s 10th medical school is well under way, the blueprint of which proposes “radical intervention to improve access, relevance, quality and transformative graduate attributes with a strong focus on increasing access to rural and poor youth linked to community and local economic development”.

In a changing world, it is vital to maintain quality and integrity. Shaping the future of science at NMMU is not centred on change alone. The University will also continue to guarantee excellent education and research.

The University:

  • Provides a modern science education founded on academic excellence and ethic of research and discovery
  • Creates world-class research infrastructure within the Faculty of Science
  • Supports teaching and learning with suitable and up-to-date physical resources
  • Promotes cutting-edge research of relevance to our society
  • Grows the reputation and brand in order to increase future opportunities
  • Fosters an increased sense of common purpose, community and engagement