NMMU student numbers rise

2016-02-10 06:00

ENROLMENT figures at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) are set to increase in 2016 if initial registration statistics are anything to go by.

By Monday February 8 more than 22 000 students – or more than 84% of the 2015 student body – had registered. This represents a 10% increase over the same period last year.

With late registration beginning today and continuing until 29 February, and postgraduate registrations still ongoing, the 2015 figure of 26 376 is expected to be superseded in 2016.

Of the 22 199 who have registered to date, more than 87% of them did so online.

All of NMMU’s faculties have thus far shown an increase in numbers (with percentage increase in brackets):

  • Arts – 2702 (7.18%)
  • Business and Economic Sciences – 7844 (9.89%)
  • Education – 1628 (10.15%)
  • Engineering, the Built Environment and IT – 3535 (9.17%)
  • Health Sciences – 3063 (12.53%)
  • Law – 1040 (21.07%)
  • Science – 2193 (7.45%)

There has also been a greater increase in “occasional” students – those who have registered for individuals modules, especially from international students.

The Faculty of Health Sciences is showing the greatest percentage increase in student numbers in line with the University’s quest of expanding its programme offerings to become part of the solution to the present health challenges facing the country.

A final tally of student numbers will only be available once late registration has been completed. The latter is undertaken directly with the different faculty administrators.

Honours students to benefit from fundraising climb

NMMU Honours students are set to benefit from funds raised by its Vice-Chancellor, Prof Derrick Swartz, through the #climb4nmmu campaign he undertook last year.

As part of the University’s commitment to broadening access to higher education, the R1.1m raised on the back of Prof Swartz’s ascent of Mount Fuji in August 2015 will go to academically-deserving but financially-needy postgraduate students.

Honours studies, a critical bridge into senior postgraduate degree study programmes, are currently the least funded qualification category at NMMU.

The Summit Scholarship is also part of a bigger NMMU initiative to encourage students not only to further their studies after completing their initial degree, but also to grow postgraduate numbers and to contribute to the growth the next generation of academics.

Graduates who wish to study further and who meet the criteria are encouraged to apply for the generous scholarship.

As a recipient of bursary funding himself Prof Swartz well appreciates the importance of investing in deserving students.

“I was supported through the generosity of people I did not know. Now it is my turn to encourage funding support so as to ensure that the current and next generations also succeed,” says Prof Swartz, who galvanized staff, students and various companies to dig deep into their pockets to support the #climb4nmmu campaign.

Prof Swartz also highlighted the need to retain hardworking students by exposing them to the long-term benefits of postgraduate studies. Many well performing students are often compelled to return home once they have obtained their undergraduate qualification because of a lack of funding for studying further, or because of pressures to earn money so they support and enable brothers, sisters and relatives to also study.

Prospective bursary recipients for the VC’s Summit Scholarship must meet the following criteria:

  • Be enrolled for a full-time honours qualification
  • Be financially-needy
  • Be academically-deserving (attain a minimum average of 60%)
  • Have proof of co-curricular activities at undergraduate levels

To apply, students should visit the Research Capacity Development Office, Room 1314, Main Building, South Campus.

A screening panel will select the recipients.

Applications close on 18 February.

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