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Port Elizabeth Academic Institution

Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University is accredited by the South African Council of Higher Education
Available Programs
Full Curriculum
Environmental Studies
Human Rights, Conflict Management & Service Learning
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University

Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University

Formed in January of 2005 through the merger of the University of Port Elizabeth, South Africa's first dual-language university and the Port Elizabeth Technikon, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) is the largest higher education institution in the Eastern and Southern Cape areas. NMMU is also one of only 6 comprehensive education institutions created as part of a country-wide restructuring process. This process is intended to create new generation universities that deliver more effective, accessible and equitable higher education opportunities. The new education system employs innovative thinking to meet the demands for quality education that is responsive to South Africa’s needs as well as in tune with global development.

NMMU is involved in extensive research and new knowledge production related to sustainable development. Major research laboratories focusing on renewable energy, design studies focused on low cost housing and research on the influence of HIV on development are just a few examples of research areas in which NMMU is striving to create a sustainable community, on the local as well as global level. Additionally, NMMU has established itself as one of the leading institutions in South Africa in the following academic areas:

  • The Environment and Ecology
  • Engineering Technology
  • Nursing and Community Health
  • Architecture and The Built Environment
  • Business and Management Sciences
  • Art and Design

Enrollment at NMMU’s six campuses - five in Port Elizabeth and one in George - is approximately 20,000 students, boasting one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse student populations. Approximately 2000 international students join the university from other countries in Africa as well as Europe, Canada, and the United States. The university’s main campuses - South, North and 2nd Avenue - are located in the upscale Summerstrand suburb of Port Elizabeth. North and South campuses are one of a kind in that they are situated in a nature reserve of more than 830 hectares and home to 22 species of mammals (including the South African Springbok), 16 species of reptiles and 4 species of amphibians. The main campuses are also fairly close to a number of Port Elizabeth’s beautiful beaches, the Boardwalk and Casino as well as shopping and entertainment venues.

NMMU offers a variety of services to CEA students including a student ID card, advising at the Office for International Education, access to computer labs with internet access, extensive library holdings, on-campus health care facilities, sports and fitness centers as well as a variety of sports and student clubs arranging a multitude of social activities.

Classroom Information

  • Faculty from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University will teach your courses.
  • Periodic exams, homework assignments and final exams will be administered.
  • Attendance in all classes is mandatory and monitored by each professor.
  • Teaching styles in South Africa can be very different from those found in the US or Canada. Be prepared to adapt to the different classroom structures and coursework expectations for your school.
  • Class size ranges between 25 and 75 students, depending on whether it is a lecture or seminar. You will be in class with CEA participants, international students from African nations, Europe, Canada and the USA, and host nationals


Testing of knowledge can be different than in the United States depending on the class you choose and the instructional methods of the professor. In some courses, for example, you may only be tested twice per semester and those test results will determine your final grade. All final exams, even for courses taught in the first half of a semester, take place at the end of the semester.

All final course grades will be reported in the form of a numerical grade and pass or fail evaluation. The following numerical grades (listed with their suggested general letter grade equivalencies) will be used:

NMMU Grade Suggested US Grade
80-100 A+
75-79 A
70-74 B+
65-69 B
60-64 B-
57-59 C+
54-56 C
51-53 C-
50 D
0-49 Fail

Please note that this grading scale is recommended, but final credit and grade evaluation is ultimately determined by a student's home university.

At NMMU, a credit is a unit (10 notional hours of learning) of student academic input required towards begin awarded module that consists of a number of credits.

A notional hour of learning is defined in terms of the time an average student would need to master work. A set of notional hours represents the student academic input (expressed in time) required to master the specified learning outcomes of an academic module and includes: preparation for lectures; attending lectures; preparing for assessments; performing assessments (doing assignments; writing tests and exams); but excludes travel time.

Four NMMU credits are equivalent to one US credit. Module credit should be read in conjunction with the course content when credit equivalencies are determined by non-South African universities.

Each semester consists of at least 14 weeks of teaching.