Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) opened on 1 January 2005, the result of the merging of the PE Technikon the University of Port Elizabeth (UPE) and the Port Elizabeth campus of Vista University (Vista PE).
The PE Technikon has its roots in the country’s oldest art school, the PE Art School founded in 1882; the University of Port Elizabeth (UPE), the country’s first dual-medium residential university, came into being on 31 January 1964; and the Port Elizabeth campus of Vista university, which opened up access to higher education for disadvantaged students.
The union of these institutions came about as a result of government’s countrywide restructuring of higher education – intended to deliver a more equitable and efficient system to meet the needs of South Africa, the continent and the world in the 21st century.
On 20 July 2017, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University was officially renamed Nelson Mandela University: the only higher education institution in the world to carry the name of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. The name change provided an opportunity for the institution to rebrand and position itself continentally and globally, while also allowing it to usher in a new era of renewed vigour towards meaningful transformation.
Nelson Mandela University is today a sought-after educational destination and the most diverse university in South Africa.
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