Student residences are a critical component of student life at our university. As one student once remarked “student residences are a basic unit of student life”.

In recognition of this fact, our aspiration is to transform residences to be spaces that provide enduring living and learning experiences to our students.  Because of the quality of experience the students would have gone through in our residences, they will look back with nostalgia and exhilaration when they reflect and recollect their study period at Mandela, post their university lifecycle.  Our residences should be central in our students’ attraction and retention approaches as a university. 

Student residences are living and learning spaces. Our students spend most of their time in residences in-between lectures. Students who stay in our residences should see themselves as communities. A student community in the context of residences should be co-created spaces that epitomise the following attributes:

  1. Co-existence and sharing of the space for the benefit of all members of the community and in the interest of shaping a new kind of graduate that is imbued with and typifies the university’s graduate attributes.
  2. Shared values and principles and a co-creation and renewal of rules, ethics, standards of behaviour amongst members of the community.
  3. Unity of purpose and in action, human solidarity, caring and embracing of diversity.
  4. Practices and promotes equality and does not tolerate any form of discrimination.
  5. Intolerant of gender based violence, exploitation and violation of human beings on the basis of their gender or sexual orientation.
  6. Protect the integrity of residences as a critical resource for human habitation.
  7. Vibrant spaces for dialogue, conversations and debates on topical issues of society.

As a community, we ought to create a cradle of accountability amongst ourselves based around these attributes. We need to personify and popularise these attributes. If we act collectively, our residences will become real student communities and will be a sustainable resource that transcends different generations of students.

In 2017, students called for the renaming of student residences so that they can identify with them.  This was part of a broader agenda to transform the University to reflect the needs and aspirations of the current and future generations of students and the broader community it serves.  In 2019, many of the residences were renamed after individuals who played a key role in bringing about freedom, nation building and contributing to the important work of social cohesion.  As we renamed these residences, students committed to living the legacy and exemplifying the values that these luminaries whose names our residences proudly carry.  We expect just that; and we are pleased that students have self-organised and hosted lectures and leadership seminars in an attempt to realise this commitment.

I therefore call upon all residents to hold accountable, in collaboration with everyone, those few members of the student community who:

  1. Want to turn residences into places of crime including gender based violence.
  2. Bring in unauthorised persons who in turn commit acts of crime and thus making residences vulnerable to various forms of crime.
  3. Act as agents of the underworld through selling illegal substances and drugs.
  4. Consume and abuse illegal substances / drugs.
  5. Generally, violate and practice illegal acts that threaten the human habitability and sustainability of residences.
  6. Do not prioritise the cleanliness, hygiene and health of fellow residents through littering, untidiness, and not being a good member of the community.

I call upon all members of the residence community to take care of the residences. Own them as their living and learning spaces.  The University will continue with the renewal programme including the heightening of security at residences.  I enjoin house committees, residence student assistants, mentors, and all student structures to be the epicentre for the cultivation of residences as student communities.

It is in the interest of students and the university to position residences as the centrepiece for the provision of enduring living and learning experiences for Nelson Mandela University students.

Posted on 06 March 2020 15:30:07

Current rating: 0 (0 ratings)

Trackback URL:

Blog post currently doesn't have any comments.

Bookmark this page:Add to Twitter Add to Facebook Add to Reddit

This blog is about

This platform serves as a reflective, discursive and connecting space between myself and the entire student community of our beloved university. Through this platform, we converse with our students and broader stakeholders on all matters of student life, wellbeing and development at Mandela University.

Luthando Jack, Dean of Students