Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University: A Sister School to Columbia College

nelson mandela

Nelson Mandela Metopolitan University

Competing in population and quality in higher education, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University is a close second to the University of South Africa, with 100, 000 students in attendance this year. According to the locals in the beautiful Island town of Nelson Mandela Bay, the school has grown tremendously since it was built in 1994, near the friendly community known as Summer Strand located in the heart of Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

“The majority (90 percent) of students who attend [Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University] are black,” says Port Elizabeth native and bus driver Renee. However, despite this statistic there is no racial tension whatsoever; a surprising and refreshing reality in a city still reeling from the after math of the Apartheid that began to take over from the mid 1960’s through the mid 80’s.

The population of students living on campus is so large that the local government has begun to house students in flats located within a 5-mile radius of the school.

The main campus is right off the coast of the Indian Ocean on the edge of the beautiful Capital, known as the “Windy City,” yet unlike the windy city of Chicago this is attributed to the powerful winds that burst off the shore of the bay. That is not the only parallel that the coastal town shares with Chicago, in fact, NMMU is the sister school to Columbia College in Chicago. Scholarships are offered to all Columbia students who plan to study abroad.

The campus is impeccable and vast, in concentrations offered as well as in radius. NMMU is separated into four, North, South, East, and West Campus, each equally as large as the other is.

In addition to the arts, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University has many areas of study, including the school of Nursing, for which the school is acclaimed for in success.

“I don’t know yet what I want to do… however, I do know that Africa has changed who I am and how I view the world. My interest is in being an ally of people who are working for change in their countries, rather than being somebody who is there to save them.” says, Erin Polley, a former Columbia College student and cultural studies major. Polley decided to travel after studying with Prexy Nesbitt, a notable activist in the Anti-Apartheid movement, and a prominent advocate for the ANC (African National Congress) and an adjunct Faculty member of Columbia College in Chicago.

He not only teaches classes on South African history and the Anti-Apartheid Movement, but also offers students the opportunity to join him on trips to South Africa year round.

If one were so inclined to travel the world and study in a tropical paradise, NMMU may be the sister school to attend.

For more information visit the Making the Road website or contact Associate Professor of Cultural Studies, Prexy Nesbitt directly at:



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Posted by on August 4, 2012. Filed under Today's Talk. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.