David Mabuza, the province’s premier, announced government’s undertaking in his State of the Province address in Nelspruit on 19 February.
“I am privileged to announce that national government has granted permission for the establishment of a fully fledged university in the province,” Mabuza said.
At the moment the
Plans for the academic institution, likely to be known as the University of Mpumalanga, are beginning to take shape, but provincial government is yet to announce when construction will start, said Mabuza’s spokesperson, Mabutho Sithole.
While it’s certain the main campus will be in
“We will work together with the Minister of Higher Education, Dr Blade Nzimande, to take this process forward,” Mabuza said in his address, which marked the opening of the
The university will have various campuses across the province and at least one centre in each of the three municipal districts: Nkangala, Gert Sibande and Ehlanzeni. Faculties will be similarly spread, with the former
“Faculties such as engineering, science and agriculture will be spread throughout various parts [of the province],” Mabuza added.
Tertiary hospital for main campus
There are also plans to establish an extensive tertiary hospital alongside the Nelspruit campus to “ensure that our healthcare taps into the wealth of research and skills from the university”, Mabuza said.
The hospital will be designed with various units currently lacking in the province’s public hospitals, so fewer patients will have to be transferred to
“We intend to drastically cut down on the number of unnecessary referrals among the different levels of healthcare facilities,” Mabuza added.
University to help retain youngsters
At the moment school-leavers in
After repeated calls by youth organisations for universities to be built in
The Department of Higher Education and Training aims to double matriculant enrolment in the country’s tertiary institutions over the next five years, so building universities in
At the moment the only options for Mpumalanga-based students are TUT and the Vaal University of Technology – which offer limited courses through satellite campuses there; three Further Education and Training centres; and a handful of private colleges.
Mabuza is certain a university in
“In part, the establishment of a university in