NMMU launches new 24-hour computer laboratory at Bird Street Campus

MARCH 17, 2016

The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) is committed to putting the welfare of its students first.

That’s the word of NMMU Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Institutional Support Dr Sibongile Muthwa who was speaking at the launch of a new 24-hours computer laboratory at the University’s Bird Street Campus in Central.

“NMMU remains unequivocally committed to being part of solutions that place the welfare students first,” said Dr Muthwa.

And this includes ensuring that NMMU remains adaptive to the changes spawned by Information and Communications Technologies.

“We will continue to support initiatives that accelerate the adoption of technologies for teaching, learning and research,” said Dr Muthwa, adding that the Dean of Teaching and Learning and the Chief Information Officer were driving these agendas.

This meant that in the past few years, NMMU had, among an extensive list of projects:

  • Invested R7m on Wi-Fi across all seven campuses, and invested a further R750 000 to improve the quality of the Wi-Fi coverage.
  • Upgraded 70 traditional lecture venues to enable lecturers and learners to use modern technology. A further R2m will be spend in 2016 modernising the remaining venues and
  • Provided support for NMMU’s Learning Management System (Moodle).

“We know however that due to the harsh realities of South Africa’s social economic situation, not all our students are fully equipped to optimally use the ICT infrastructure.

“We should endeavour to see that no one is left behind,” Dr Muthwa told those who attended at the 15 March event.

As a result, the University also handed over 250 computing devises using a selection criteria that covered all campuses and all faculties but with a focus on off-campus students.

The Bird Street computer laboratory with 43 computers, electrical points for charging purposes and a separate buzz room for group discussion, will go some way to meeting the needs of students living in Central.

Some 3 300 students live in accredited accommodation in Central, along with many more students who live in private homes in the area.

“We are keenly aware that the devices we are handing over to students … are few compared to the student numbers. While we encouraged by the rise in numbers of students with their own devices, NMMU shall continue pursuing avenues to widen digital access.”

Image: Present at the launch of the new ICT Lab were, students from left Dalton Smit (BTech Fashion Design), Sadiya Moola (BTech Fashion Design) and Dancus Kgole (BTech Graphic Design). Behind them is Creswell du Preez (Director: ICT Service Delivery and Operations), Dr Sibongile Muthwa (Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Institutional Support) and Dr Thomas Hilmer (Acting Director: Information Systems and Development).