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Nelson Mandela University enters final accreditation stage

Oct 28, 2019
Nelson Mandela University enters final accreditation stage

Port Elizabeth - A delegation from the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) and the Council on Higher Education (CHE) is visiting Nelson Mandela University this week for the final stages of the stringent accreditation process towards the establishment of the country’s tenth medical school.

As preparations for the medical school gain traction, the professional bodies will assess the University’s readiness in terms of curriculum, infrastructure, equipment, staff and the necessary student support to offer the six-year medical degree. The medical school is set to enrol its first intake at the Missionvale Campus in 2021 should all requisite approvals be acquired.

“We deliberately chose the Missionvale Campus for our medical school because it is located in the township areas of Missionvale and Zwide, populated by working class, unemployed and financially strapped communities,” said the executive dean of the Faculty of Health, Professor Lungile Pepeta.

“Missionvale Campus was originally part of the Old Vista University, built for black people during the apartheid years. Situating the medical school here is all about committing to proper healthcare for all our communities, and contributing to urban renewal and development.”

The accreditation visit takes place from 28 October to 1 November, after which feedback will be given to the University at the end of the five-day visit. A statement in that regard will follow in due course.

The accreditation team of educational and medical experts will not only visit Missionvale Campus, but also the Dora Nginza, Port Elizabeth Provincial, Livingstone and Uitenhage hospitals, as well as community health centres such as the adjacent Missionvale Care Centre and Motherwell CHC, which are earmarked as training centres for students’ practical training.

The overall accreditation process required approvals from numerous officiating bodies, including the departments of Higher Education and Training and Health, which had been received. The HPCSA and CHE are the only outstanding ones.

It is only when all the necessary professional and government approvals have been formally concluded and provisional accreditation received, that the University can finalise the recruitment of staff and open applications for prospective medical students.

Mandela University continues to actively engage with a range of stakeholders on this massive undertaking that offers a solution to some of the challenges that South Africa and, in particular, the Eastern Cape faces, especially in terms of health care and development opportunities. The latter particularly for Nelson Mandela Bay, and for the Missionvale area specifically.

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