The students and former students of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU), view the changing of the university’s name in various ways. Some are happy with it and some say it does not make any sense. This university is soon to be Nelson Mandela University, with the Metropolitan removed. The new name according to the article from Herald live, was amended in the Government Gazette by the Minister of Higher Education, Blade Nzimande, on the 23rd of July last year.

Students who are against this change argue that there are a number of things that need to be changed, saying that the mere changing of a name is just a waste of time. This is because they do not see any contribution that the change will have in their lives as students. Some complain that they were not consulted about this change, had they been consulted their views would probably have led to no change.

 Luzuko Sampo, an NMMU graduate argued that, there is a lot of money that is going to be used which could be used for other fruitful developments. In this idea, Sampo is echoed by Bonakele Siphumze a student enrolled for Btech in Management, who alluded that NMMU has a shortage of student residence and that this university would have considered fixing this problem rather than changing a name.

Siphumze said, “we cannot say that this name change is to attract more people because it has large number of students already”. He continued to say that “changing a name will not help in anything but will just confuse people”. This, he says, because the university has already had two name changes – first known as the University of Port Elizabeth (UPE), as Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU), and now as Nelson Mandela University (NMU).

Many students talked explaining why they are not pleased with the change of the name. Some from the off campus residences argued that NMMU does not care to see the exploitation that is going on in these residences.

A female student who refused to be named residing at The Dig’s Klessal said that when she arrived to the residence she was told that there is unlimited WiFi at this res only to find out the WiFi that “one cannot even rely on to do school work, is very weak”. So ultimately, who does this name change benefit? Apart from it being a ‘face lift’ for the university’s image. One can only but wonder.

Sphamandla Gwinta

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