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Nelson Mandela University marked the realisation of its long-held dream to establish a medical school with an official launch on Tuesday, 30 November.
The country’s tenth medical school opened in March this year to the University’s first ground-breaking class of 50 medical students. As these students progress to the second year of the six-year Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChC) degree, they will be joined by a further 80 first-year students in 2022.
This progress, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, along with the hard work and long journey in reaching these milestones, was celebrated at 11am on Tuesday, 30 November, with a launch hosted in a hybrid format.
The event also gave Mandela University the platform to acknowledge those partners who helped the institution realise the dream and are also key to driving the institution’s special brand of healthcare education forward for those who need it most.
The Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology, Dr Blade Nzimande, was the keynote speaker at a small in-person event at the Medical School on Missionvale Campus.
The formal proceedings was livestreamed and viewed globally by special guests, alumni, and those with a particular interest in the University’s innovative interprofessional education and collaborative practice tuition model and plans for the future.
The need for a medical school for the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro was first mooted more than 70 years ago, but only really gained momentum in the last decade when Mandela University took up the baton to make healthcare training of doctors a priority.
“As a university with a deliberate posture to be in the service of society, the Medical School makes a tangible contribution to our responsibility to take forward the legacy of Nelson Mandela by building skills and expanded capacity for pro-poor and accessible healthcare service delivery,” says Mandela University Vice-Chancellor Professor Sibongile Muthwa.
“We will strive to equip our graduates with the knowledge, skills and qualities to fully embrace the complex healthcare and lifestyle challenges facing our diverse communities, particularly the poor. We will aspire to promote a strong social accountability framework among both our students and staff members.”
Dr Nzimande and Prof Muthwa was joined by Mandela University Chancellor Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi and Chair of Council Ambassador Nosipho January-Bardill and representatives from Provincial government, the metro and the University’s student body.
The in-person guests enjoyed a tour of the facilities of the Medical School and demonstrations of the high-end equipment.
The official launch can be watched on our YouTube channel.
Adapted by: Liscka Hendricks