The Renaming of the Nelson Mandela University

Cyril Ramaphosa


Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa is currently the President of South Africa. He studied law at the University of the North and through the University of South Africa. He has received honorary doctorates from national and international universities, and was the Chancellor of the University of Mpumalanga from 2016 to 2021. In 2004, he established the Shanduka Foundation (now the Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation), focusing on education and small business development.


Nelson Mandela University’s rebranding, argues Ramaphosa, is a statement of intent to reshape its identity. He contends that in taking such a name, the university is shouldering the responsibility of giving life to Mandela’s dream of creating social equality. In order to do so, the university must make education available to the marginalised, work at decolonising the education system, and place itself at the forefront of resolving the challenges experienced by the communities that surround it. In carrying the legacy of Mandela, he concludes, the university is challenged to build relationships of cooperation and understanding, redefine higher education in our country, and educate successive generations in the building of a humane society.