First-years 2021 | Studies | NWU | North-West University

2021 Academic Calendar:  autumn recess 2021 for teaching-learning for first-year students

The 2021 framework for the academic calendar as was previously approved by Council allocated the period 29 March 2021 to 1 April 2021 for an autumn recess period. Both Senate and Council noted during the process of consideration of the framework for the 2021 academic calendar that permutations might be needed in light of the uncertainties at the time around the finalisation of the NSC results. The release of the NSC results on 23 February 2021 would have an impact on the available teaching time for first-year students. Only a nine-week cycle is available during the first semester. In light of the above, Council approved that the autumn recess (29 March to 1 April 2021) be used for teaching-learning of first-year students.


How to access your campus and other arrangements

The North-West University’s (NWU) Registration and Orientation Programme will commence from 8 March 2021 and unfold over a three-week period. The programme has been designed in a manner that will allow sufficient time for each first-year student to move through the phases of registration, arrival on campus and orientation, while safeguarding the health and safety of both students and staff in the Covid-19 environment.

Shortly after the final grade-12 results are released, all prospective students who have been finally accepted by the university, will receive communication confirming this, and the details outlined in the programme below, will then be applicable.


Messages of welcome


2021 Registration and Orientation (R&O) programme

The following schedule provides an outline for the programme which prospective students must adhere to, so take note of the dates. Also make sure to have the NWU App installed on your phone before 8 March 2021 to help you keep track of your schedule.

Notice to conditionally registered first-year students awaiting confirmation from NSFAS or other funders

9 March 2021

On 8 March 2021, the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation released a statement indicating that confirmation of NSFAS funding for first-time entering students (FTENs) was still outstanding. As part of this statement, he requested higher education institutions to extend their registration process with a period of two weeks.

The planned registration for first-year students at the North-West University (NWU) already included the period 15 March 2021 to 9 April 2021 as amendment period for module/qualification for first years, thus accommodating the request from the Minister, will not have an immediate impact.

This implies that at the NWU, you as first-year student will be able to commence with your registration process, but depending on the outcome on funding approval by NSFAS, you will only be able to complete your registration once you have received your funding approval. The same applies for prospective students awaiting funding confirmation from other sources. This further means that until you have completed your registration process, you will not be able to access campus, nor will you be able to take up your place in a university residence (where relevant).

We understand that this situation creates uncertainty for our accepted first-year students affected by this, and that you are all excited to commence with this new chapter of your life as soon as possible. Therefore, we encourage you to still commence with your online registration process, and obtain the status of a conditionally registered student. This will allow you to partake in the virtual Registration and Orientation Programme via the zero-rated NWU website, thereby ensuring that you acquire the necessary information to ensure that when you receive your confirmation of funding, you will be able to continue with your university career seamlessly.

Even though the academic programme for first year students will commence on 17 March, those who have been conditionally registered, will also be able to participate via our e-learning platform, eFundi.

Lastly, we invite you to visit the Registration and Orientation Programme website, and familiarise yourself with the programmes, videos and infographics available.

The process for fully registered students remains unchanged.

We trust that the situation will soon be resolved to allow us to welcome you as fully registered students of the NWU.


Prof Dan Kgwadi

Principal and Vice-Chancellor

8 March - 9 April: Online registration of first-year students

The programme will commence with the registration of first-year students from 8 March -  April 2021 using the zero-rated registration platform of the university. Provision has been made for informative videos and documents that will guide students through the online registration process and also offer assistance where required. Make sure that you have the NWU App installed before 8 March, and visit your Faculty websites (see "contact your faculty" below) before and during this time to familiarise yourself with the process. 

11-16 March: Arrival period of first-year students (how do you know if you should come to campus?)

First-year students should take note of the following important dates of arrival. Only first-year students who have successfully registered and received a permission letter to come to campus, will be able to arrive on the relevant dates. First-year students residing in university residences are reminded of the previous communication indicating their specific arrival process.

Important dates of arrival

11-14 March 2021

Arrival of university residence students

15 March 2021 - onwards

Non-residence students can arrive on campus

17 March 2021

Academic classes commence

Individuals still awaiting funding from NSFAS and other sources of funding will still be able to continue with the programme online, until such time that final approval of funding for such individuals has been received. The university will thereafter further communicate how these individuals can arrive on campus.

11-16 March: Orientation of first-year students

From 11 March, interactive orientation programmes will be presented in a largely online environment. Students will be able to access these programmes mainly via the university website and the NWU App (links will be made available closer to the time). These programmes orientate students on faculty processes, academic support services, information technology, student access cards, campus facilities, and the vibrant student life experience.

13 March: Virtual Reception Day Ceremony

  1. University Anthem 
  2. Introduction of the Executive Deans of Faculties
  3. Message from the Executive Director: Student Life, Dr Sibusiso Chalufu
  4. NWU Brand
  5. Message from the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Strategic Planning and Vice-Principal, Prof Linda du Plessis
  6. Message from the Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Prof Dan Kgwadi

Watch our virtual Reception Day Ceremony here

17 March: Commencement of academic classes

Classes for first-year students will commence on 17 March 2021. It should be noted that the orientation programme have been constructed in such a manner that it will not negatively impact on a student’s ability to commence with their academic classes.

It is anticipated that the final 2021 Registration and Orientation Programme will be made available to the public by early March 2021.

Please take note of the fact that the NWU will not allow persons in the following categories to enter its campuses as so-called walk-ins during the registration period for first-year students in 2021:

  • Persons who did not qualify for admission;
  • Persons who did not receive an offer to study, and
  • Persons who applied late.

This is due to the fact that we have reached our full capacity for the 2021 intakes (in the various qualifications), with no extra places available, in terms of our enrolment target.

23 - 26 March: Student Life Programme


Download the programme


Faculty R&O programmes (including curriculum control: the process whereby you pick your specific subjects)


About registration, student finances and campus and residence access

Collection of Student Access Cards

First-year students who have successfully registered and arrived on campus are reminded to ensure that they receive their student access cards as soon as possible.

Students who submitted their student access card information prior to arrival may collect their cards from the Campus Protection Services Offices (indicated below).

First-year students who have not yet provided their student access card information, are requested to go to the Campus Protection Services Office to provide the information and create their cards.

First-year students are reminded that the first issuing of their student access card is free. All replacement cards issued thereafter will be charged at R80, payable by the student upon receipt.


Campus Protection Services Offices

Mahikeng Campus

Building A1
Operating hours: 10:00-16:00

Potchefstroom Campus

Building F17
Operating hours: 08:00-13:00 and 14:00-16:00

Vanderbijlpark Campus

Building 1

Operating hours: 10:00-16:00



Critical Success Sessions (Important sessions on adapting to university life)


Get the NWU App (for Android)

Download the NWU App to help you keep up with the programme.

Get the NWU App (for Apple)

Download the NWU App to help you keep up with the programme.

Contact your residence

The residence that you belong to can assist with some of your queries

Still not sure?

Contact your faculty

Send us a WhatsApp: 
+27 60 070 2606

Toll-free number:
0860 169 698 (0860 1mynwu)


Can I still apply?

What must I pay?

Will I need a laptop?