Back to Registration and Orientation for first-year students

Questions about the selection and acceptance process

What should I do once I have received my final matric results?

The NWU automatically receives the NSC results from the Department of Basic Education (DBE). If you wrote the NSC exam, please do NOT send us your matric results. However, if you have written an examination other than the NSC, you must send your results to at the application office.


What should I do if I meet the program requirements?

If you meet all the minimum requirements, you will be accepted immediately and receive an SMS confirming your acceptance by Monday, 24 January, at the earliest.

If you have not received an SMS by Tuesday, 25 January 

please contact the Engineering Faculty at to determine if your contact number on the system is correct and/or any documentation is outstanding.

If you no longer meet all of the requirements, you will be notified of the outcome of your application by Tuesday, 25 January, at the earliest.


What should I do if I no longer meet the program requirements?

If you no longer meet the minimum requirements, your application will need to be reconsidered. The selection meeting is scheduled for Monday, January 24, and you will receive the final selection result via SMS on Tuesday, January 25. You must therefore wait for the result of the selection decision before you can take the next step. If your marks are good enough to take the engineering test, you will be invited to take this test online (given that you have not taken it before).

You can click here ( ) to look at alternative ways to qualify for engineering.


What should I do if, after re-evaluation of my application, I am not accepted for engineering?

There are several options:

  • You can request to be considered for your second choice in another field of study (within another faculty). However, the faculty concerned will first complete their selection process and, if space is still available, consider the second choice applicants. You will be notified as soon as possible, but this may mean that you will have to wait a while for the outcome.
  • You can decide to repeat certain matric subjects and apply with better marks next year. This can be done at an outside agency or you can consider the Xcel programme ( ). The Xcel Bridge Programme has been compiled to prepare you for engineering studies. These include the following:

  • Mathematics and Physical Science (rewrite NSC examination in November)
  • Short courses in programming and CAD
  • University subject (ALDE - Academic Literacy Development)

Can I be considered for a second study choice if I have not indicated this on my application?

The NWU will not know of your second choice if you have not informed the NWU. In exceptional cases, you can request the application office to implement a second choice by contacting


Can I change my application to another engineering program?

Yes, you can change it before registration, provided you are accepted for engineering. All engineering programs have the same minimum requirements. Therefore, if you have not been accepted for engineering, you will not be considered for another engineering program.


Will I automatically be considered for B.Sc. even though I did not indicate it as a second choice?

No, you must apply for an appropriate B.Sc. program. Please contact at the application office to arrange for you to be considered. This will only happen if space is available. For more information on how to qualify for engineering through post-school studies, click here ( ). Look under the heading, "What happens if I do not meet the minimum requirements?" to "Post-school Studies".

What if I have a matric subject re-marked? Will it help?

It may help for next year’s admission, but unfortunately the timeline is of such a nature that it will only be available after the registration process for 2023 has been completed. It may have an impact on applications for bursaries in 2023 and onwards, but unfortunately it will not be on time for the registration in 2023.


Questions about registration and bursaries


When do first-years register?

First-years register online between 25 January and 16 February.

The Faculty of Engineering will present a Zoom information session on Tuesday, 25 January, to explain the registration process.

For more information, click here ( .

When should I be on campus?

You should definitely register before you can come to campus. First-year students must register on campus in the following groups:

  • Group A (surnames starting from A to H): 11 February, 2022, 08:00 - 17:00
  • Group B (surnames starting from I to P): 12 February, 2022, 08:00 - 17:00
  • Group C (surnames starting from Q to Z): 13 February, 2022, 08:00 - 17:00

For more information, click here ( )

Should I still pay the registration fee if I have been awarded a bursary?

You can send your bursary letter to  so that she can make arrangements for you to register. This means you will then be able to register without paying.

How can I apply for a scholarship to study engineering?

Please contact  or .

When should the first payment be made and how much is it?

The first payment must be made as soon as you hear you have been accepted for the engineering programme, and before you can register. Students who will make use of campus residence accommodation will have to make an initial minimum payment of R19,890, while students who do not make use of campus accommodation will have to pay R10,740.

What happens if I was successful in terms of my NSFAS application?

NSFAS applications only close in January 2023, which is quite late. According to NSFAS, students will receive an SMS within days of applying that states whether they were successful, or not. Successful NSFAS student should be on a list for registration purposes, which means they will not have to pay the registration fee.

Can I get an academic merit bursary?

The information regarding bursaries is available here ( ) with a short summary found here ( ).

Academic merit bursaries for full-time first-years will be automatically paid into your student account later in 2022 without you having to apply for it (terms and conditions apply). The average of your 6 subjects (excluding LO) is taken into account for this:

  • An average of 85 - 100% qualifies for a 100% discount on tuition fees.
  • An average of 80 - 84% qualifies for a 75% discount on tuition fees.
  • An average of 75 - 79% qualifies for a 25% discount on tuition fees.

If I applied for NSFAS and still do not know if I was successful, what can I do?

NSFAS will notify the university if your application was successful. You will not pay any registration fees. For any inquiries contact  or 0860 067 327.

Questions about the Compulsory Mathematics Refresher Course (MRC) 2022


How do I go about registering for the Compulsory Mathematics Refresher Course (MRC) in 2023?

Complete information regarding the MRC can be obtained by clicking here ( ). It is advisable to first register for your engineering studies before registering for the MRC. You will have time until 12 March 2023 to complete the MRC.


How long does it take to complete the MRC?

It should take you about 50 hours to complete the MRC. Note that the assessment at the end of the MRC will count towards your MTHS 111 module.

What happens during R&O (Registration & Orientation)?


The following schedule provides further information on the registration period and orientation program (R&O):

  • First-year students’ online registration and financial clearance period (25 January - 16 February 2023)
  • Extended arrival period for first-year students (11 - 13 February 2023)
  • Orientation program (February 14 - February 25, 2023)
  • Orientation program ends / Academic classes continue (26 February 2023)

Questions about coming to campus/classes

Is the COVID vaccine mandatory?

The NWU currently encourages students to be vaccinated, but vaccination is not enforced. Students can request to be exempted from the vaccination. For more information, please read the NWU's position on vaccination of employees and students against Covid-19 by clicking here as well as here.

What are the arrangements in terms of classes?

The full academic program will begin on 21 February 2022 in person and online, with classes offered in the mornings between 08:00 and 13:00, while the orientation program continues in the afternoons. The half-day classes end on 25 February 2023, and from the week of 28th February 2022 there will be a full-day classes.

For more information on contact classes and class attendance, click here.

May first-year students park their vehicles on campus?

Due to limited on-campus parking, not all first-year vehicles can be accommodated on campus. This is only allowed in exceptional cases (for example where the relevant first-year student lives in a campus residence).

Is the class timetable already available?

The timetables are already available online. Click here

Will we have time to participate in sports activities?

Engineering involves a full programme, but of course engineering students also participate in extracurricular activities, including sports and cultural activities, as well as serving in various leadership roles. This therefore depends on your capacity as an individual.

What personal protective equipment (PPE) should I bring to campus for practicals?

The PPEP 171 module is a practical module where students must wear personal protective equipment (PPE) in accordance with the Occupational Health and Safety Legislation of South Africa. The legislation requires students to bring the next PPE when they register for their studies in 2023.

Mechanical, Electromechanical and Industrial

  • Safety shoes (steel points)
  • One- or two-piece overalls (denim without holes will also be accepted)
  • Hearing protection
  • Safety glasses
  • Gloves will be provided (you are welcome to bring your own)

Computer-Electronic, Mechatronic, Electrical-Electronic, Chemical, Chemical with Mineral Processing

  • Decent closed shoes
  • Decent trousers without broken spots
  • Shirt with at least short sleeves
  • Safety goggles

Questions about laptops and Wifi


I bought an Apple laptop. Will I be able to use it during my studies?

Most of the software is available on both Windows and macOS. If this is not the case, then maybe you can download Windows via Virtual Box or Parallels Desktop on any Mac. So it's possible, but there are going to be challenges here and there.


Will a computer (desktop) also work, or should it specifically be a laptop?

A laptop makes more practical sense, as you will sometimes have to bring your laptop along to classes and/or practicals in the laboratory. To carry a computer around, will not suffice.


Which processor will be acceptable? i5 or i7? What about Celeron?

If money is not a problem, you are more than welcome to purchase a laptop with an i9 processor, but that will cost you more than R90,000, and will most probably be way over specified. A processor with a clock speed of 3 GHz would suffice and will be able to handle the software that you will encounter in your years of study at the NWU. An i5 or an i7 Intel processor or the AMD equivalent should be in order. Celeron should be avoided. A brand new laptop that meets the minimum requirements should cost you between R14,000 and R16,000.


Are there other options than brand new laptops?

There is also the option of a refurbished laptop, commonly called a refurb. Certain companies have fixed contracts with computer providers to replace all of their computers after a certain period. This replacement is done, regardless of the condition of the hardware. It often happens that one can buy these second-hand, refurbished laptops for a bargain. A recent example is of a student that purchased a refurbished laptop for R13,500. If the student had to buy a brand new laptop with the same specifications, it would have cost almost R100,000. The most important components of these second-hand laptops are replaced and are practically as good as new. This is an ideal option for those who have limited funds, or those who would like a more expensive laptop at a much lower price.


Where should I enquire with regards to laptop costs?

There are a couple of providers in Potchefstroom that are also used by the NWU, but it is your choice to purchase your laptop at your preferred provider. It is prudent to obtain a couple of quotations to compare the various options. Providers in Potchefstroom include:

You are welcome to contact online/other providers.


Which software should be purchased?

Your laptop will be issued with Windows. That is all that is required at this point. Please do not buy software like Microsoft Office, as you will receive a free version as an NWU student in 2023. Upon registration in 2023, you will have access to various software that will be loaded to your laptop when you are on campus.


How does internet/WiFi work on campus?

As an NWU student, you have free access to the NWU internet, which includes WiFi on most parts of campus. There are dedicated LAN connection points in campus residences, as well as WiFi in some of the residences.