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About University of South Africa (Unisa)

Unisa - A Brief History

  • University of the Cape of Good Hope founded in 1873 - became University of South Africa in 1916
  • University of South Africa became a Distance Education university in 1946, creating more than 62 years of experience with distance education
  • One of the world's mega-universities

Diversity in Learners

  • Approximately 1200 different programs (up to Doctoral level)
  • Students distributed over South Africa and the rest of the world
  • Average age - 30 yrs
  • 23 different languages
  • 80% students are part-time learners

Famous graduates of Unisa

Former president Nelson Mandela obtained a law degree from Unisa during the time he spent in jail on Robben Island.

He was also awarded an Honorary Doctoral Degree by Unisa



Academic Structure

  • 5 Colleges
    • College of Agriculture & Environmental Science
    • College of Economic & Management Sciences
    • College of Human Sciences
    • College of Law
    • College of Sciences, Engineering & Technology
  • 56 Academic Departments
  • Graduate School of Business Leadership (SBL)

Unisa International Students

  • Africa
  • Europe
  • Asia
  • North America
  • South America
  • Australia
  • New Zealand

ALGERIA ANGOLA ARGENTINA AUSTRALIA AUSTRIA BAHAMAS BURUNDI BAHRAIN BELGIUM BENIN BERMUDA BOSNIA BOTSWANA BRAZIL BULGARIA CAMBODIA CAMEROON CANADA CAYMAN ISLANDS CHILE CHINA CONGO CYPRUS CZECH REPUBLIC DENMARK ECUADOR EGYPT ENGLAND (UK) ERITREA FINLAND FRANCE GABON GAMBIA GERMANY GHANA GIBRALTAR GREECE HONG KONG HUNGARY INDIA INDONESIA IRAN IRELAND ISRAEL ITALY JAPAN JORDAN KAZAKHSTAN KENYA LEBANON LESOTHO LITHUANIA LUXEMBURG MADAGASCAR MALAWI MALAYSIA MALTA MAURITIUS MEXICO MONACO MOROCCO MOZAMBIQUE NAMIBIA NETHERLANDS NEW ZEALAND NIGERIA NORWAY OMAN PANAMA PHILIPPINES POLAND PORTUGAL QATAR RUSSIA RWANDA SAUDI ARABIA SCOTLAND SENEGAL SEYCHELLES SIERRA LEONE SINGAPORE SLOVENIA SOUTH KOREA SPAIN SRI LANKA SWAZILAND SWEDEN SWITZERLAND TAIWAN TANZANIA THAILAND TOGO TURKEY USA UGANDA UKRAINE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES VIETNAM WALES YUGOSLAVIA ZAIRE ZAMBIA ZIMBABWE

Unisa - a Distance Learning University

  • Teaching and learning are separated in terms of time, place and pace
  • Learning materials are designed by teams and are primarily print-based
  • A variety of learner support mechanisms are used to facilitate learning

The University focuses on:

  • Quality Open and Distance Learning opportunities from certificate to doctorate level
  • It conducts and fosters Research
  • It aims at serving the community through its expertise, teaching and research

Open and Distance Learning at Unisa

Open Learning promotes

  • open access to courses
  • flexibility in learning provision
  • flexibility in methods and criteria of assessing learning process and achievement

Open Learning denotes a shift from content to learner and OBE approach

Curriculum Principles

  • "Curriculum" encompasses content, delivery and assessment
  • Curricula should be a result of specific needs and situation analyses
  • Stakeholders should contribute to the curriculum

Course Design and Development

  • Courses are designed using a team approach
  • Teams consist of various specialists
  • Teams are flexible and are constituted according to specific course design needs

Preplanning of course design and delivery

  • Innovative delivery systems (e.g. interactive videoconferencing)
  • Marketing of the course(s)
  • Project management
  • Student support

Academic Support Structure

  • Production of Study Materials
  • Dispatch of Materials
  • Students OnLine
  • Library
  • Examinations

Distance Learning Delivery Systems

  • Print based materials
  • Tutors
  • Technology support
  • Teleconferencing
  • Videoconferencing
  • OnLine Learning