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Study at UNISA

University of South Africa

Students can register to study in the following colleges:   Economic and Management Sciences; Humanities and Social Sciences; Science, Engineering and Technology; Law; and Agriculture and Environmental Sciences

Standing as a sentinel at the southern main entrance to the country's capital city, Unisa is an imposing sight.  The first distance education university in the western hemisphere, Unisa is also the first comprehensive university on the continent.

With a student body in the region of 250 000, Unisa offers a diverse choice of study fields at levels from certificate to degree, ranging from animal health, agriculture, law, business, education, humanities, to name but a few. Unisa is now also represented in all provinces of South Africa with strong outreach to SADC countries.  In addition, Unisa has partnerships with several African countries to help build up capacity, particularly in those countries devastated by war.

There is an enormous academic expertise available from merging both the former University of South Africa and Technikon SA, and incorporating the distance education section of Vista University. The new Unisa has benefited greatly and increased its human resource and technological capacity to the advantage of the country and in providing learning opportunities for all our students.

The University's management has developed a vision, mission, objectives and values in line with the newly formed comprehensive university, focusing on the issues facing the continent of Africa, in its research, academic programmes, student support and outreach, while at the same time ensuring the University's place in the global market place. 

There are challenges facing Unisa that are unique to Africa- the need for literacy, training and providing of skills to a massive population that has been disadvantaged by poor schooling during the apartheid regime. 

As a comprehensive University, it offers a range of products that provide learners with a myriad of opportunities to learn and develop skills, from certificate and diploma courses ranging from three months to three years to degree courses up to doctoral level.  In addition prospective students who have a national senior certificate and not a university entrance matric, can register for the access course programme in the college where they would like to continue their studies. When successfully completed, the programme will offer them the opportunity to study further.

Student support is essential in distance education, but particularly in South Africa, for the abovementioned reasons.  The University continually strives to find better methods of tuition and support to help the student achieve success.

When the merger process is finalised, the comprehensive university will be a global player in providing quality education and learning opportunities. Unisa offers tuition through the medium of distance education which means students can study in the comfort of their own homes.  Many students, however, come from underprivileged backgrounds and need not only academic support but also in terms of facilities like a quiet place to study.  Learning centres are available in Sunnyside, in Johannesburg and several provinces.

Students obtain their study guides, course outline for the semester, including assignments when they register.  They need to buy their own prescribed books.  Books can be ordered from the main library in Pretoria (which is one of the biggest research libraries in the country), but there are only a limited number of prescribed books.  All recommended books are available for further reading and research.

Students can register through the post, in person at the various centres, or through the Internet.

Examinations are held in over 400 centres throughout southern Africa, the rest of Africa and overseas.

Students can register to study in the following colleges:   Economic and Management Sciences; Humanities and Social Sciences; Science, Engineering and Technology; Law; and Agriculture and Environmental Sciences.

For further information call  (012) 429-311; or write to: The Registrar (Academic) PO Box 392 Unisa 0003 or visit our website at: 

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Postal Address:

The Registrar (Academic) PO Box 392 Unisa 0003

Tel: +27 11 670 9000