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About

The leading ODL university

The leading ODL university

Unisa is the largest open distance learning institution in Africa and the longest standing dedicated distance education university in the world. We enrol nearly one-third of all South African students.

Founded in 1873 as the University of the Cape of Good Hope, the institution became the first public university in the world to teach exclusively by means of distance education in 1946. Throughout the years, Unisa was perhaps the only university in South Africa to have provided all people with access to education, irrespective of race, colour or creed. This vibrant past is mirrored in our rich history, more particularly our massive and impressive database of alumni, some of whom are to be found in the most senior levels of society across the world.

Given our rootedness in South Africa and the African continent, Unisa today can truly claim to be the African university in the service of humanity.

We have embraced the fact that we need to adapt quickly to the fast-paced higher education environment of the 21st century and this is reflected in our management style and leadership practice. In addition, one of our main aims is to harness the new and emerging potential in information and communication technology to catapult the university into a truly digital future.

We offer an unparalleled range of study choices, ranging from short courses and certificate programmes to three-and four-year degrees and diplomas, to over 350 000 current students. As one of the leading research institutions on the continent, our research efforts have won us numerous awards, recognitions and honours.

Whether you’re beginning a new journey with us or staying involved with your alma mater, we commend you on choosing a world-class institution that has been building Africa’s future for 139 years.