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Unisa Principal and Vice-Chancellor

Prof Mandla S Makhanya

The University of South Africa has a long and illustrious history as South Africa's oldest and largest University. Tracing its journey as the first dedicated provider of distance education in the world, to its current status as the largest distance education institution on the Continent and one of the world's mega institutions, one discerns that Unisa's longevity can in large part be ascribed to its ability to adapt to prevailing socio-political and economic dynamics, both locally and internationally.

In line with South Africa's' transition to a new democracy in 1994, higher education in the country embarked on a process of fundamental transformation, which included a number of mergers and incorporations that reduced the number of public higher education institutions from 36 to 23. In 2004, the former Unisa merged with the former Technikon Southern Africa and then incorporated Vudec, the distance education component of Vista University, to form the new University of South Africa, the only dedicated distance education institution in South Africa.

Throughout South Africa's' rich and diverse history Unisa has been steadfast in its assertion of its mandate to provide a quality education to its students, irrespective of circumstance. This commitment has ensured that even in the most turbulent times, the Institution has been a steady and stable beacon of opportunity and hope. As a result, Unisa has amongst its alumni some of the worlds' most iconic figures, including our beloved Nelson Mandela.

arrow Official opening of the SAPS Academy
30 January 2014 (PDF)
arrow Business breakfast on Africa’s economic future
22 August 2013 (PDF)
arrow Prof MS Makhanya affirms Unisa’s commitment to our students
29 August 2013 (PDF)
arrow Welcome: 11th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture
17 August 2013 (PDF)