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Study at Unisa

International students

International studentsWho must apply for a student number?

You must apply for a Unisa student number if you have never before registered for a formal qualification at Unisa. A formal qualification is a higher certificate, diploma, degree, honours degree, postgraduate certificate, master's degree or doctoral degree. You do not need to apply for admission to Unisa if you want to register for a short learning programme.

How do I apply for admission? 

All prospective students who want to study through Unisa in 2013 must apply for admission. Visit http://applications.unisa.ac.za or http://applications.unisa.ac.za/MD/ to apply online for admission.

What are the admission requirements for Unisa qualifications?

Your admission to Unisa is dependent on you meeting the minimum admission requirements for your chosen qualification. Based on that qualification, Unisa may set additional requirements: college-specific and/or qualification-specific requirements.

For more information on minimum admission requirements for undergraduate studies, click here and postgraduate studies, click here

I completed my schooling or undergraduate studies outside South Africa. Do I qualify?

Undergraduate applications

For a list of acceptable school qualifications for admission per country, visit http://he-enrol.ac.za/qualification-country.

Postgraduate applications

Certain international degrees need to be accompanied by a SAQA evaluation certificate. Unisa's master's and doctoral section will inform you whether you need to have your qualification assessed by SAQA. If this is necessary, you will need to contact SAQA and manage the process. This can be a very time-consuming process and could delay your application by as much as a year. Once you have received the SAQA verification, please re-submit your application to Unisa, during the relevant application period, with the necessary SAQA certificate.

What qualifications does Unisa offer?

How do I pay the application fee?

The online application fee is R100,00. You can pay the fee via SWIFT payment:

  • Beneficiary: Unisa students deposits
  • Bank: Standard Bank
  • Account number: 011554622
  • Branch code: 010645
  • SWIFT code: SBZAZAJJ

Funding for foreign students

The government is currently investigating the subsidy for foreign students, which means that prescribed student fees could increase substantially in the future. Unisa reserves the right to charge fees in certain countries in the currency of that country. The levy for students in foreign countries must be paid in addition to the minimum initial payment at the time of registration. A student must be in possession of a student number before registration can be processed, or fees paid or deposited into the Standard Bank South African account.

What documents do I need to submit when applying for admission to Unisa?

Undergraduate applications:

  • Certified copy of your school qualifications. For a list of acceptable school qualifications for admission per country, visit http://he-enrol.ac.za/qualification-country
  • Certified copy of your tertiary academic qualifications (if applicable)
  • Certified copy of your passport
  • Certified copy of your marriage certificate (if applicable) or divorce decree (if applicable)
  • Original sworn translations of documents if they are not in English or Afrikaans
  • DSAR04 form and supporting documents if you are applying for exemptions
  • M30 form and supporting documents if you are applying for a certificate of exemption

*Certified copies are acceptable for the admission phase, but documents must be certified at a South African embassy or by a public notary.

Master’s and doctoral applications:

  • Certified and scanned copies of complete or incomplete academic records (including the scoring legend)
  • Sworn translations of documents if they are not in English or Afrikaans
  • Any other additional documents indicated when applying for admission
  • Proof of meeting the English language requirement:
    You must show that you have taken the TOEFL (http://www.ets.org) or IELTS (http://www.ielts.org) international language test or equivalent. If further language assistance is deemed necessary, you may be required to register for a language module. All non-native English-speaking applicants (other than those who have been educated in the medium of English language during their two most recent years of study) must satisfy one of the following requirements:
    • IELTS: overall score of 6.5 (with at least 6.5 in each of the four components)
    • TOEFL (paper-based): overall score of 600, with a Test of Written English score of 5.5
    • TOEFL (computer-based): overall score of 250, with Test of Written English score of 5.5
    • TOEFL (internet-based): overall score of 100
    • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): grade A
    • Cambridge Certificate for Proficiency in English (CPE): grade B
    • English Language GCSE, IGCSE or O-level: grade B
    • International Baccalaureate Standard Level (SL): score of 5 in English
    • European Baccalaureate: score of 70% in English

*Certified and scanned copies are acceptable for the admission phase, but documents must be certified at a South African embassy or by a public notary. After your application for a student number, the Admissions Office will request hard copies of these documents. No faxed copies will be accepted.

What should I do if I did the language test, but did not obtain the required score?

Repeat the TOEFL (http://www.ets.org) or IELTS (http://www.ielts.org) international language test or equivalent to obtain the required score.

How can I contact Unisa?

Please visit the Unisa website first for information related to your application. If you require additional information, however, please send your enquiry via e-mail to international@unisa.ac.za (only add your student number in the subject line).

Accreditation of Unisa as an institution

Unisa operates in accordance with the Higher Education Act 101 of 1997, as amended.  It is recognised by the South African Department of Education (DoE), accredited by the South African Council on Higher Education (CHE) and all its qualifications are registered with the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA).

Since Unisa operates in accordance with the Higher Education Act, 1997, it does not have a registration number at the Department of Education.

International Accreditation of Unisa’s qualifications

One way for the accreditation of Unisa’s qualifications in foreign countries with an established Qualifications Authority, is for the two qualification authorities involved to negotiate the mutual recognition and accreditation of each other’s qualifications. 

In other cases the publication of an institutions name in specific authoritative publications, forms the basis of accreditation. Unisa is inter alia listed in the International Handbook of Universities published by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and officially verified by the International Association of Universities.

Students must however enquire from the specific foreign country/university whether Unisa’s qualifications are accredited/recognised.