College of Law

Unisa partners with the South African Police Service

Unisa partners with the South African Police Service

The University of South Africa (Unisa) has partnered with the South African Police Service (SAPS) in a ground-breaking initiative aimed at the re-skilling and professionalisation of SAPS. This re-skilling of the police service has been recognised as an urgent need by the South African government as they aim to transform SAPS into a professional entity.

The new initiative will see the existing SAPS Academy in Paarl evolve into a specialised police university aimed at producing a new breed of police professionals. Unisa's proud heritage and experience in the birth of other institutions of higher learning in South Africa, including the universities of Cape Town, Potchefstroom, Witwatersrand, and Rhodes, amongst others, is one of the reasons for the choice of the university as the partner to help government realise the objective of this dedicated police university.

Recognition has also been given to Unisa's proven record in the training and development of public servants, including members of the police services, correctional services, and teachers.

The new academy was officially opened in January 2014.

The partnership between Unisa and SAPS was initially cemented with the signing of a memorandum of understanding between SAPS and Unisa in Paarl in October last year. "In Unisa, we could not have asked for a more iconic partner. In enhancing the skills capacity of our police officers, we took a conscious decision to involve the very best of the best. Unisa is considered to be a public university that meets all the requirements that will ensure that the SAPS Academy: Paarl is transformed into a Police University", said former Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa at the signing.

The academy is unique in that it only enrolls members of SAPS with very rigorous admission requirements. SAPS members must meet strict eligibility requirements, and admitted students must meet a minimum of 65% to progress. The students are taught by Unisa academics who are responsible for assignments and examinations, and experienced SAPS members who are stationed at Paarl on a full-time basis. Graduates of the academy will form the future professional officer corps of SAPS.