Renewal made concrete as Unisa refreshes its identity

The "big house on the hill" ("ko thabeng"), as Unisa’s Muckleneuk Main Campus is affectionately referred to, serves as a beacon of many positive things - knowledge, hope and a new tomorrow for the hundreds of thousands of Unisa graduates, to name but three. As a national and African treasure, the institution takes very seriously its duty to be representative of the diverse communities that it serves. With this in mind, Unisa has embarked on an exciting initiative of naming and renaming new and existing facilities in keeping with the spirit of renewal and transformation.

The initiative is in support of the institution’s concerted Africanisation thrust and a continuation of its decolonisation programme, which is already well under way in terms of curricula transformation at its various colleges. As part of the process, existing buildings and facilities will be repurposed with a view to better utilisation of the university’s infrastructure.

In the interests of inclusivity and transparency, key values at the institution, Unisa Council’s Naming and Renaming Committee approached the initiative with great circumspection and very broad consultation. The process commenced in June 2018 when a call for nominations was sent to all stakeholders. The response was extremely positive and many nominations were received.

The committee thoroughly interrogated the resultant list of names, ensuring that each name ultimately selected carries with it positive associations and reflects the spirit of transformation and societal representativeness. The Naming and Renaming Committee referred the names to the Unisa Management Committee, who, in turn, made recommendations to Council. The selections were then discussed at length by Council before implementation.

The implementation process will kick off at the Durban hub in July, and followed by the Muckleneuk Campus in Tshwane in August. Unisa stakeholders will be kept fully informed about the selection of names and also the thoroughly considered reasons for their selection. The specific dates will be communicated soon.

* By Philip van der Merwe, Editor: External publications, Department of Institutional Advancement

Publish date: 2019/06/06