Institute for Science and Technology Education (ISTE)

About us

Our Institute

For South Africa to produce the number and quality of scientists and technologists it needs to compete internationally and develop domestically, there is a great need to improve mathematics, science and technology (MST) education in South Africa. In the past three international science and mathematics achievement tests (TIMMS) South African learners came last of all the participating countries (Reddy, 2004). Research is needed to identify factors contributing to and characterising this problem and, more importantly, ways to improving the quality of MST education at all levels of the education system, including tertiary education.


To mobilise Unisa’s science and technology education expertise under a single, coherent structure in pursuit of the university’s vision of being the African University shaping futures in the service of humanity.


To be the focal point for the development, provision and advancement of Mathematics, Science and Technology (MST) education through:

  • facilitating and coordinating the provision of formal academic offerings
  • where appropriate, participating in formal academic offerings
  • providing non-formal offerings in order to meet the needs of society
  • undertaking high-quality research and development across colleges
  • expanding and strengthening the pool of MST education practitioners; and
  • liaising with governmental and non-governmental bodies in realising its vision.


ISTE promotes inter-college collaboration in the interests of MST education. The colleges involved are the College of Science, Engineering and Technology, the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences and the College of Human Sciences. As a result of this collaboration ISTE co-ordinates the integration, tuition and development of all modules of formal and non-formal MST Education programmes.

Last modified: 2017/06/27