Announcements

Unisa response to the demands made by students

Introduction

In the last few days Unisa, through the Office of the Registrar and the Dean of Students, received a few memoranda of demands from regional student structures; and engaged the National Student Representative Council (NSRC) and some of the Regional Student Representative Council (RSRC) on these and other related issues.

This communique seeks to appraise the student community and other stakeholders of the university’s responses and position on matters raised in the memoranda of demands as well as the engagement sessions with the student leadership structures.

  • Extension of Applications and Registration (including Walk-Ins) 

A decision on the extension of applications and registration for the first semester of 2022 will be communicated once the Management Committee (ManCom) has deliberated and resolved on a submission made to it in this regard. 

This will be determined at the end of the first semester registration period, based on the status of the enrolment figures at that time. 

Note:  The reopening of first semester applications is applicable only to certain Honours programmes where space may be available.

  • IntelliMali

The current contract between Unisa and IntelliMali will lapse at the end of March 2022. In September 2021, Council resolved to set aside a number of Unisa projects to be managed by Unisa Enterprise and student disbursement is amongst those.

Also, the university is currently conducting a survey to understand, manage and prevent the inefficiencies encountered by students with the IntelliMali disbursement scheme; and to improve the services offered to students. 

  • Provision of data to students    

This matter has been resolved and students who updated their details as per previous announcements on myUnisa have received data for supplementary examinations.

  • Outstanding Examination Results

The total number of examination results published to date is 2 388 009, with only 11 262 results outstanding. Staff members of DSAA are currently working overtime to finalise the examination marks by Friday, 21 January 2022.       

  • Acknowledgement of Debt (AODs)/Historical Debt

An agreement has been reached with the NSRC that applications for AODs will open on 20 January 2022 for students who meet the requirements. A communique in this regard, with the applicable form, has already been shared with the various regions and will also be issued on all student platforms.  

  • CTA Students

The CTA Level 2 is the only post graduate qualification that must be completed in one academic year and not on a piece-meal basis. The university will thus grant a supplementary examination to the 44 academically deserving students with one outstanding module to complete their CTA Level 2 qualifications. The examination will be written in January 2022. 

The School of Applied Accountancy will put in place interventions such as the Unisa Initial Test of Competence (ITC) workshop to assist students to better prepare for the SAICA ITC.

  • Higher Certificates

The university acknowledges the desire for students with higher certificates to articulate to formal programmes. However, the university would like to remind all stakeholders that offers to study are made on the basis of the enrolment plan as approved by Council and the DHET. Any deviation from the approved enrolment targets is punishable by a penalty to the university.   

  • Delivery of certificates

The project for the delivery and distribution of certificates to students is going well, with the majority of certificates for both the 2021 Spring and Autumn Graduations already collected. Only a few (7338 for Spring and 7941 for Autumn) remain uncollected, the bulk of which are higher certificates. The university encourages students who have not yet collected their certificates to do so upon receiving an SMS notification from the university in this regard.      

  • Qualification Audit

The staff of the Graduations Office were deployed to regional offices to handle the collection of certificates by students who completed their qualifications. This impacted on the swift finalisation of the qualification audit and amendment of students’ statuses. With the full staff complement from the Graduations Office now back in the office, this matter will be expedited.

  • Graduations

The graduations programme for the 2022 academic year is yet to be decided upon by the Management Committee (ManCom). The ManCom decision in this regard will be communicated to all stakeholders as soon as it has been taken.

  • Reopening of Telecentres

The project initiated by the university for regional offices to conduct audits of digital access centres (telecentres) in their respective areas took longer than anticipated as a result of Covid-19 challenges and the July 2021 unrest in some parts of the country. Ultimately, of the 59 telecentres subjected to the audit, 25 met the Unisa requirements and ManCom resolved on the renewal of contracts for these telecentres for six months.

The university has also issued an Expression of Interest (EoI) for more telecentres, which is being managed through the university’s supply chain processes.       

  • Decentralisation of DSAR functions

The Unisa business model, in its current form, is essentially an open distance e-learning model, which does not provide for a full regional academic and administrative competence. The provision of administrative services such as finance, dispatch, examinations and graduations will be determined by the proposed regional model, which is still being considered by Council.

Currently, staff in the regions are trained to process applications and registrations. There are also measures in place to deal with urgent queries between the regions and DSAR. However, certain functions, such as the making of study offers, are centralised functions as this process is regulated by the number of spaces per qualification, in terms of the approved enrolment plan.  

  • Lack of service delivery at DSAR

The absence of staff at the various service centres as a result of, amongst others; office closure due to positive Covid-19 cases and labour unrest, had a negative effect on service delivery. However, with a full complement of staff now back, all outstanding registrations as well as applications dependent of the verification of completion of previous qualifications will be expedited.

Students will be able to get assistance onsite, although the university encourages them to register online.                

  • Supplementary examinations/Student discipline

The Management Committee (ManCom) resolved that those students who did not utilise the Invigilator App and were not cleared by the appeals process be given a supplementary opportunity accompanied by a warning letter. Those students who did use the Invigilator App on their own volition will be liable for half of the cost of the supplementary examination, whilst those who were unable to utilise it because of not being acclimatized to this mode of invigilation, or due to Covid-19 and other socio-economic circumstances will be allowed to write the supplementary examinations at no cost.  

Note: Students must seriously note that the Invigilator App is a necessary tool to safeguard the integrity of all examinations and qualifications.              

  • Provision of suitable study facilities/Buildings   

The identification and procurement of buildings and related immovable property falls under the terrain of the Portfolio: Operations and Facilities. The latter works in conjunction with the Supply Chain Management Directorate to procure immovable property, guided by the institution’s Infrastructure Management Policy. The relevant directorate (Facilities Management) is currently discussing space requirements for the regions to ensure that it can provide suitable facilities while ensuring alignment with the strategic direction of the university.    

/Ends.

 

Publish date: 2022/01/19