Unisa Under Administration, Here's What's Next

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South Africa's largest university Unisa is set to be placed under administration. Higher education Minister Blade Nzimande revealed his intentions earlier this week which has many of the students at Unisa questioning how they will be impacted by the minister's decision. 

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The Minister of Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande has decided to place South Africa’s largest university under administration. The University of South Africa (Unisa) has revealed how it plans to continue with its academic programme during this time of change and uncertainty. 

Nzimande announced his intention to appoint an administrator due to adverse findings made in an independent report in a letter to Unisa. The appointment of an administrator will also see the institution's council be dissolved.

Unisa acknowledged receipt of Nzimande's letter and is currently in the process of submitting a response to the higher education minister. The university has seven days to submit its representations to the minister. 

What This Means For Unisa Students 

Will things be any different for Unisa students when they login to their Unisa accounts? Unisa does not expect the appointment of an administrator to interrupt the academic programme at the university. They have called on staff and students to continue as normal with the academic programme. 

Meanwhile, Unisa Management requests all staff members and students to attend to their job obligations and studies without fail.

The university added that the commitment of all Unisa stakeholders including staff and students is essential in ensuring that the academic programme including teaching and learning is not impacted by the minister’s decision. 

"The individual and collective commitment is essential to ensure the seamless progress of our academic endeavours, including teaching and learning, research, innovation, engaged scholarship, and student support."

Unisa thanked all their stakeholders for their support and is committed to ensuring that all stakeholders are kept informed about the developments at the university. 

As this process unfolds, we remain committed to keeping you informed. Further updates will be provided in due course. Your ongoing support is greatly appreciated.

The Role Of An Administrator 

Ahmed Essop, Consultant and Research Associate at the Ali Mazrui Centre for Higher Education Studies at the University of Johannesburg does not believe the appointment of an administrator would affect the Unisa’s credibility. 

The role of the administrator would be to ensure that interventions are put in place to improve to address the challenges that the institution faces, it shouldn't affect, unless nothing is done, it shouldn't affect the credibility of the institution. 

Essop says the minister has two options, dissolving the council while keeping management intact, with the administrator assuming council responsibilities, or dissolving both council and management, making the administrator responsible for both roles.

They explain that the appointment of an administrator is aimed at addressing these challenges and improving the institution's credibility. 

Unisa’s Vice-Chancellor Responds To Report 

Unisa Vice-Chancellor Professor Puleng LenkaBula questioned the objectivity of the report as Professor Themba Mosia who compiled the scathing 300 page report previously served as Unisa’s principal.  

LenkaBula expressed their disappointment at several aspects of the report and called on individuals with information on alleged corruption or maladministration at Unisa to report it to relevant law enforcement agencies rather than spreading unsubstantiated information. 

The scathing report reveals financial and other maladministration of a serious nature that have significantly impacted Unisa's operational efficiency. These findings were carefully considered by Nzimande and ultimately led him to place South Africa’s largest university under administration. 

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Unisa campus

South Africa's largest university is set to be placed under administration. The Department of Higher Education revealed their intentions to place the institution under administration after considering all the findings in an independent report. 

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