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The University Of South Africa (UNISA) is one of the biggest correspondence universities in the world. Not only is it recognised internationally, it also offers a vast range of choice and flexibility. UNISA is the largest university in South Africa.
Unisa has over 310 000 students which includes both international students as well as African students in over 137 countries worldwide.
The question that needs to be asked: is UNISA the only distance learning option in South Africa?
The answer is simple. UNISA is not the only distance learning option in South Africa, although it is the most highly recognised one with the highest number of students in the country.
However, UNISA is the only distance learning university in South Africa. The other distance learning institutions are colleges, or smaller institutions that do not operate on a university level. UNISA is the only open distance learning institution with university status.
It is important to bear in mind that although there are other distance learning education option on offer, it is always advisable to be 100% sure that the institution that you study through is accredited.
When taking accreditation into account, it is important to know that both the particular course or diploma needs to be accredited, as well as the institution itself.
If the college offers a course through another learning provider, it is essential to make sure that this secondary provider is accredited, too.
This valuable information will end up saving you time, money and unnecessary aggravation. Many institutions may offer distance learning education, but their courses may not be fully accredited or recognised as such.
UNISA obtained its role in open distance learning in 1946, and has been in existence ever since. It offers certificates, diplomas and degrees all the way up to a doctoral level. This means that in terms of available options, you can keep studying for the rest of your life with UNISA.
There are colleges which offer distance learning, but it is important to look at the following factors if you are planning to make use of your certificate, diploma or course for vocational purposes:
- Is the course, certificate and diploma accredited?
- Is the course, certificate and diploma fully accredited?
- Is the course, certificate and diploma internationally recognised?
- Do they offer degrees and diplomas? (They won't offer degrees as this is exclusive to UNISA as an open distance learning institution in South Africa)
- How long have they been in existence for?
- Do they have a reputable name that employers will value?
All in all, cost is not the only factor to take into account when studying. Studying via correspondence while working and managing other endeavours is hard enough, the last thing which you want to do is struggle even further. UNISA has a very effective online system that allows you to interact directly with the university.
Due to the fact that Unisa is the only online distance university in South Africa, it has a much larger student base available for correspondence purposes. This may come to be particularly useful if you wish to start a student group or should you wish to interact with other students. It also offers tutorial classes at an undergraduate level.
For more information you can contact the UNISA contact centre on: 0861 670 411 (nationally) or +27 11 670 9000 (internationally). Alternatively you can go to the Unisa website.
By Lauren Gerber
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Have you studied through UNISA? Did you enjoy studying there? If you want to study there why are you interested in studying at UNISA? Please add your comments below.