The University of South Africa (Unisa) is an open distance e-learning university which allows students to pursue their studies by using online resources and study materials provided by Unisa themself.
Unisa offers a combination of career-orientated courses usually associated with a university of technology, combined with general formative academic programmes typically linked to a traditional university.
This university offers many certificates, degrees and diplomas at the bachelor, master and doctoral levels.
So when will their applications for 2023 open?
Unisa typically opens their annual applications for study around August or September with closing dates starting from October until December for the different qualifications.
Students should be aware that applications will have to be done online and they are urged to apply as soon as applications open as spaces fill fast.
Open Distance e-learning means that learning will take place where the student and the university are physically distanced and the student will connect with the university mostly via the internet from a laptop, tablet or other device.
At Unisa the student will be provided with study material which consists of written content via textbooks or online via myUnisa. Unisa provides access to computers and internet at some of their facilities but students should have their own computer and access to the internet.
The university still provides many support services for students even though they are distanced, through libraries, tutorial support, counselling and other online tools.
Students may study full-time or part-time which allows them to work while studying, they also get to structure their own schedule in order to complete each course they are registered for.
Unisa students are also able to receive financial aid via a bursary from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), if they meet the criteria.
The criteria to be funded by NSFAS is as follows:
- Must be a South African citizen
- Must be accepted or applying to a Public South African University
- SASSA grant beneficiaries are immediately accepted
- Household income must come to below R350 000 per year
- People with disabilities need to have a household income which comes to below R600 000 per year
The NSFAS bursary covers more than just tuition. They also pay registration fees and provide various allowances for accommodation, learning material, living and transport.
NSFAS applications usually open in August or September every year for University students.