Higher Education Looking Into Controversial Reports On UNISA

Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande

A ministerial report highlighting problems at distance learning institution, Unisa, has landed in the hands of Higher Higher Education Minister, Dr Blade Nzimande. The minister has since said that he is studying the report and  will respond in due course.

 

 

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Higher Education Minister, Dr Blade Nzimande, says he is still studying a leaked ministerial report highlighting problems at the University of South Africa.

According to media sources, the report reveals that Unisa has a corrupt network of officials. It is also alleged that the institution is sliding into mediocrity, becoming a qualifications factory.

Nzimande has admitted that the report was leaked but says he will take the necessary steps once he has considered it. Unisa spokesperson, Victor Dlamini says that the university has not seen or received the report.

He adds that some of the allegations levelled against the university do not make any sense, since the exam results are audited by the Council for Higher Education and the qualifications are managed by the South African Qualifications Authority.

Dlamini says it would be impossible for the university to disregard these authoritative figures. The spokesperson also points out that it is unfair for Unisa to be expected to respond to allegations on a report that it has not seen.

Unisa has some of the best faculties in South African universities and there is no incentive for them to issue degrees to people that do not meet the qualification criteria. 

He further stated that there are measures put in place to deal with students who are found to have cheated in examinations, even as most of the learning is predominantly done online due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dlamini confirms that a ministerial task team visited the university and carried out the necessary processes to establish the current state of play at Unisa.

In turn, the university expected the task team to then indicate that it had completed the process and availed the report to the Higher Education Minister. 

In response to the allegations of financial mismanagement, Dlamini says that despite the country experiencing a cash crunch, Unisa is not experiencing any financial constraints and has managed to successfully launch its student support programmes.

One of the conditions for receiving the grant for the university is to ensure that there is proper compliance with the financial prescript, otherwise, the government will not hand out any cash to the university.

Dlamini further stated that once the report has been issued, the university's council will look through it and engage all the parties involved. 

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