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University description (as per official university website)

The evolution of the new Unisa

In January 2004, the former Unisa merged with Technikon Southern Africa and incorporated the distance education component of Vista University (Vudec) to form the new Unisa. The merger brought together vast resources and infrastructure, while consolidating the knowledge bases built up over the years by the three former institutions.

Legal establishment: On 1 January 2004, the new Unisa officially came into being through the merger of the former University of South Africa and Technikon Southern Africa with the incorporation of the Vista University Distance Education Campus, Vudec.

Inaugural meeting of the Interim Council: On 5 January 2004, the Interim Council approved the structure of the academic units within the new Unisa, resulting in the creation of five new colleges.

Official launch: The new Unisa was officially launched on 28 January 2004 at a function attended by 500 guests. The keynote speaker was Prof Kader Asmal, then Minister of Education.

Appointment of the Executive Deans and Executive Directors: These appointments were made with effect on 1 March 2004, followed by the constituting meeting of the Senate, which took place on 31 March 2004. Prof Louis Molamu, Registrar (Academic), was elected Secretary of Senate.

First graduations: The first graduations of the newly merged Unisa took place on 16 April 2004. Approximately 13 800 students graduated at ceremonies held in various towns and cities, including Windhoek, Namibia and Harare, Zimbabwe.

Substantive Council takes office: On 1 July 2004, the Interim Council was dissolved and the substantive Council put in place. Dr Matthews Phosa, Chairperson of the Interim Council, was appointed Chairperson, with Ms Charlotte McClain-Nhlapo as Deputy Chairperson.

Unisa 2015 - An Agenda for Transformation: On 23 July 2004, the substantive Council approved the new vision, mission and value statement for the new institution.

Integrated Institutional Forum: On 16 August 2004, the Institutional Forum held its constituting meeting, and appointed an interim executive committee with Prof Danny Titus as the interim chairperson.

Chancellor elected: In November 2004, the substantive Council announced that Judge President Bernard Ngoepe had been elected as Chancellor-elect of the new Unisa.


“Towards the African university in the service of humanity”

Our vision is to become Africa’s premier distance education provider, serving every country on the continent and transcending language and cultural barriers. In other words, we are a University committed to making a difference in the communities we serve.

Key values

Unisa’s key values are based on the following elements: excellence, integrity, social justice and fairness.

Excellence: The quality or state of being outstanding and superior; a feature or respect in which somebody or something is greater, better and more outstanding.

Our pledge: We will uphold high standards of aspiration in all our practices, with continuous attention to the improvement of quality.

Integrity: The quality of possessing and steadfastly adhering to high moral principles or professional standards; the state of being complete or undivided.

Our pledge: We will subscribe to truth, honesty, transparency and accountability of conduct in all that we do.

Social justice and fairness: Fairness or reasonableness, especially in the way people are treated and decisions and conclusions are determined; the condition of being just or impartial.

Our pledge: We will promote equity of access and opportunity so that all may develop their full potential.

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Junior Fulbright Program
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Harvard-Smithsonian Postdoctoral and Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Predo

Japan Studies Dissertation Workshop

Hauser Global Scholars Program

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Gwendolen M Carter/PAS-NU Fellowships

Internship in Environmental Education

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Howard Heinz Social and Public Policy Fellowships

MASWE Memorial Scholarship

Jesse Marvin Unruh Assembly Fellowship

High School Graduate Scholarships

Graduate Assistantship

Frank M Chapman Memorial Fund

International House of Japan

Catherine H Beattie Fellowship for Conservation Horticulture


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