University of South Africa – School Profile

The University of South Africa (Unisa), which has more than 300,000 students, is considered a mega university due to its massive student body. It is Africa’s largest open distance learning institution, as well as the world’s oldest specialized distance education university.

But what makes the institution a standout in the country? Scholarships for Africans is here to give you a better idea.

About the University of South Africa

Unisa is home to a third of all higher education students in South Africa, with international students hailing from over 130 countries.

The University of South Africa was founded in 1873 as the University of the Cape of Good Hope. It became a distant university in 1946, and it now has seven regional centers in the Eastern Cape, Gauteng, Kwazulu-Natal, Limpopo Province, Midlands, Mpumalanga, and Western Cape.

Accounting Sciences, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Education, Economic and Management Sciences, Graduate Studies, Human Sciences, Law, Science, Engineering and Technology, and its Graduate School of Business Leadership are among the university’s eight colleges.

Unisa offers a wide range of courses, from short, career-oriented professional courses to three- and four-year formal degree programs. Students can attend courses up to the PhD level at the postgraduate level.

The main Muckleneuk Campus of Unisa, which is located in Pretoria, is a notable landmark in the South African city. Sunnyside Campus serves as the hub of student activity. The Florida Campus, meanwhile, is the university’s science center in Johannesburg, with 12 buildings, a library, two auditoriums, and big study space. Some departments of the College of Science, Engineering, and Technology, as well as the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, are located here.

The Archaeology and Anthropology Museum, the Music Directorate, and the Little Theatre are all vehicles used by Unisa to celebrate and promote African arts and culture.

UNISA for Scholarships

In addition to the Research Chair in Development Education, Unisa has a variety of institutes and programs that are leading from the front in the area of African scholarship and knowledge production. These include the following:

  • The Institute for African Renaissance Studies, which studies multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary paradigms.
  • The Institute for Open and Distance Learning, which undertakes ODL research in Africa and internationally.
  • The Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute, which encourages debate on the continent’s future and invests in the training of tomorrow’s leaders.
  • The Archie Mafeje Institute for Applied Social Policy Research, which conducts applied research into the discourses of the family and family life, and the impact of poverty in South Africa and beyond.
  • The Institute for Global Dialogue, which was originally established as an independent South African-based foreign policy think-tank dedicated to the analysis of and dialogue on the evolving international political and economic environment and the role of Africa and South Africa. It was established as a culmination of efforts led by South Africa’s founding father, the late President Nelson Mandela to have a research organisation in South Africa that would facilitate the new South Africa’s engagement with the changing global order after 1994, driven by the motto : ‘Towards a better Africa. Towards a better world’.
  • The Institute for Dispute resolution in Africa, which was established in 2011 and falls under auspices of the College of Law. Notwithstanding this, its research agenda is multi-, inter- and trans-disciplinary and not confined to the legal discourse. Its primary function is to research global and African knowledge systems that relate to dispute processing and dispute resolution, thus utilising law as a structural foundation and community knowledge as an empirical foundation.
  • The WIPHOLD-Brigalia Bam Chair in Electoral Democracy in Africa, which contributes to shaping Africa’s future through research, capacity building for African electoral officials, and collaboration with scholars in the continent and in the African diaspora.
  • The Institute for Social and Health Sciences, which is as an Africa-centred institute of excellence devoted to safety, peace, health and equality. The institute is committed to science and compassion in the service of community, with Africa-oriented research, expertise and community development at its core.

Programs such as the Africa Speaks Programme in the College of Human Sciences is aimed at nurturing and developing a vibrant community of researchers and intellectuals and expose mainly younger academics to top-notch scholarship by African scholars from the continent and the diaspora.


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