Unisa is a sunken ship: iLIVE

22 January 2016 - 12:34 By Phumelela Mtshali
An aerial view of the University of South Africa (Unisa) Pretoria campus.
An aerial view of the University of South Africa (Unisa) Pretoria campus.
Image: Supplied

Unisa is a sinking ship, or rather, a sunken ship. A quick glance at their Facebook page or a swift HelloPeter search will help you realise this.

Yes, I know they will lay the blame on ''Fees Must Fall'' or the wages protest but this problem began waaaaay before all of this.

Most students complain of poor service, lines that ring off the hook, emails that aren't responded to. Many have applied but haven't received communication on the status of their applications so that they can register.

I for one, am a Unisa student. As a distance learning institution,  expect exactly that, to be serviced from a distance.

I wrote examinations during the October/November exam cycle. Now, this was before the 'Fees Must Fall' protest. On the 21st I wrote a Public Relations exam, and others subsequently. The one on the 21st was the first exam.

I still have not received those results even though results for the subsequent exams have been sent to me. Notwithstanding, there was an exam where we were disrupted by the protests mid-exam but even those results have been communicated to me.

I have tried numerous times, for hours on end to contact them. Pretoria as well as Durban numbers but no one answers. Even SMS's and e-mails go unanswered. I then searched their complaints and pheeew a wave of similar complaints was what I saw. Some were even failed for those exam results that were outstanding.

Now, this is not the first time. The Mail and Guardian once ran a similar story in 2013 about Unisa failing students in an exam cover up, in that instance, they had lost exam papers and therefore simply failed students.

However, more than anything, this is abusive really. I would really appreciate it if you could further investigate this matter as thousands of Unisa students are in the same conundrum. One cannot wait for over three months for exam results, that is absurd.

On Tuesday I decided to 'test' if perhaps the system was down or something. I decided to deposit money into Unisa to pay for registration fees (I have not yet registered yet because A. their online registration is faulty and when you go to the campuses, they revert you back to online registration and B. I still have outstanding results).

But these monies reflect when I check them via the MyUnisa portal. So this begs a question, are we just simply being ignored as students because they know we have no alternative?