More Than 380 000 Unisa Assignments Remain Unmarked


Thousands of unmarked first-semester assignments have added to many of Unisa's administrative challenges. This comes a few weeks after the university suspended its registrar, who highlighted the issues regarding the unmarked assignment.



A total of more than 380,000 assignments that were submitted by students at Unisa during the first semester have not been marked, according to court documents of suspended registrar Prof. Steward Mothata.

There are a number of reasons for the current state of affairs in relation to the unmarked assignments. 

One of them is the lack of enough external markers and the failure of the university’s ICT systems according to National Student Representative Council Chairperson Inga Khetwa

The ICT systems keep on failing, therefore you will find that the student has submitted an assignment but when it appears, the lecturer is not able to mark it because it is corrupted. This means that the assignment becomes blank when it reaches the lecture.

Khetwa goes on to say that they have engaged the university’s management to increase its human resources to fast-track the marking of these assignments. The NSRC has also vowed to hold management accountable if this is not resolved.

Additionally, it has been revealed that out of the roughly 400,000 Unisa students who registered for the first time in 2022, only about 150,000 passed half of their modules. The NSRC Chairperson attributes this to the university registering students who have minimal to no experience with studying at an open distance learning university.

The university placed Mothata on a 90-day precautionary suspension over allegations of misconduct and breach of its policies on 5 June 2023. The allegations levelled against Professor Mothata also include:

  • Breach of confidentiality, Gross abuse of office, Gross dishonesty, 
  • Gross insubordination, 
  • Giving and making false or damaging statements in the execution of your duties and/or in a public place, Sabotaging the academic project and/ or the business of the university in your dealings, 
  • Dereliction of his duties in that he failed to advise the Council and its committees, as well as the Principal and Vice-Chancellor regarding governance matters and the possible related risks.
  • Usurping and assuming the powers and functions beyond those assigned to him 

The professor has opted to challenge his suspension in court. Mothata’s application regarding the unmarked assignments at Unisa is scheduled to be heard on 11 July 2023.  

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