Unisa Claims It Is Improving Despite Damning Report



A damning report from an independent assessor found a public university dysfunctional, recommending for it be placed under administration. The institution has admitted to serious government and operational problems but claims that it is far from collapse.




In the 2022 academic year, pressure mounted against the University of South Africa (Unisa) following allegations of maladministration, tender irregularities, and poor governance.

In a report that had been compiled by Independent Assessor Professor Thabo Mosia has detailed how millions of rands were misused under the watch of both the university’s council and management.

According to Mosia, the South African public university has been plagued by governance issues since 2016 and has recommended that the institution be placed under administration.

Although Unisa has admitted to serious governance and operational problems but has mentioned that it is far from collapse.

Lecturer of professional ethics at Unisa, Mametlwe Sebei stated

A lot of things are improving both in terms of the financial viability of the university, internal governance issues, and also in relation to quality assurances for teaching and research.

The academic has highlighted that the ratings that the university has been getting are a testament that the institution of higher learning is in a better state.

In one of its global rankings, the US News World Report placed Unisa among the top 10 higher education institutions in South Africa, and the top 900 globally.

As per this ranking, the publication has placed Unisa’s engineering disciplines across the board in joint first place in the country.

It is for this reason that Sebei has emphasised that the Assessors Report on Unisa does not reflect on what is the current state of the university and in which direction is it heading.

The Unisa Council finalised and approved its response to the 309-page document that had been compiled by Mosia.

According to the Council, the response will reach the DHET’s office within the agreed time frame between the Higher Education Minister Dr. Blade Nzimande, and Council. 

The institution’s council also looks forward to the guidance and confirmed that it is committed to further engagements should the need arise.

What’s Being Done To Look Into Governance In TVET Colleges?

Higher Education has entered into a partnership with the University of The Western Cape to conduct research into the governance of South African public TVET colleges.

The findings of this research will be used to focus the institutional support provided by DHET on areas that require immediate intervention.

Currently, the research is underway, and its final report is expected at the end of the 2023 academic year. 


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