Unisa students given two more weeks to prepare for exams

Unisa building.
Unisa building.
Image: Dudu Zitha/Sunday Times

The University of SA (Unisa) has resolved to extend the commencement of first semester examinations by two weeks to afford all students reasonable time to prepare.

Vice-chancellor, Professor Mandla Makhanya, made the announcement at the university’s main campus in Pretoria on Wednesday.

He said in terms of the agreement with student formations, all examinations starting on 07-18 May will now be written from 18-29 June.

Makhanya said in reaching the agreement, the institution took into consideration grievances raised by students about the late delivery and receipt of study material as well as late receipt of assignment feedback.

“Students have raised the concern that these issues have a negative impact on their examination preparedness,” he said.

Makhanya said in the first semester of 2018, the university took cognisance of the ripple effect of the late applications and registrations following the announcement of free education by government.

He said they had cautioned that the late admissions and registrations will affect the students entering the system so late in the academic year, with the effect that submission of assignments (including assignment feedback) will be late and that their examination preparedness will be compromised.

Makhanya said students however insisted on proceeding with registration in spite of the risk that was flagged, saying when the risk became a reality it was the students again who approached the university and demanded a postponement of the examination.

“Notwithstanding that we had cautioned against such an eventuality; and in order to afford all students a reasonable time to prepare for examinations, the university resolved to extend the May/June 2018 examinations by two weeks,” he said.

Makhanya also lamented that they were sitting with a serious challenge of the delay in the confirmation of NSFAS grants and subsequent delay in the purchasing of textbooks for beneficiaries.

He said this had huge implication in terms of examination readiness but also the potential of students to succeed.

“For management and staff, this has been the most frustrating experience as we do not have a direct role to play in the allocation of these resources,” Makhanya said.

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