It’s been an interesting start to the year. Back at UNISA, full time work and family commitments, it’s tougher than I remember ;)…. There is an upside to being at unisa and that’s the fact that its far cheaper than an “attendance” university, another consideration in its favour is time, a have more time to do what I need to do and can plan around my studies effectively, or is it the other way around?

It is dawning on me that I need to structure my daily study plan effectively or I run the risk of not covering everything and not being able to complete the study material I need to. To do this properly I assign different subjects to different days and then sub divide those into morning and night “shifts”. Also, I often assign a weekend to each subject and then concentrate on that subject for the entire weekend, for example this coming weekend will be an “interpretation of statutes” weekend where I can focus purely on aspects and cases surrounding IOS. It’s almost time to start revision for exams, but I will do that next month.

There are some cons to studying at unisa as a correspondence student, one of them is the fact that the satellite branch here does not have a law library, by that I mean a comprehensive law library with law journals, statute books, law reports and glossary. That’s one thing I do miss about an attendance university.
Yes, unisa does have these available online if you go into their branches, however I don’t always have the time to go in to do the research I want. Another thing to consider is the fact that the lexis nexus online law reports and law journals don’t always have all the cases of a particular year in the data base, as opposed the actual law report for 1957 for example will contain all the cases.

Another con is the inordinate amount of time you have to wait to get a response from unisa, and I’m not the only person who has complained about this. Another con would be that you have to wait for a long time to get your exam or assignment results and that drives me nuts….it feels as if they moving at the speed of a glacier.

However, when I weigh it all up, the pros and cons, the pros outweigh the cons because the cost of studying at unisa is so cheap in comparison the studying at any other university and it allows me a large portion of free time which I use to work or spend with my family. I would recommend though that unisa look into the amount of time it takes them to respond to queries or sometimes very important considerations. I’m no rocket scientist but I imagine that unisa gets thousands of emails per day, however this is no excuse when you consider we are paying for a service. Maybe Unisa needs to upgrade their servers or employ more people or maybe they should create a better internalized system from each satellite branch that will enable students to go through the satellite branch instead of going through Pretoria each time. by this I mean online not in person. and by online I mean internet and mobile devices, the technology is available, why not use it?

good luck and study hard


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