UNISA vs CARTE BLANCHE

I am not at all moved by the reports made or alluded to in the Carte Blanche episode last night.
Unisa is a top 5 univeristy in africa and a top 300 university world wide >> http://www.4icu.org/topAfrica/
in fact, according to this ranking site its number one in africa in 2013.

i believe the quality of the degree is good. yes, they have admin problems, problems with marking ect..so does every other university. I have studied at an “attendance university” and let me tell you that they are not without their problems!!

The sheer number of students at UNISA means that not all students will be pleased, not all will get the mark they hoped for. I myself have been a “victim” of poor marking….just last semester i was given thirty seven percent in my exam. I simply applied for a remark and got a response two days later saying i had passed. Yes the mark was incorrect, yes they did not mark two pages…point being? they rectified their mistake and did so in a timely fashion. No harm was done in the end because i followed the procedure provided by UNISA to rectify the error!!

In the end you are paying half the price of an “attendance” univerity for a top 5 degree. allow me to explain. I paid 25500 last year to attend the UFH, that did not include books, only tuition. To date, i have spent 5500 on modules and books at UNISA, the semester im in now will cost me 6200 ront!! total? 11700 for the year total, minus 25500 equals a saving of R13800. THerefore i dont mind if unisa screwes up here and there, once or twice a year. BECAUSE im still getting a top 5 degree for half the price, its a win!! ALSO UNISA has many professors who are top of their profession (in law) and are actually the authors of the text books which we read…who better to learn from?

i say stop bitching, start learning and stop feeling that your so bloody entitled!! if you didnt get the mark you wanted learn harder or apply for a remark like everyone else, dont be a “victim”!! UNISA has put procedures in place to help you, use them. If you dont get joy, go in branch like it did, get it done!! goodluck for the rest of the year and learn hard!

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43 comments

  1. I agree!! Spot on

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  2. thanks! i hope unisa can come to an agreement with these people

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  3. As an Unisa student in the accounting field , I am burdened with an academic progress rule. if I don’t pass, I lose my job. As a top 5 university as you point out ,I believe the quality of admin and any other process should reflect the same standard. Paying thousands of rands just to get a mark that does not reflect my performance is an insult to my rights to higher education. I suggest an audit of the marks , if Unisa is so confident that most students are being treated fairly then they would agree. If I am paying for a service , I Expect to get my money’s worth. Any student has the right to ensure they are being treated fairly. I am sure there is a governing body that should address this issue. If Unisa cannot ensure top quality, then they should not charge thousands of rands.

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    1. indeed, thats why there is process for remarking and an ombudsman, and the dept of high education and saqa ect ect… also keep in mind that when you pay for you remark your money is refunded if you pass. THus if you did you work and DID indeed pass you have nothing to worry about.

      further the thousands of rands you are paying is less than half of what you would pay at another university. not saying it makes it right, it simply means they have more students and with more students comes greater responisibility.

      if you are learining you shouldnt have a problem. ive had one hiccup in 3 years. i had about 10 hiccups last year at the other university i attended, thus i am back at unisa.

      good luck with your studies, if you need assistance getting what you want, let me know maybe i can help you.

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  4. yes I hear all u guys r sayong bt wt abt me I went personal to unisa and applied for my script to be emailed which the exam room did in 2 days then emailed the script to my lectures both of them but no reply till this day.so what do I say in a case like this cause I don’t think the marks I got was right even if I can get a suplementry it will be a consolation for me.the only dept. that works at unisa is the finance dept.the rest is a joke.Guys you must remember some of us its hard financially to repeat for other peoples mistakes or ignorance.

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    1. i am not financially well of either. if you still cannot get answers and have used the available procedures for help, but didnt get any help, then you must approach the ombudsman. Please remember the ombudsman will only help those who have exhausted all availlable procedures. supply the ombudsman with the relevant data and emails concerning your problem, they are quite effective.

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  5. I have found it easier to be proactive than reactive. At the beginning of my degree as Unisa, I was expecting quality service and all that, why? because that is what I expected from a university. Boy was I wrong.

    This is where my attitude changed and I became proactive. Thinking about how I can make it easier for the examiner and lecturer. I ignored spelling and grammar mistakes. I started to read between the lines. My best act was during exams; I would highlight the key points using underlines and then proceed to fill in the details. This enables the examiner to see that I know the outline of the answer with just a glace and then subsequent reading of a sentence would alert them to the fact I knew my work.

    I aim to make their job easier which makes my life easier. Just like managers.

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    1. i like this answer. not only because this is what i do but because its a positive way of dealing with a negative issue, and it leaves little room for markers to claim that you didnt give the correct answer or similair response.

      although in my case i use a highlighter. i couldnt give two straws if they like it or not. its my mark and im taking responsibility for it!

      thanks for reading 🙂

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  6. John sean lenge · · Reply

    UNISA decides the number of students they going to fail way before the exam is set, l wonder why you defending them so much. our exams are being marked by people with no matric that is just total madness.

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    1. “John sean lenge Aug 28, 11:25 am
      UNISA decides the number of students they going to fail way before the exam is set” >> wow!! Their planning is either crazy good or your’e manufacturing this outa thin air>> im going with the thin air. until you can come with some proof of this ridiculous assertion!

      same goes for your other nugget >> “our exams are being marked by people with no matric that is just total madness.”

      the only reason why im prepared to put this on my blog is for a laugh!! until you can prove these statments they remain utterances of conjecture>> to be proved or disproved, until then they are so ludacrous as to be laughable!! HAHAHAHA

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  7. Why do I have to pay for re-mark or checking of the script? If now, it is them at fault, then I should be refunded for that remark fee, the distress they have caused, my time they have wasted, energy, efforts & othert related admin costs. Maybe they recoup their tuition fees from remark, rewriting & repeating the modules. You actually lost the point. Reread m&g article & understand it comprehensely. I think you lacked there!

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    1. hi mike
      you do get refunded your remark fee or re check fee as the case may be. its not a big deal really. i am going to write another article concerning the M&G article soon, there are certain things that just dont make sense here. i am loathe to support unsubstantiated claims. i prefer to er on the side of caution.
      However, i find it important to stand up for UNISA (even though i dont have to) because by scandalising the university they are shinning a very negative light on what is essentially a very good university. i will not delve into the good UNISA has done lately, it in the press reports!

      it also disturbing, especially when you consider that these students make up less than 2% of the populace of the university which is 400 000!!
      lets get real here >> thats a massive number. please read the above responses on my overall point of view. i have also put every negative comment on this blog even though i didnt have to. i believe in freedom of expression (within limits of course) 😉

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  8. why can’ the University perform the duties due?? yes, there are remedies, but we can’t always apply for a remark or recheck for all our exams. come on! That’s ridiculous. why can’t they just follow the correct procedure for marking?? why do we have to suffer for theire negligence? no, it’s not fair. and remember that not all of us have the means to get a remark or recheck. they have been exposed and there is no justification for it. simple.

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  9. Emeraldfeiry · · Reply

    Sure those prices look good on paper. But if you keep having to pay for the same subjects over and over again, when they “give” you a mark that doesn’t qualify for a remark or because of the fact that they have lost stuff ( yes they have managed to loose payments, assignments and one year even a whole subject that already passed) you don’t trust them to remark anyway. So it adds up to a bit more doesn’t it ? The problem is they have no competition in this country. So they know we need them ( this was actually said to me by one of their reps). So they can keep on doing as they like

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  10. Unisa has issued a statement. lets wait and see what comes of their investigation.

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  11. I too use to bitch and moan constantly about the various problems at Unisa. Lately I’ve spent a lot of time at the university, with various staff members and including the lecturers. Firstly, no one can deny that Unisa has a massive logistics problem, with nearly two million assignments and one million exam scripts to be marked just this year, from over four-hundred thousand students and another eighty thousand enrolling next year.

    What students needs to understand is their are education governance policies in place with not only the university, but with the colleges, and the schools, and the departments, as well as the various administrative departments. This also includes measures and policies to handle any and all problems. If students have an issue, or a complaint, then instead of just complaining, they should take action immediately! Many students will leave their problems late for months and even years and just complain to Carte Blanche. The sooner your resolve a problem, the sooner it will be dealt with!

    Another thing, you are very lucky to be studying your LL.B. through Unisa. The College of Law at Unisa not only has the greatest minds in the country on its board, but the LL.B. at Unisa is considered the most comprehensive LL.B. degree in South Africa, covering every aspect needed, and because Unisa students have little support and little help in their studies, they are forced to think critically and rationally, which is something students doing their LL.B. degrees at a residential university don’t do because they’re spoon feed. Besides, you’ll be joining an alumni with Chief Justice Mogoeng (LL.M.), Deputy Chief Justice Mosenke (B.A., B.Iuris., and LL.B.), Justice Cameron (LL.B.), Justice Froneman (LL.B.), Justice Zondo (Three LL.M. degrees), Justice Langa (B.Iuris. and LL.B.), too name a few.

    Good luck with your studies!

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    1. its nice to get a positive reply like this. from someone who spends time with staff at unisa. This is not the first time i have been told that unisa’s llb is one of the best if not the best. thanks for reading.

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    2. Wow i’m encouraged! I’m studying for my LLB! Its true though students tend to feel too entitled. Although I do agree that UNISA needs to tighten many a loose bolt as students we need to realise what’s at stake here. I have often found this, that someone in the very same situation instead of complaining,is making it happen for themselves, finding new solutions and better ways of going around their problems. So what’s your excuse?

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  12. Tim Whelan · · Reply

    Hi, Just wanted to point out that the ranking you cite (which ranks UNISA as the top university in Africa), is just a web ranking system, which only analyses web traffic and page ranking, and (as specified on their web page – http://www.4icu.org/menu/about.htm#ranking) does not take into account the quality of the programs or education.

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    1. http://theafricachannel.com/top-ten-universities-in-africa/
      http://answersafrica.com/top-10-universities-in-africa-latest-rankings.html
      There are others that include UNISA in the top ten of all african universities. im not gonnal list all of them!

      but thank you for pointing that anomaly out.

      also

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  13. sorry tim. also there are hundreds of african universities and to be in the top ten is quite an accomplishment considering UNISA’S reported inadequacies.

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  14. The quality of service at Unisa is excellent. I’ve been submitting my assignments electronically via my unisa and received notifications of my results via sms and 3 days later I will receive them by post with comments where necessary. Fully satisfied. I never had a problem Unisa, every time when I contact unisa I always receive posetive feedback. UNISA is best institution.

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    1. you have obviously had a very good experience!! this is probably your honeymoon phase, enjoy it while it lasts 🙂

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  15. I’m currently a CTA student as UNISA. This year I put all my resources into passing and studying hard. I paid R 18 600 for admission this year the because it is accounting and everything change constantly you have to buy new handbooks every year that works out around R 6 000. In the past it was only 4 subjects now they changed it to 5 subjects, this means roughly R 4 000 extra of admissions. Yes it is cheaper than an full time university but it is still expensive and I still expect a good service, education and marking for my money.

    We have Saturday tests that count towards our year mark. On 3 occasions my tests were remarked before I received it back and on every test they marked 3-5 points more, this does not sound like much but when the test only count 40 it is around 10%. On the last test on 2 of the 5 subjects we received, in writing, notice that every student will receive 3 points extra for markers errors because there is simply not enough time to remark!!! Personally I think this is horrifying!! They admitted to use in writing and by giving free marks that their markers are not up to standard!! This made me think of how many points I lost during the year not remarking every test.

    I understand they have a lot of students and this means they have al lot of tests they have to mark but it is not new news to them, they know there is a lot of test, students and documents they have to go trough why cant they get the necessary help before hand?
    At my previous university they hired students how previously passed subjects with good marks to help out with marking papers, this students have the knowledge and back ground of the subject to mark educated, again I know that UNISA’s students is world wide but this can not be an excuses for poor marking, their has to be other options they can look into.

    Every degree creates a level of background if you do not have it you would not understand the answer to a certain question. I would really like to know that is the criteria UNISA use to hire their markers.

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  16. hi thanks for the comment 😉

    about this? >> “!! They admitted to use in writing and by giving free marks that their markers are not up to standard!! This made me think of how many points I lost during the year not remarking every test.”

    could you email that to me please? i would like to publish that email on this blog.

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    1. I will be glad to send it to you, not sure how, don’t se a mail address any ware. Please advise

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  17. Good article! I also felt defensive regarding that episode, to date I have never had an issue with UNISA. I can only sing their praises! #teamlawUNISA

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    1. another positive comment. good to see. thank you!! 🙂
      what you studying?

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    2. thank you!! i havnt had any major issues either, and the experiances ive had are not that bad…o well
      what are you studying?
      thanks for reading

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  18. So just because u pay less now u dnt care wether u are being fairly assessed or not? Really? Come oooon. We deserve fair judgement, simple as that, wether we learn for free or for millions, its not about the money but the quality of edication!

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    1. really? so you would argue that a law degree from oxford is the same as one from unitra/walter sisulu?

      i think not! you pay for quality….period! that how the world works,if you aint got money, you dont get the best/quality.

      its like that in every country in the world, sa is no diff.

      also you should be studying for exams 😉

      good luck!

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  19. georgie porgie · · Reply

    i agree with most of what you have said tlg. just the money part that anoys me. dont like spending money and not getting value?
    unisa will come around im sure.
    also you sound like a good/smart student tlg, interested in some real legal work?

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    1. none of us like spending money goergie, but it remains a fact of life today.
      legal work? what kind of legal work?

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  20. so a little late… but relevant. Im a finalist communications student with unisa. ive had a fabulous experience with my department… maybe cz its communications so they are experts in that…. but the lecturers in that department respond in time. Assignments come back often in time (the key is also you the student submitting your assignment early). tutorial classes have happened when they are supposed to. Especially prof Terreblanche who promptly responds to emails and returns calls! I wld give communications department 9/10. the other 1 gets lost to admin.

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    1. Thanks for your input Terry. good to see unisa responding fast.
      on the admin side > well thats nothing new and i know other universities also have problems in this regard.

      Unisa being the largest uni, almost half a million strong, im not surprised there are issues.

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  21. Darlie · · Reply

    I have been with UNISA for 4 years now, I started experiencing problems the year I set my foot there. I am now repeating modules that I requested their scrips to be returned to me, of which payments for such I have paid for. I had to keep on asking for leave days from work to enquire about the status of my request, I sent emails everyday the whole year to admin and lectures, I ended up wasting a year of waiting for a response of which I never had until to date. I have now decided to take a gap year from work in order to finish my studies and follow up on quiries as soon as they arise. This is just unprofessional. For those who had responces from the University, please stop swearing at people who have problems, you are lucky that you are having it easy here. I have been to a university where I was attending, but this is the worst university I had ever had.

    UNISA must hire people or have a cut-off number for registration if they cannot handle the capacity. UNISA is on the top ten because it has dedicated students.

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  22. Nabby Girl · · Reply

    Wow Darlie. I share a similar experience to yours. My problems also started when I started studying at Unisa. Firstly the study material was always posted to me late, luckily I had access to a computer so it didn’t affect me that much until I passed my first course and was told I could study any degree at Unisa that’s when there were so many miscommunication between the University gosh I’ve got so many emails back and forth and made so many calls to Unisa regarding this but they couldn’t really help me until I felt really fed up and decided to go straight to the University and provided them with all my documents and email correspondence. It turns out I was eligible to do any degree but because of their mistakes and miscommunication I missed 6 months of my degree studies in 2012 and now this year I’ve missed another 6 months because they couldn’t track my registration and their systems were down. Oh and last year Unisa failed me on a module I actually knew I passed because I really wrote the paper well and I was in complete shock. I tried to contact the Cape Town branch and they said they’ll get back to me, even suggest I request a remark but I didn’t. Anyway, about a week later I logged into MyUnisa and found out that I passed the model without having it remarked. Apparently they had a technical glitch so when it was “fixed” the marks were corrected. How odd? I also contacted their Obudsman but they advised me to continue with my studies as is because the investigation could take months to years to sort our which basically meant that they weren’t interested in what I had to say nor were they willing to assist me or MAYBE they’ve had just too many complaints and cases to deal with. So I really had a rotten experience.

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    1. to be fair i have been lucky so far. i have had minor issues with unisa but nothing really major.
      unisa suits my daily routine so it works for me

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  23. Zee nice · · Reply

    I’m currently experiencing hostility from unisa for my remark, something doesn’t add up. It’s beyond me now, I tried all I could to get a fair and transparent remark process to no avail. Media intervention is my hope. I know I did very well in my exams.

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    1. have you tried the ombudsman?

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      1. I thought of it but this has been going on for far too long. What if they also take their time????? I’m so so shattered by all this but am not taking it lying down

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  24. bhahspqe · · Reply

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