Founded in 1873 as the University of the Cape of Good Hope, the institution became the first public university in the world to teach exclusively by means of distance education in 1946. Throughout the years, Unisa was perhaps the only university in South Africa to have provided all people with access to education, irrespective of race, colour or creed. This vibrant past is mirrored in our rich history, more particularly our massive and impressive database of alumni, some of whom are to be found in the most senior levels of society across the world.
Explore the more than 140 years of Unisa’s existence and celebrate our decades of service to students in South Africa and beyond. Learn more about Unisa’s evolution from a small, colonial examining body into one of the world’s largest open distance learning institutions — an exuberantly African global leaders.
The three core business areas of Unisa are teaching, research and community engagement. Our world-class research is spearheaded by the Research and Innovation portfolio and community engagement by our Community Engagement and Outreach Policy. We also place great importance on the celebration and promotion of our African arts and culture through various endeavours.
Offering study opportunities to more than 400 000 students from across South Africa, Africa and other parts of the world, Unisa offers a diverse choice of study fields at levels from certificate to degree. The university is considered South Africa’s most productive* accounting for 12.8% of all degrees conferred by the country’s 23 public universities and universities of technology.
An unparalleled range of study choices is offered, ranging from short courses and certificate programmes to three-and four-year degrees and diplomas, to over 400 000 current students. As one of the leading research institutions on the continent, the research efforts have won us numerous awards, recognitions and honours.
#801World University Rankings