The University of South Africa (Unisa) has once again found itself in the spotlight as thousands of students band behind the #UselessUnisa hashtag to decry problems affecting them at the school.
At the time of writing, on Twitter alone, the hashtag is nearing five thousand tweets with more joining in on the conversation with each refresh.
Looking over many of these tweets and there are recurring topics: a lack of access to data, notebooks, textbooks and allowances.
These problems have reached fever pitch as many students have been pressured to submit important first semester assignments tomorrow on 12th May. As we reported on back in April this date was given as an expansion to Unisa students following problems with registrations for the semester.
For certain modules not submitting the first assignment will result in an automatic failure, even if the assignment does not contribute to the final grade for that module. From what we’ve been able to gather the point of this harsh system is to make sure that students don’t sign up for modules they don’t intended to partake in by failing them early in the semester.
Another issue that this trend highlights is Unisa’s continued communications problems. A breakdown in communication has plagued the university for years with students left with no reply from Unisa representatives indefinitely as they struggle with their problems.
Just recently the new principal and vice chancellor of Unisa promised that this would be fixed with a 48 hour turnaround time for student queries. A nice sentiment but when we interviewed the previous principal and vice chancellor in 2020 these same problems remained and were also promised to be improved.
Below you can find a selection of tweets using the #UselessUnisa hashtag from students and supporters.
Please help us make #UselessUnisa trend , students are suffering , no book allowance , we can't buy prescribed books, assignment due date are tomorrow, registration are not finalized, no study materials delivered
— Kagiso Tlou (@KagisoTlou11) May 11, 2021
— El Commandente Kayzo (@ElKraai) May 11, 2021
— MajorIcey (@MajorIceyZA) May 11, 2021
Unisa it's showing us flames…my registration was finalized two months ago I haven't received my allowance, hardcopy of study materials, no data. But nsfas said they already released our funds to unisa…..
— Fulufhelo (@Fulufhelo45) May 11, 2021
UNISA has proven itself to be the most incompetent institution ever. This university must be investigated. From the VC, to even the elected SRC representatives are useless. UNISA is so anti-Black it's scary. This SRC is a disgrace to the EFFSC, they don't care. #UselessUnisa
— Cameron Kendall Peters (@CameronKendall) May 11, 2021
— Phemelo Boshielo (@LadyP73405274) May 11, 2021
#UselessUnisa the pain towards these students they been failed by this institution and NSFAS they all going to fail their exams because of no data,cant complete assignments,no textbooks,no allowances to help them even register buy books,data etc sad pic.twitter.com/eqvXpAEwrC
— IG:Joy-Zelda (@joy_zelda) May 11, 2021
— JabulaniMacdonald⚡ (@Jabu_Macdonald) May 11, 2021
Unisa is so depressing, from registration finalization to delivery of study material to our book allowances. Oppressing the youth. I know students who registered on the 5th of January till today they are not finalized. We are abused emotionally. Enough is enough #UselessUnisa
— mbali majola (@imbalikayeyesa) May 11, 2021
#UselessUnisa Enough is enough, extend due dates, our allowances must reflect, data allowance is a need as the videos shared by the lectures consume lot of data, we are unable to even purchase prescribed books.
— siphosethu skepu (@siphose2skepu) May 11, 2021