As South Africa gets deeper into a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic the University of South Africa (Unisa) is instituting a system using SMSes for students to collect their certificates.
Several methods have been used to distribute certificates to student during the pandemic as graduation ceremonies are not possible. While the certificates were sometimes couriered to students but now collections are in order.
The University is currently issuing certificates at different Unisa offices and students are invited via SMS to collect their certificates on a specific date. A limited number of students are invited per day to comply with the Covid-19 protocols and rules. If, for any reason, you are unable to collect your certificate on the date indicated on your SMS, a further SMS with a new date will be forwarded to you. Only students who are allocated for the specific date will be allowed access to the campus / regional office. If you have not yet received an SMS, you must wait until you receive your SMS with the allocated date and office address for collection.
Those who visit the campuses and offices for collection are advised that they will need to physically show the SMS when entering the premises.
Feedback for this announcement has not been good. Users on Twitter, for example, are asking why the old method of sending the certificates via courier have been abandoned. There also seems to be some delays attached to this system and other questions that have not been answered in the announcement.
Communication has never been a strong suit for Unisa, a problem compounded by the pandemic and the need to change operations on the fly to keep everyone safe.
If you’ve finished your studies and are having troubles receiving your SMS and / or collecting your certificate it may be best to get in contact with the staff in charge of the Unisa department you studied in. just take note that, even when Unisa is operating as intended, it can take a good few months for the school to properly recognise a completed degree or qualification.
It’s not unusual to wait six months after completing your final batch of exams to have your results properly vetted.