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How to Receive UNISA Certificate In Absentia



How to Receive UNISA Certificate In Absentia

How to Receive UNISA Certificate In Absentia. Earning a certificate is a significant achievement in higher education, but delays in receiving the physical certificate during graduation ceremonies can be frustrating. This phenomenon, known as “certificate absentia,” is relevant in South Africa. Despite the absence of a physical certificate, graduates’ achievements are still acknowledged through provisional documents.

Administrative Challenges in Certificate Processing

The delays in printing and processing certificates contribute to the certificate absentia phenomenon. While administrative difficulties are recognized, the South African higher education system continually strives to enhance these processes.

UNISA Approach to Certificate Absentia

If you’ve completed your studies at the University of South Africa (UNISA) and opt for a certificate in absentia, UNISA offers two options for certificate delivery.

Certificate Mailed to Your Address

Upon successful completion, if you choose to graduate in absentia, UNISA will promptly mail your certificate to the registered address within two weeks of the graduation ceremony. This option accommodates graduates unable to attend the ceremony in person.

Personal Collection of Certificate

Alternatively, graduates have the option to personally collect their certificates from the Division: Graduations office. It’s crucial to verify eligibility and double-check the specific location and timing. Keeping contact and address details updated with UNISA ensures secure and timely delivery.

Exploring “Degree in Absentia”

The concept of a degree “in absentia” refers to the conferring of an academic degree upon a student who cannot attend the customary graduation ceremony. This practice, also known as “virtual graduation,” has gained popularity. Despite not being physically present, students’ accomplishments are recognized through the formal acknowledgment of their academic achievements.

Graduation in Absentia

Graduating in absentia is a valid choice. While attending a graduation ceremony is an honor, opting for an absentia graduation doesn’t diminish the significance of the achievement. The certificate is mailed, marking the completion of academic requirements, and while future physical attendance at ceremonies is precluded, the accomplishment is duly celebrated.

“Absence” and “Absentia”

Distinguishing between “absence” and “absentia” is crucial in various contexts. “Absence” denotes a temporary lack of presence, often used informally. On the other hand, “absentia” is employed in formal or legal contexts, indicating an official or extended type of absence. Understanding these terms enhances communication and prevents misunderstandings, whether in casual discussions or legal settings.


Navigating the complexities of certificate absentia at UNISA requires an understanding of administrative challenges, available options, and the significance of virtual graduation. Recognizing the distinctions between “absence” and “absentia” further contributes to effective communication in various situations.

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