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UNISA Under Administration | Why Nzimande Wanted



UNISA Under Administration | Why Nzimande Wanted

UNISA Under Administration | Why Nzimande Wanted. Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande push for placing the country’s largest university under administration stemmed from a series of critical challenges faced by the institution. The minister’s intent was to address these issues and implement corrective measures.

UNISA Key Issues and Challenges

One of the prominent issues identified was the university’s struggle to adapt to changes in the student body, marked by unrealistic and irresponsible enrollment targets. This factor played a pivotal role in prompting the minister’s intervention.

Strategic Guidance and Operational Weaknesses

Criticism was directed at UNISA for lacking strategic guidance as a modern Open Distance e-learning (OdeL) institution. Operational weaknesses, including the failure to address key strategic priorities, were also highlighted in the reports.

Systemic Problems within the UNISA University

Reports brought attention to various systemic problems within the university, encompassing dysfunctional and outdated ICT infrastructure, collapsed basic assurance services affecting governance, ineffective risk management processes, and a prevalent culture of non-compliance and corruption.

UNISA Neglect of Consequence Management and Ethical Culture

The institution faced accusations of neglecting consequence management and failing to foster an enabling and ethical culture. This included issues within the Office of the Registrar, particularly in student administration, leading to frustration among students and the exploitation of student information by fraudulent tutors.

UNISA Governance Criticisms

UNISA’s governance was under scrutiny for outdated statutes, policies, and non-adherence to governance instruments. The Council’s implication in condoning irregular financial decisions further added to the university’s challenges, including selective salary adjustments and the controversial laptop scheme.

UNISA Long-standing Council Interference

The reports suggested a long-standing issue of Council interference in management matters. This interference manifested in the reduction of delegation of authority (DoA) and encroachment on areas traditionally managed by the university’s administration.

UNISA Administrator Appointment for Improvement

The proposed appointment of an administrator aimed to tackle these multifaceted challenges and enhance the institution’s credibility. Ultimately, a legal battle concluded in November 2023, leading to Minister Nzimande withdrawing his decision to place UNISA under administration.


he decision to place UNISA under administration was a response to a myriad of institutional challenges. Although the legal battle concluded without intervention, the issues highlighted underscore the urgent need for strategic reforms to ensure UNISA sustained excellence and credibility.

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