Applications to the University of South Africa (Unisa) were historically open twice per year to coincide with the two semesters which make up each scholastic cycle. The varying and inconsistent dates for these application periods were one of many sore spots in the process, but that has now been changed.

“Good news. The Unisa application model is now open and continuous. This means that applications remain open throughout the years,” reads an SMS sent out by the university.

The SMS also includes a link to the admission application page on its site. Going to that page also branches off into a FAQ which answers some of the questions about this new model.

The biggest question most may be asking is how closing dates for semesters will be handled. “There is no closing date as such. However specific qualifications may be closed for applications when a qualification is full or at least two weeks prior to the start of the registration period,” the FAQ states.

Said registration periods are January (for semester one) and mid-June to mid-July (for semester two).

At this point it’s worth mentioning that “application” and “registration” are two very different things at Unisa, despite sounding so similar. We explain this further in our story on 2020 applications, but the short version is that a successful application does not mean that you are ready to start studying at the university.

After a successful registration, in which a student number is acquired, a learner will then need to register for the modules they will be studying in a given semester. After a minimum tuition fee has been paid, the learner will be successfully registered and can begin studying when the semester commences.

Applications mainly concern new students who won’t be familiar with the sometimes infuriating way in which Unisa conducts things. To them we urge you to read the application page as well as the new FAQ we’ve provided.

Useful further reading: