The University of South Africa (Unisa) has again changed an important date for its services, this time in regards to registrations for its first semester of 2020.

“The closing date for first semester registrations and minimum payments has been extended to 1 February 2020,” the institution announced.

Previously this date was set as 24th January.

While it may seem like a fairly innocuous change, it’s difficult to see the extension as anything other than a fault by the university.

This is due to the extremely late release of examination results from Unisa for the second semester of 2019. The late release of these results meant that returning students could not register for new modules properly.

This is a recurring problem at Unisa that has happened time and time again. Registration for the second semester of 2019 was delayed not once, but twice.

UPDATE: A strike has also contributed to this date change.

Moving dates around like this causes many knock-on problems for students. Acquiring bursaries for their tuition becomes even more complex, and the later they have to register the less time they have to actually start studying for the semester.

All of this is also ignoring other problems that the university is facing. Just read some of the comments on Twitter about the aforementioned announcement, and it’s clear to see that students are struggling with problems such as confirmations of registration, lack of communication from the university, confusing online systems and more.

Online registration has been a particular thorn in the side of both students and the university. This method of registration is preferred by Unisa to avoid the long queues which happen around this time of year, but the site to do so is not that intuitive and is prone to error and crashing during times of heavy load.

If you are a returning student beset by any of the problems mentioned above the comment we’ve received from the university in the past is to simply register for your new modules first and then try and sort things out from there.