The University of South Africa (Unisa), has announced two changes in regards to important dates for existing students at the institution.

The first is the date for the release of the first semester exam results. Previously Unisa promised its students that these would be out come 20th July, but this has now been moved to 27th July.

“Unisa has started releasing the May/June 2020 exam results on a staggered basis. Modules for which results have been finalised will be released as soon as they are completed. The university will make every effort to adhere to the release date of 27 July 2020,” The university writes in an announcement.

The reason given for this delay is the technical problems which plagued the online exams which the university switched to for its first semester, to try and continue to the school year during the pandemic. Unisa adds that some affected exams had to be moved to a period between 8th and 16th July, leaving little time to get marking done.

This has a knock on effect for the second semester, as registration for those waiting for results was originally 24th July. As exam results are required before a proper registration can be carried out, this presents a problem.

At the time of writing Unisa has not officially changed this registration date, but has instead done something odd.

This second announced has informed the student body that existing students now have until 5th August to register for new modules. At Unisa a “module” is a class subject.

What makes this strange is that existing students adding more modules is how they register for semesters. It seems like Unisa has simply used different nomenclature to change the registration date without officially saying “the registration date has changed”.

“If you are registered for the 2020 academic year and want to add modules for the second semester, log on to myUnisa (https://my.unisa.ac.za/portal), choose the myAdmin link, click on “Student Admin” and then click on ‘Register Additional Modules’,” reads instructions from the school.

Again, the above method is how existing students have always been able to register for a new semester.

Given the fact that registration for the first semester of 2020 at Unisa was delayed three times, we have a feeling that this news will not be the last of its kind. Those three delays were also due to the late release of exam results, and this was long before COVID-19 had impacted South Africa and caused the lockdown. Hopefully these extra factors won’t been additional delays.