Unisa tells students to stop emailing staff and management

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The University of South Africa (Unisa) has issued a statement to its students telling them to use the correct email addresses when sending inquires to the university.

Below is the statement with bolded words from Unisa itself.

“We are aware that students share Unisa staff and management e-mail addresses and that students use these e-mail addresses for enquiries. We remind you that if you have a Unisa enquiry or need assistance, you must send your enquiry to the correct e-mail address and not to individual staff members or members of management. This will ensure that you get the necessary feedback timeously,” the university writes.

“Departments deal with enquiries related to their area of work. If you send your enquiry to the wrong department or to individual members of staff (or even groups of staff), who then need to forward your e-mail to the correct department/e-mail address, there will be a delay before you receive feedback. Please click here for a list of enquiry e-mail addresses.”

To understand the problem with this statement it’s important to be familiar with Unisa’s dismal track record when it comes to responding to student enquiries.

It’s the norm for students to wait weeks, months and sometimes even years for someone from the university to reply to an email query. There are many reports of this and its something that top management at the school recognises. In our interview with the Unisa Principal and Vice-Chancellor this problem was addressed with changes promised on the horizon.

Because of this culture of non-communication Unisa students take it upon themselves to share contact details of employees who have helped them in the past, with the hope that they can also help other students. It’s this sharing of details which the university is trying to discourage.

On the one hand we do understand Unisa’s stance here as it will lead to employees receiving emails for work that is not under their purview or not related to the faculty / department they are part of.

That being said to insinuate that students will receive timeous help even with the right email addresses is laughable to say the least.

While we have no fix for this situation we can point students in the direction of Dean of Students doctor Olwethu Sipuka. Last month the new dean told students that they can DM him directly should they have a problem that they have been struggling with.

Clinton Matos

Clinton Matos

Clinton has been a programmer, engineering student, project manager, asset controller and even a farrier. Now he handles the maker side of htxt.africa.