Universities SA: Lower first-year intake at Unisa limiting but necessary

There is growing backlash in the higher education sector following the University of South Africa’s (Unisa) decision to reduce its first-year intake by 20,000 people.

Unisa, which is one of the largest open distance learning institutions in Africa, said last week the decision followed an order from Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimade.

Part of the reason for lower admission this year was the inability of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme to meet demand. The minister is also trying to prevent a backlog when Unisa’s academic year starts in March.

But the United Democratic Front Youth Vanguard criticised the move and called it outrageous. The organization said the minister as failed to understand the role played by Unisa in resolving the space constraints at many universities in the country, as well as the advantage of distance learning during the pandemic.

Universities South Africa CEO Ahmed Bawa said on Sunday while the move might threaten access to education for many, the reduced number would ensure sustainability.

“From what I can gather, the minister’s question to limit Unisa’s intake is really to bring it back into its enrollment planning. What that means is that Unisa will be in a position where it is admitting 20,000 fewer students this year and that, of course, has consequences in terms of access.”


It is no secret that Somizi Mhlongo-Motaung loves the finner things in life, which is super as he can afford it thanks to his illustrious career. The personality who has a SMEG kitchen made a quick stop into the store to get a Dolce and Gabbana kettle and toaster.


While he was there he saw a beautiful fridge and enquired about its price. The sales lady said it cost a whopping R940 000 rand to which Somizi quipped with: Learn More

In other news – Does it come with food? – R940 000 Smeg Fridge leaves Somizi in shock

Unisa students