Minister Blade Nzimande must place Unisa under administration

Issued by Chantel King MP – DA Shadow Minister for Higher Education
25 Jun 2023 in News

The Minister of Higher Education, Blade Nzimande, must place Unisa under administration following the Independent Assessor’s (IA) report compiled by Prof Themba Mosia. Governance challenges at Unisa is a concern and the impact on teaching and learning has been highlighted on numerous occasions.

Prof Mosia’s scope of investigation was to assess:

  • the function and efficacy of Unisa’s governance and management structure, the operations of the office of the Registrar, the state policies and procedures of Unisa pertaining to financial management, supply chain management and procedures; allegations of financial irregularities;
  • the state of the human resources policies and practices of the university, particularly in relation to enhancing organisational efficiency and employment relations;
  • a detailed analysis and reasons for the significant number of staff suspensions, disciplinary cases and dismissals at the university since 2018; and
  • allegations of misconduct and mismanagement against the Vice-Chancellor; and any other matter, in the opinion of the Assessor, that may impact on the functioning of the university from an analysis of problems relating to governance and management.

The IA report laid bare the level of intimidation, lack of emotional intelligence, the inadequate ICT systems for the size of the institution, a senate failing to develop curricula, human resource challenges, and lack of proper financial controls.

Prof Mosia recommended that an administrator be appointed to steer Unisa into the right direction. The DA agrees with the recommendation of the independent assessor.

Institutions of higher learning should not be governed by a culture of fear and intimidation and no regard for the longevity of the institution.

Unisa is the biggest higher education institution in South Africa and its downfall will have devastating consequences in the sector. Minister Nzimande cannot afford to wait any longer to implement the recommendations made by Prof Mosia in his report.