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Increased turnout expected in 2014 Unisa SRC election

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Vote nowA greater number of Unisa students are expected to take part in the 2014 Unisa Student Representative Council election as compared to previous polls according to Electoral Officer Thembinkosi Mnguni.

“The emphasis before was more on manual and now we have put in place the electronic one and we've been able to run through some voter education to students,” said Mnguni who has managed SRC elections for well over seven years.

Mnguni also told StudyNotesWiki that a new electoral policy and Constitution which detail the composition of the SRC and the election process are being used for the first time this year. Students from the 25 voting stations countrywide have been encouraged to vote through posters, SMS and e-mail. Unisa Radio has also supported the election drive through live broadcasts at different campuses. The often lively broadcasts are of interviews with students and the more than 35 student organisations taking part in the 2014 ballot.

While several students have complained openly about the reliability of myUnisa, Mnguni said these technical difficulties have not resulted in any major disruptions. He also adds that they have procured the services of PricewaterhouseCoopers ahead of the election to audit the entire election process.

StudyNotesWiki has also learned through Electoral Officer Mnguni that the election period will soon be extended by at least six days (to the 12th of February) in order to allow students whose NSFAS applications have not yet been approved as a result of the funding crisis at the financial aid scheme to exercise their right to vote.

A full list of candidates as well as their manifestos is available on the Unisa SRC website. All eligible students can cast their votes electronically, via mobi or in person at a Unisa Regional Centre.

Last Updated on Thursday, 06 February 2014 10:07

Seven simple money-saving tips for students

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Student life is awesome, but it can be tough from a financial point of view. There are however plenty of ways to push that salty crack moment further towards the end of the month.

Cash, no card: Ditch your store cards and stop buying day-to-day things like food on credit. Borrowing money costs money; lots of money. If you don't have the cash in your pocket or on your bank count, then you can't afford what you want. Either wait (save!) until you can, or let go of your wish

Budget: Draw up a budget and reserve specific amounts for food, going out, phone, rent, etc.  Don't forget your savings account. Just R100 per month equals R1200 per year, plus interest, which is enough a plane/train/bus ticket to see your family over Christmas.

Stop smoking: A one-pack-a-day habit easily sets you back R13 000 annually. Ditching the cigarettes will gain you R1100 per month.

Home made: Grabbing a coffee here and a sandwich there some three times a week sets you back ±R600 per month. Instead, fill a flask with coffee and pack your own lunch/snacks.

Book sale: Textbooks are very valuable, and most will end up gathering dust. Why not sell them? Place a notice on your uni's physical or virtual notice board and Bob.

Second hand: Buy textbooks, gear and other things including a replacement of your stolen phones second hand instead of brand new. It will save you tons of money.

Work! Want to have more to spend? Then find a job! Success and money have to be earned, and won't land in your lap accidentally.


Last Updated on Monday, 03 February 2014 09:22

Unisa students encouraged to register online

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Queue outside Unisa's Polokwane campusSome prospective Unisa students are not exploiting the benefits of online registration as evidenced by the long queues snaking out of registration venues this semester.

Unisa Western Cape Region communications officer Vicky-Lee Shew informs StudyNotesWiki that the online registration process offers the opportunity to register conveniently from anywhere provided that one has reliable access to the internet. It does appear, however, that several prospective students find themselves queuing for hours and at times even sleeping overnight outside Unisa for registration in spite of this handiness.

Over 2000 tickets are reported to have been handed out per day to those waiting their turn to register at Unisa's Stalwart Simelane campus in Durban in a bid to control the registration procedure. "Quite a few students also come into the self-help terminal because they don’t have internet access at home or wherever…" says Vicky-Lee Shew although she adds that registration is just as simple, accurate and maybe even quicker away from Unisa’s facilities.

20 year old Simon Komape who matriculated last year tells StudyNotesWiki that he opted to queue outside Unisa's campus in Polokwane at the last minute after he was not accepted at contact institutions and is unfamiliar with Unisa's online registration process. Unisa Senior Lecturer in the Department of Education Professor Moeketsi Letseka says that although Unisa caters for school leaving students in recent years a greater turnout can be expected given the increase in the matric pass rate. "Young people who don’t get admission in contact institutions have to look at ODL institutions and Unisa always comes out tops because the Unisa price tag for learning is much more cheaper than UP or Intec."

Registration forms for undergraduate & honours degrees, undergraduate higher certificates & diplomas as well as postgraduate certificates and diplomas can be submitted online via the internet until the 24th of January 2014.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 January 2014 16:04

Happy new year, happy new health

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A new (academic) year brings new year's resolutions, and as always most pledges revolve around a healthier existence. For students a wholesome lifestyle is crucial: health problems are detrimental to achieving academically and socialising with friends. Staying mentally and physically fit is easier than you think, despite limited time and budget.

Eat healthily: Eating fast food once in a while won't kill you, but food-wise you should aim for a balance between the good, the bad and the ugly. Some tips: limit sugar intake, snack on fruit instead of candy bars, drink plenty of water, eat breakfast, choose salad over fries.

Exercise: Exercise is key in staying physically and mentally fit. It reduces stress levels, releases endorphins which help you relax and aids you manage weight-gain. No time to exercise? A 45-minute walk after or in between classes is enough.

Get enough sleep: Not getting enough sleep impedes your ability to concentrate, thus on your overall academic performance. Insufficient sleep also compromises one's immune system in the long run.

Watch the booze: Too much alcohol can have serious social, academic and health consequences with viagra or cialis, particularly if you’re getting drunk regularly. Think unwanted pregnancy, STDs, violence, liver cirrhosis and other serious illnesses. If you drink, drink sensibly. Never drink and drive.

No smoking: Smoking causes lung cancer and heart disease, makes you age prematurely, increases infertility risks, makes your teeth yellow, causes bad breath, decreases bone density - among other things. Last but not least, smoking is expensive. A 1-pack-a-day habit easily sets you back R13 000 annually.


Afrikaans students forced to write exams in English

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Several Unisa students have called on controversial minority rights NGO AfriForum to intervene following an alleged exam paper faux pas at Unisa. The students who had registered for Afrikaans courses claim that they had to write their exams in English and were denied Afrikaans question papers during the October/November 2013 exam session.

AfriForum tells that the complaints were received from students in different faculties and that no less than two hundred students are affected. "Denying a student the right to write an exam in the language for which he or she registered is a violation of that person’s Constitutional rights,” said AfriForum Youth Spokesperson, Eduan Dupper. AfriForum gave the examination board at Unisa five days to respond to the complaints.

AfriForum referred to one of the students who were affected by this alleged irregularity. Jasmine Pietersen, a student in the psychology department says she and other the students questioned invigilators after they received the English papers but they received no assistance. She says they then decided to take this matter to AfriForum on behalf of all current students and those that will enrol with Unisa in the future with viagra or cialis. She also expressed anxiety about her exam results. Typically, you can find two classifications of online slots: classic and video

Unisa spokesperson Martin Ramotshela could only confirm receipt of the complaint and said that Unisa would be looking into it.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 January 2018 15:49

Mandela's alma mater disputed

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“Madiba got a degree from Unisa but was a student here. A true Witsie.” These are words uttered by Prof. Mamokgethi Phakeng during a memorial for Nelson Mandela at Wits University. She is someone who could end this brewing contest in one fell swoop. Prof. Mamokgethi Phakeng is as much a Unisan as she is a Witsie. She is a full Professor as well as Vice Principal: Research and Innovation at Unisa and moonlights at Wits as an Honorary Professor: Mathematics Education. She will be President of Convocation at Wits University until 2015. Prof. Phakeng has clearly picked a side in this debate.

The opposing side of the debate consists of current, former and aspirant Unisa students who are inspired by Nelson Mandela’s association with Unisa. One of them is Law student Kgaogelo Mkhondo (@kaageeee on twitter) who proudly cites Mandela’s LLB as an encouragement considering the odds that Mandela confronted during the liberation struggle. Sandile Nkosi (@taxbuddyz on twitter) goes as far as suggesting a name change from Unisa to Mandela African University as a “lifetime dedication to him”. These two and those who share their view only see Mandela as a Unisa alumnus, to the exclusion of all other institutions because it is Unisa that awarded the degrees that he earned through study to him.

Despite the great hardships a stoic Nelson Mandela acquired all his degrees, BA Law (1942) and LLB (1948) from Unisa and in 2012 consented to being a recipient of the Unisa Robben Island Alumnus Award. It gets convoluted though. Nelson Mandela began his studies for a Bachelor of Arts degree at University College of Fort Hare. Tata Mandela was also enrolled at the Wits Law Faculty for six years (between 1943 and 1948). Wits University also awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws to Mandela in 1991. Those are the facts.

The difference of opinion regarding which institution has a greater claim to the global icon hinges on whether one perceives education as physical evidence in the form of a degree certificate or the campus experience (for those who can afford it). It’s also about which of the two you value most. You decide.

Nelson Mandela (1918-2013), a selfless and dedicated leader, died on December 5 at the age of 95.

Last Updated on Monday, 23 December 2013 09:18

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