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uct versus unisa

Posted by ExtraLarge 
Position: School of Computing Forums > 2006 > Social Cafe
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avatar uct versus unisa
May 24, 2006 03:02PM
Hello there,

I was previously studying at uct, now im at unisa...my comment/question is this:
Do you think that unisa degree is looked down upon compared to a uct degree?
Does it matter to a prospective employer?

I know from personal experience that people tend to look at unisa a "second class university", despite being the number 7 university in the whole of africa.

Having been to both institutions (uct and unisa), i think that unisa requires alot more work, mostly because you are isolated from any other student, and that you come out learning a lot more( about your character and just how far you can go)

what do you guys think?
Re: uct versus unisa
May 24, 2006 03:43PM
I have only ever studied at UNISA so I can't really comment on other varsities. I shouldn't imagine that a UNISA degree would be looked down on. What experience did you have that showed people look down on it?

I think that graduating with a degree after holding down a full time job or looking after a family or simply on your own with out lecturers running after you shows way more character and disciple.

What made you switch from UCT? Plenty of my friends have UCT degrees and are still struggling to find work.
avatar Re: uct versus unisa
May 24, 2006 04:32PM
I have to agree with Mel on this one. It's much harder trying to do a degree part-time. The balance between work, study etc. is so much harder. As for the "looked down" statement: I think if you decide to go abroad; people will definitely recognise university of south-Africa before the recognising university of cape-town...(where is Cape Town)

As for actual content matter, and degree of skills obtained (compared between uct and unisa); I think unisa wins again because you don't have the luxuries of a lecturer and class mates explaining things. (Less than uct), so you are forced to search for other extra material to explain things. So you have to understand things much more because you study "alone"

Well that's what I think anyway... smiling smiley
Re: uct versus unisa
May 25, 2006 10:08AM
When I was fresh outta school, I noticed that people seemed to look down on Unisa degrees for some reason. I went to WITS at that time, because I still had aspirations back then of going into Law, and WITS had a very good reputation in legal circles.

I think people fail to imagine or comprehend what correspondence learning is like, so they assume the courses are "mickey mouse". The truth is far from that (as my linear algebra course proves - lol). However, I haven't encountered the anti-Unisa attitude since I left the student scene. It seems once people hit the "real" world of rent, jobs, families, insurance, etc. they respect the motivation and dedication it takes to study part-time.

I agree with Mel and RiaanR - it's takes a lot of self-discipline, self-reliance and intelligence to teach yourself from the material provided and whatever else you can find. Over and above the actual content of the course, I would say a Unisa graduate has also mastered skills that will stand them in good stead in the workplace.

I think most prospective employers will look positively on a Unisa degree. There will always be specific degrees where a specific university has the top reputation, but I believe that generally speaking, Unisa is very highly ranked, and Unisa degrees seem to be MORE respected than other university's degrees when you go overseas.
Anonymous User
Re: uct versus unisa
May 25, 2006 10:48AM
Hi

I did my first bunch of degrees at wits and I know people do see unisa as a mickey mouse university. I think some things are easier and others more difficult.

Take for instance - maths... I did maths 1 at wits and was pushed through - I was not allowed to do maths 2. I then did some maths 2 modules at unisa - they were easier than maths 1 at wits - and I got a distinction for them.

But then other things are more difficult because there is no lecturer to go and ask things from every day.

and from what I have seen with getting jobs - companies don't care where the degree is from - they just want to see you have a degree.

I guess it all just depends on what job you are looking for and what company you are applying at?

And maybe people think UCT students are too laid back? KIDDING!
Re: uct versus unisa
May 25, 2006 02:10PM
I hope my children will one day get a half day job (to remain sane - no job is also fine), stay at home, and study through UNISA after matriculating. And then of course find a job.

It just makes sense.

The work environment today is all about understanding what you read and not to sound stupid.

avatar Re: uct versus unisa
May 26, 2006 12:51PM
I agree. Trying to hold down a fulltime job and study though UNISA is crazy. I've ended up just bouncing from 1 assignment to the next just to complete them. I feel sorry for everyone with a fulltime job when finals come.

-Valkeye
Re: uct versus unisa
May 26, 2006 01:01PM
My boss is gonna have kittens when exams come around and I wanna take time off...
avatar Re: uct versus unisa
May 26, 2006 01:24PM
Don't they always? smiling smiley
Re: uct versus unisa
May 26, 2006 04:26PM
I'd say that the work we're doing in the 1st and 2nd year modules are way easier than in full time varsity. I have a relative also doing IT at a full time university, and she understands a lot more of the stuff first time than I did! I agree on the isolation thingy sad smiley
But on the up side, one has more time for full time employment while enjoying a world class degree!
avatar Re: uct versus unisa
May 27, 2006 02:35PM
Anonymous User
Re: uct versus unisa
May 29, 2006 10:55AM
very interesting, yet scary! African universities don't even make it into the top 500 (interbationally). No wonder they all make people redo/ rewrite exams when transferring to international varsities...
Re: uct versus unisa
May 29, 2006 11:08AM
Firstly, UNISA is a "full-time" university for some people! Some people who study at "on-campus" (if that's the correct term!) varsities also study part time! Personally, I would have loved to study on campus, but unfortunately my finances do not permit that, hence the reason I'm studying through UNISA - I have to work full time to pay the bills.

Secondly, I don't think your friend understanding more has anything to do with the level of difficulty of the subjects. Perhaps she simply has more of an aptitude for the subjects than you do. But the fact that she has lecturers and peers she can discuss the subjects face to face with helps enormously with understanding. I had someone phone me for assistance with one of my subjects, and I found that talking him through the problem not only helped him, but also helped me to assess my level of understanding. I think that a computer language is a computer language - it's the same language no matter where you study it. The principles remain the same.
Re: uct versus unisa
May 29, 2006 11:15AM
It is interesting... On the other hand, the United States of America alone has 2003 universities (according to this site), while the whole Continent of Africa has 198, 33 of which are in South Africa, so I think this shows that our varsities are actually top class.
Anonymous User
Re: uct versus unisa
May 30, 2006 08:41AM
I think we need to treat University education with high regard / esteeam as it opens a whole lot of new career / academic opportunites.Given the opportunity i would study fulltime at a reputable - name institute.Still, i do not at all regret pursuing Computing studies with Unisa. I have greatly enjoyed the experience and expanded my horizons.Look at the prescribed books we use - International editions with up to date worthwhile information. We still have support from lecturers and peer (group) support (mature adults as well). Having mastered the subject / module principles, logic, one can move gradually / steadily to next levels. Let us learn to appreciate and cherish what we have, seek ways to improve / excell and find room for improvemnet. Long live Unisa and its students / graduands / graduates.
Re: uct versus unisa
May 31, 2006 03:18AM
For overseas students UNISA makes sense. Here in Canada UNISA is accepted as a regular university. The difference is the price when you pay for studies in rands.

UNISA compares well to the University of Calgary but UNISA costs 25% or less of UofC. That is even if we take into account that overseas students pay 50% more than RSA students to study at UNISA.
Anonymous User
Re: uct versus unisa
May 31, 2006 07:51AM
In Canada, does Unisa not compare well with Athabasca University?
http://www.athabascau.ca/
Re: uct versus unisa
June 13, 2006 02:23AM
Tito,
I looked at Athabasca a few years ago but they were too expensive. Maybe now with the levy imposed on foreign students by UNISA Athabasca will make sense again.
I will check it out again sometime.
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