Late registration is the hot topic among students after Unisa extended its assignment deadline for the second time.

The announcement by Unisa of an extension of due dates for assignments to June 7, 2021 has been met with mixed reactions, with many students confused and still in the dark over unfinalised registrations. 

The announcement, a week ago, comes at a time when a number of students are still struggling to finalise their registration with the university, which closed on March 31. 

Godfrey Malekane, a bachelor of education student who is supposed to be in his final year, registered with Unisa on January 19, but his registration is yet to be completed. “Since I temporarily registered in January [there has been] no communication from the university as to why it is taking so long,” Malekane said. 

The university’s statement read, “We are aware that some students have experienced challenges and are unable to meet the first assignment due date… we will keep the module sites open until 7 June 2021 in order to provide those students who experience challenges enough time to submit first assignments.” 

The challenges, including unregistered students and the allocation of NSFAS funds, make this the second time the deadline has been postponed. It was previously adjusted from May 23 to May 24. The university is having a “super semester’’ this academic year where two semesters are running concurrently, which has increased the work load for students. 

The single, year-long semester means there will be no mid-year examinations. The concurrent semester format was met with protest in February by students, who started a petition against the decision that has garnered more than 4 000 signatures. 

Maupi Nchabeleng, a third-year LLB student, said she was relieved that the assessment date had been extended, not only for herself but for students who have faced difficulties in meeting the first due date.  

“Yes, it will help a lot [the extension]. Those students whose registration is yet to be finalised have [plus/minus] 10 assignments they should complete in a short period of time,” said Nchabeleng. 

While some students on Twitter have labelled the extension disruptive, Nchabeleng says it will grant her peers who are experiencing challenges with registration and NSFAS allowances a chance to catch up. 

With the deadline of June 7 fast approaching, Wits Vuvuzela is still awaiting comment on the matter from the university. 

FEATURED IMAGE: Unisa website. Photo: Zanolwazi Kunene