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TThe University of South Africa (UNISA) is one of the oldest universities in South Africa. and one of the largest universities in the world. Its roots date back 130 years, when it was originally called The University of the Cape of Good Hope.
In 1916, the name was changed to the University of South Africa and in 1918 it moved home from Cape Town to Pretoria. In 1946 the university changed its focus to become a distance education university.
TThis grand institute of higher learning, resting on the Muckleneuk Ridge as you enter Pretoria, has a long heritage of service to the country. With over 300,000 students and 4,000 teaching staff, UNISA is one of the largest universities in the world, and offers certificate, degree, diploma and doctoral level courses.
TThe university boasts a colourful repertoire of alma maters, such as Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Kathrada, Cyril Ramaphosa, Cabinet minister and former political prisoner Tokyo Sexwale; and Walter Battiss, South African abstract painter.
UUNISA also plays hosts to one of the most anticipated annual lectures, The Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture Dialogue Series. The Series is a significant event on the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory's calendar. It presents a unique platform to drive engagement on significant social issues. The lecture has had the privilege of hosting global thought leaders and shapeshifters, including former Presidents Bill Clinton and Thabo Mbeki, Nobel Laureates Kofi Annan and Desmond Tutu and Mohammad Yunus; Professors Ariel Dorfman and Ismail Serageldin.
AAt the university you can also visit the UNISA Space Art Gallery. Established in 1986, the gallery hosts a variety of exhibitions every year, focusing on the diversity in the country as well as other relevant aspects of the arts. The gallery is also a center for research with its publicly accessible online inventory of catalogues and permanent art collections. It not only serves as a traditional gallery and exhibition space, but it is also a place of knowledge and research. Tours and workshops are offered to visitors, staff and students.
It was an act that had played out many times in South Africa: a forced removal. In 1904 bubonic plague broke out in the town centre, in an area known as Brickfields. Once the brick makers had been removed 25km south, to Klipspruit, the area was fenced and razed to the ground. And so Soweto was born.