Panic as UNISA online system crashes on exam day

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The University of South Africa (UNISA) has suspended exams that were scheduled to start yesterday after its online system crashed.

In a tweet yesterday, the university said: “Due to system problems, the exams that were due to start today, Thursday, 11 June, have been postponed to Saturday, 20 June. All the exams will be written at the same time, except for PVL1501, which will begin at 16:00 on Saturday, 20 June.”

UNISA is the largest university system in South Africa by enrolment. It attracts a third of all higher education students in South Africa.

Through various colleges and affiliates, UNISA has over 400 000 students, including international students from 130 countries worldwide, making it one of the world’s mega universities and the only such university in Africa.

This is the second time the distance higher learning institution has had to postpone examinations after its online system had issues.

According to reports, UNISA also suspended exams for 27 and 28 May after its servers experienced “capacity issues”.

In its latest statement, the varsity says: “Please note the following important information: All portfolio examinations that were due to be submitted today (Thursday, 11 June) must now be submitted by 16:00 on Friday 12 June.

“Students writing examinations for the following modules must please follow the instructions as provided by your lecturers via e-mail: LJU4802, APM3701 and MAT2612.

“We thank you for your continued patience and understanding as we work to resolve these system issues.”

However, some students were left in panic after failing to log into the system. The students took to Twitter to vent their frustrations.

Said one student: “Been online the entire day stressing about the exam as I was supposed to write PVL1501 at 18h00, bought data and rebooted my devices a million times thinking they have issues. Oh well, thank God for Twitter, now I know the date has changed.”

Another one said: “Please send me timetables or a letter to show that the exam has been postponed to present to my employer.”

“Some of us took annual leave to write exams. Your system is costing us,” another student tweeted.

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