College Renews Partnership With University of South Africa

May 26, 2010

(from left to right): Prof. Joseph Diescho, director and head of International Relations and Partnerships at UNISA; Prof. Barney Pityana, principal and vice chancellor of UNISA; Dr. George A. Pruitt, president of Thomas Edison State College; and William J. Seaton, provost and vice president of Thomas Edison State College, at the partnership signing on May 13th at the College.

(from left to right): Prof. Joseph Diescho, director and head of International Relations and Partnerships at UNISA; Prof. Barney Pityana, principal and vice chancellor of UNISA; Dr. George A. Pruitt, president of Thomas Edison State College; and William J. Seaton, provost and vice president of Thomas Edison State College, at the partnership signing on May 13th at the College.

Thomas Edison State College and the University of South Africa (UNISA) , one of the largest distance learning universities in the world, have renewed and expanded an international partnership agreement.

The partnership creates provisions for credit transfer between the two institutions and enables graduates of UNISA, who typically earn a three-year undergraduate degree, to enroll at Thomas Edison State College to complete a four-year bachelor’s degree. The agreement also calls for international collaborations designed to address the public policy and public service needs of both institutions.

"Even though we are from different parts of the world, we share a commitment to providing high-quality programs for adult learners," said Dr. George A. Pruitt, president of Thomas Edison State College. "This agreement continues to give our students access to some of the finest course materials in the world and builds the course development capacity of both our institutions."

The partnership builds on a relationship that was initiated in 2000 and renewed in 2006. A formal signing ceremony held on May 13th at Thomas Edison State College included Professor Barney Pityana, principal and vice chancellor of UNISA, Professor Joseph Diescho, director and head of International Relations and Partnerships at UNISA.

Since 2004, UNISA has been undergoing a transformation. The process has included the creation of a single, comprehensive distance education institution through the merger of UNISA and Technikon Southern Africa, which offers career-oriented technical degree programs, and the incorporation of Vista University, a teacher training institution. The result is the creation of a new UNISA that is more representative of South Africa.

"Continuing our relationship with UNISA is important as the university positions itself as an international leader in distance education programs," said Dr. Pruitt. "We want to ensure our college can assist UNISA in the development of the new South Africa."

About Thomas Edison State College
Thomas Edison State College provides flexible, high-quality, collegiate learning opportunities for self-directed adults. One of New Jersey’s 12 senior public institutions of higher education, the College offers associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in more than 100 areas of study. Students earn degrees through a wide variety of rigorous and high-quality academic methods that can be customized to meet their individual needs. Identified by Forbes magazine as one of the top 20 colleges and universities in the nation in the use of technology to create learning opportunities for adults, Thomas Edison State College is a national leader in the assessment of adult learning and a pioneer in the use of educational technologies. The College is home to The John S. Watson Institute for Public Policy. The New Jersey State Library is an affiliate of Thomas Edison State College. Further information about admission to the College may be obtained by calling (888) 442-8372, via e-mail at [email protected] or by visiting the College Web site at www.tesc.edu.

About UNISA
The University of South Africa (UNISA) is the largest university in South Africa. A comprehensive, open learning and distance education institution, UNISA has a total student body of more than 200,000 students and offers a diverse choice of study in a wide variety of fields. To learn more, visit http://www.unisa.ac.za/