Recognition of Unisa qualifications in Taiwan
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#1 My name is Mia and I hold a BA and PGCE, both obtained from Unisa. I got a work permit for working as an English teacher at a buxiban in 2015 with these qualifications. Now, in 2017, my work permit is being denied. I was ironically appointed by the Ministry of Education themselves as an Elementary teacher. For the past 3 months I have been living without a salary, even though I quit my previously paying job which I had the work permit for. Sadly, my case is just one of many where fellow Unisa graduates have had work permit applications rejected.
#2 Mandy Meyer moved her entire family over to Taiwan after receiving a job offer while here on holiday. Mandy holds a BEd from Unisa and both she and her school thought getting the work permit would be mere formality. Mandy's work permit was also denied and she, her husband and 3 kids have had to do 2 visa runs in the mean time.
#3 Lauren Amaral who has a BCom from Unisa, was also denied a work permit. She and her husband did 1 visa run and are now studying Mandarin to stay in Taiwan legally. Lauren has also fallen pregnant and even though a student visa allows for some work, it is only a couple of hours a month.
The reason for these work permits not being issued, is because the law pertaining to distance learning universities in Taiwan states that 50% of the credits earned in a qualification, has to be by attending classes. The other 50% is solely online, therefore no exams are taken, credits are earned from assignments and projects.
Of course Unisa does not operate in this manner - all credits received are from exams written at Unisa locations or Unisa appointed locations. In the case of Taiwan, exams are taken at the British Council in Taipei. Only practicum subjects do not have exams, but in the case of a BEd or PGCE, supervised teaching takes the place of the exam.
Please help us petition the Minister of Education to re-evaluate their stance on Unisa to and to grant us our work permits. Many families' lives are in limbo: with huge financial and emotional commitments made.
I have gotten letters from the following institions to confirm Unisa degrees have the same entrance requirements, etc. as other, full-time universities in South Africa:
1. South African Government: Department of Higher Education and Training
2. Council on Higher Education
3. South African Qualifications Authority
4. Unisa themselves
If you are a Unisa graduate and were issued a work permit (as I was), or applied and your application rejected, please comment here.
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