Unisa Grounds and Buildings
The Unisa estate is a valuable asset set alongside the institution’s human resources, intellectual property and general financial assets. However, planning and design offer more than just utilitarian or aesthetic purposes for the university community. The quality of the university’s landscape and architecture, and its environmental harmony and cohesion, are important ways in which it presents itself in the eyes of the public. Furthermore, the university’s property planning and development had to be closely aligned with operational planning in general; any expansion in enrolments of students or staff thus had to go hand-in-hand with assignable space availability. For example, the transition from print-based distance education to ODL methodology requires a different transactional environment.
Space requirements have been an enduring problem for a fast expanding multi-campus university such as Unisa. By 2011 the Unisa property portfolio consisted of approximately 90 owned buildings with an assignable space of 274 000 sq metres at an estimated replacement value of R5 billion. Many other properties, especially in the regions, were leased.