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Islamic studies during changing times: The discipline at Unisa from 1990 to 2017

Yousuf Dadoo


The University of South Africa (Unisa) is the oldest university in South Africa, boasting alumni who have contributed in diverse ways to this country and beyond. While it began as an institution offering its courses through correspondence, it has, over the years, kept abreast of the latest teaching technologies. Islamic Studies was first offered at Unisa, 32 years ago. This article appraises the motivations for its introduction together with its course contents, student enrolments, teaching approach, funding, politics and academic practice, research focus areas and future prospects. In the process, its unique features, coupled with its successes, challenges, problems and failures are disclosed against the backdrop of debates raging globally about the ontological status of Islamic Studies. 

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eISSN: 0257-7062