Astronomy for Africa: Student Support for Astronomy Modules via Distance Learning Space Generation Advisory Council) "Dear Colleagues: Attached is an announcement regarding a funding opportunity that we would like you to pass on to your undergraduate students. We have been given funding from the IAU OAD to support a limited number of undergraduate science students to do some astronomy modules via distance education through the University of South Africa (Unisa). While registration for semester 2 2015 at Unisa ends already on 20 April 2015, we are now looking for applications for semester 1 2016. Please submit the names of suitable candidates by the end of July 2015 so that students have enough time to register at Unisa. The IAU OAD money will be used to pay for the application fee and the registration fee of suitable candidates."

As an incentive for the students, we would like to ask you to consider counting any undergraduate modules in astronomy passed through UNISA as electives towards the student's BSc degree.

Please get in touch with us to find out more:

Dr Anja Schroeder
Prof Derck Smits


Dear Students, We have been given an IAU OAD grant to support science students from African universities who would like to do some undergraduate astronomy modules at UNISA. UNISA is a distance education institution so you do not need to attend lectures in South Africa, all your study material will be sent to you. You will need to work through the study material and then do some assignments which you can submit electronically via the internet, and you will write a final exam at the end of the course.

UNISA offers 2 modules at first year level, and 3 at second year level. The modules are:

AST1631 A General Introduction to Astronomy
AST1534 Spherical Astronomy and Kepler Orbits

AST2651 The Structure and Evolution of Stars
AST2652 The Structure and Evolution of Galaxies
AST2655 Astronomy Practical

You need to have completed the first year modules (as well as some maths and physics courses) before you can register for second year modules. We are looking for students who would like to do AST1631 and/or AST1534 in semester 1 of 2016.

To select suitable candidates we need students to submit the following documents to us via email:

- A CV;

- A covering letter with a detailed statement of interest in Astronomy including reasons and a career plan;

- Full contact details, including postal and residential address, email address and telephone numbers;

- A statement of the intended course of study (at the applicant's home university as well as the chosen modules at UNISA) with the full details of the subjects and modules. If possible, this list should cover the remaining years of undergraduate studies;

- A statement that the applicant has no other bursary or scholarship or, in the case of an existing bursary or scholarship, the source, amount and conditions;

- A letter of support no older than 6 months either from a lecturer, or, in the case of a first-year student, from a teacher;

Before students can register for courses at UNISA, they first need to apply for a UNISA student number and pay an application fee. We will submit your application and pay the fee but you will need to send us the required documentation. Details of the application process can be found by logging onto the UNISA homepage at and clicking on the link "Study". As you can see, the next Application Phase is from 07 - 24 April 2015 which will allow you to register for modules in Semester 2 (Jul - Nov).

If you click on "International Students" on the menu on the left you can get more details regarding the application process. You can check that you meet the admission requirements for a Unisa qualification. For a list of acceptable school qualifications for admission per country, visit

Please go through the list of required documents and send us the relevant documents, the most import of which are:

- A certified copy of your school qualifications.

- A certified copy of your passport

If your application for a student number is successful, we will register you for your chosen courses and pay your tuition fees.

If you have any questions, please direct your enquiries to one of us at the email addresses listed below.

Dr A Schroeder
Prof DP Smits
Dr M Cluver

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