The foundation UNSA (Uitwisseling Nederland - Suid-Afrika) originated in 1999 from SANOS (Suid-Afrikaans Nederlandse Ontwikkelings Stigting). It aims at improving and maintaining good educational relations between South Africa, the Netherlands and Flanders. The foundation organises activities in the field of exchanging students, lecturers and study groups as well as in the field of making connections in tertiary education. UNSA can look back on a long history:

1881 - NZAV (Nederlands - Zuid-Afrikaanse Vereniging)

In 1881 the NZAV was founded in Amsterdam at 141 Keizersgracht. This foundation aimed at improving and maintaining the relations between the Afrikaans- and Dutch-speaking population. The reason for this was the First Freedom War between the 'Boers' and the British. Thanks to this war people became aware of the importance of the relations and started exchanging people with an academic background.

1963 - NSAW (Nederlands Suid-Afrikaanse Werkgemeenschap)

In 1963 the NSAW was founded in the Netherlands, a foundation focusing on non-academic projects. The founder, reverend Gijmink, was looking for an alternative for the NZAV, which - according to him - was too much involved in academic projects. One of the projects of the NSAW was the exchange of people in the field of religion, politics and economics.

1964 - NSAW (Nederlands Suid-Afrikaanse Werkgemeenschap)

In 1964 a colleague of reverend Gijmink, Hendrik van Kampenhout, founded the NSAW in South Africa, in Pretoria and Stellenbosch to be precise. He also developed other units and departments of this organisation. The NSAW respected the African language and culture, and rejected 'apartheid'. Because of this the NSAW distinguished itself from other foundations that were caught up by 'apartheid' and didn't think much of South Africa.

1964 - ANW (Afrikaans Nederlandse Werkgemeenskap)

The same year another foundation started in South Africa, the ANW. This sister association of the NSAW loosened the ties between the NZAV and the NSAW. The ANW also involved Flanders in the Dutch-speaking working area.

1992 - SANW (Suid-Afrikaans Nederlandse Werkgemeenskap)

In 1992 the ANW changed its name into SANW to suit South Africa's changing politics.

1997 - SANOS (Suid-Afrikaans Nederlandse Ontwikkelings Stigting)

The approach in the new South Africa was changing again and a further name change was required. SANOS was born.

1999 - UNSA (Uitwisseling Nederland - Suid-Afrika)

In 1999 UNSA originated from SANOS. Until then it had been one of the main projects of SANOS, demanding almost all attention. As the other projects were being neglected, it was necessary to split off UNSA. This certainly was a good idea as all projects now got the attention they needed. UNSA has been developing its own path ever since, based on the years of experience it had already gained before.

Student Exchange Program

In 1975 the forerunners of the UNSA foundation started with the student exchange program as we know it today. Tertiary educational students from South Africa, the Netherlands and Flanders put their studies into practice in one of the other countries. This program aims at students who want to do their internships or final theses abroad, but also at young people with a minimum of tertiary education who would like to expand their views and gain experience abroad.

The student exchange program can be subdivided into:

  • Technical students (University level and Technikon level)
  • Non-Technical students (University level and Higher Education level)
  • Agricultural students (of all levels) and young farmers, who are still studying