Campus Update on Key Developments

11 November 2015 | Campus Announcement

Dear colleagues and students

This note serves as an update on key developments on campus over the last few days. All updates appear on the UCT homepage first. This is collated here for your information and ease of reference.

* Please read the statement outlining which students are eligible to graduate this December.

  • EXAMS: Exams are taking place as scheduled for students who have opted to proceed with the November 2015 exams. Several sessions were successfully concluded yesterday and today.  Thankfully, there have been no interruptions. The library is open and the Jammie Shuttle service is running. There is a detailed plan to ensure exams are secure, and to deal with possible disruptions. See the previous statement in this regard.
  • JAMMIE SHUTTLE: A Jammie Shuttle bus was set alight in the early hours of Wednesday, 11 November 2015. The Fire Department quickly extinguished the blaze but the bus was destroyed. The bus was empty and at the depot at the time. Nobody was injured. The Jammie Shuttle continues to run as per the timetable. UCT is working with the SA Police Service to investigate this matter.
  • COUNSELLING SUPPORT: Students who need advice or support during this stressful time should approach a UCT counsellor by contacting the Student Wellness Service on 021 650 1017 (week days). Alternatively contact the Trauma Centre for Survivors of Violence and Torture on 021 465 7373. Students who, for whatever reason, cannot access the Student Wellness Service and need to see a counsellor urgently, can e-mail with their name, cell number or other contact details. Dr Mackintosh will arrange for a counsellor to be in contact. To determine whether you need counselling, please read this self-help guide.
  • SENATE MEETING: The UCT Senate meeting of Monday, 9 November 2015 was disrupted by a group of protesting individuals. Many of the group were not UCT staff, workers or students. Several statements by bodies within UCT have condemned the behaviour of protesters, while reiterating support in principle of the right to protest and an ongoing commitment to engagement and transformation endeavours on campus. Read these statements.
  • OPTION TO DEFER EXAMS: The option to defer writing exams until January 2016 has been re-opened and will remain open until 27 November 2015. In other words, students who wish to defer their full block of November 2015 exams to January 2016 may still do so, and this deferment will be granted automatically. Students can also choose to defer individual exams via the standard form for deferrals and via the self-service option for the whole block of exams. Acknowledgement for deferred exams are sent to UCT email addresses (for those using the self-service option) or to the email address supplied (for those applying on the standard form). Read the statement from the registrar about the six important things to know about this set of exams. Please note: results for exams taken will stand.
  • VC ENGAGEMENTS: The vice-chancellor is engaged in a series of meetings on campus to discuss current events, the impact of recent decisions on zero fee increases, and insourcing, and to share the thinking on a way forward in this regard. He has concluded meetings in the faculties of science, humanities, commerce, engineering and the built environment, law and CHED, and will continue to meet with other constituencies throughout the week.
  • INSOURCING AGREEMENT: The UCT executive signed an agreement on insourcing with NEHAWU on 28 October 2015, agreeing to insource all six outsourced services. On 30 October, NEHAWU released the following statement celebrating the decision. On Friday, 6 November 2015, NEHAWU held a meeting of workers (which included employees of the contractors and of UCT) at which concerns were expressed about the process by which the insourcing agreement was reached. Engagement with worker representatives continue.
  • PROPOSED AGREEMENT ON STUDENT ISSUES: The executive has had lengthy engagements with various groupings of students aligned with the #RhodesMustFall and #FeesMustFall movements. Significant progress has been made in identifying common ground. On 7 November 2015, UCT distributed a proposed agreement and cover note to these groups, as well as to other student organisations and movements, and to a range of other key stakeholders, including Senate, Council and staff unions, to seek comment from these stakeholders. UCT remains committed to ongoing engagement in good faith through all established channels of communication with staff and students.
  • GRADUATION: There will be three year-end graduation ceremonies only – all to be held on Saturday, 19 December 2015. These are:
    • 09h00: all eligible* science, commerce and law students
    • 14h00: all health sciences bachelors and honours students (previously graduating on 14 December at 14h00)
    • 18h00: all eligible* humanities, engineering & the built environment students and health sciences master's and doctoral students.
  • SUMMER TERM: 2015 Summer Term courses will start on Friday, 27 November 2015, with examinations to be held on 23 December 2015.
  • EDUCARE SERVICES: Educare was originally scheduled to close on 15 December 2015, and re-open on 6 January 2016. However, a decision has been made to keep the Educare facility open for an extended period. As such, Educare will be closing on Tuesday, 22 December 2015, and re-opening on Tuesday, 5 January 2016. Holiday care facilities will be available from Thursday, 10 December 2015 to Thursday, 24 December 2015, and again from Monday, 4 January 2016 to Tuesday, 12 January 2016.

Yours Sincerely,

Gerda Kruger
Executive Director
Communication and Marketing Department

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