25 October 2016
Dear colleagues and students / Dear parents, guardians and sponsors
This is an update on recent events at the University of Cape Town.
UCT Council condemns violence on campus
Members of Council have issued a statement condemning any act of violence on campus, including the assault on Vice-Chancellor Dr Max Price on 14 October 2016 as well as any assault on those engaged in peaceful protest.
Executive report on securing the campus
The priority on campus remains the completion of the academic year with minimal use of security and continuing our attempts to find a local and national resolution to the issues faced at UCT and other higher education institutions. While the engagements with protesting students have collapsed, we will continue our efforts to re-engage in the hope of making progress on key transformation issues and bringing everyone to the table. In the interim there have been ongoing disruptions of services and operations on campus by a group of protesters. This has now become an absolute threat to the institution's ability to conclude the academic year. In light of this, security has been increased to allow for a more visible presence of security officers on campus and it is hoped that disruptions on campus can be minimised. Important services like the libraries, the Jammie Shuttle service, study areas and many computer laboratories remain open in order for students to complete work and prepare for exams. When these services are closed it often impacts the students who have no alternative options (ie online access) the most. While there have been disruptions, these services have remained operational for the most part.
Universities South Africa (USAf) statement and call to action
On Sunday, 23 October, Universities South Africa, on behalf of its 26 member institutions, released a statement calling on South Africa to support universities across the country to complete the 2016 academic year.
Academic plans in place for conclusion of the year
All undergraduate face-to-face classes at UCT have been suspended. Alternative and mixed teaching modes are being determined by each faculty and department according to their specific needs in an attempt to conclude the year's work. Postgraduate studies that rely on classroom teaching are being delivered using alternative, mixed mode and online methods. Research- and project-based postgraduate work is being arranged on an individual basis with supervisors and course conveners.
The November 2016 exams, mini-semester and self-service deferred exams in January/February 2017
Registration date and start date of classes in 2017
Future in terms of SRC elections to be decided
As was reported previously, the Students' Representative Council (SRC) elections did not proceed as usual this year. The term of the current SRC will end on 31 October 2016. The relevant structures will agree the way forward and report its decisions in due course.
Proactive planning for 2017 residence intake (accommodation)
Since year-end exams had to be rescheduled, and a mini-semester as well as deferred exams had to be scheduled for January 2017, complexities may increase in terms of residence accommodation in the first months of 2017. A special team, which is being led by Professor Anwar Mall, Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Student Affairs, is preparing plans to ensure that the matter is dealt with as proactively as possible.
Updates on faculty-specific academic arrangements
Campus Protection Services report on recent protest incidents
Views from the campus
A number of different stakeholders have shared their views on recent events at the university as well as in the higher education sector. Read these views on the UCT website...
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