Free Education Planning Group engagements and other updates

15 June 2017
Campus announcement
15 June 2017

Dear students and colleagues

This campus announcement aims to inform members of the University of Cape Town community about:

1. Engagements next week planned by the Free Education Planning Group

The Free Education Planning Group (FEPG) has noted with disappointment the delay in the release of the Fees Commission report and is concerned about what this delay may signal for the national demand for free decolonial education. Nonetheless, it also recognises that the university cannot ignore this fundamental challenge while awaiting a possible new round of protests after an inevitable increase in fees is announced. The FEPG has therefore stepped up its engagements on the research it has conducted. The planning group’s engagements so far have demonstrated the agreement among the university community that financial exclusion, student debt and underfunding need to be eliminated. The discussions on the commodification of education have revealed deeper frustrations from participating staff and students alike, leading to innovative proposals. Community service, a corporate income tax and a graduate tax have emerged as favoured solutions in various sessions. Difficult questions have also emerged from the sessions, forcing the FEPG to interrogate different valuation metrics to assess what constitutes quality education if fees should fall away.

A university-wide mass meeting will be convened in Jameson Hall at 13:00 on Wednesday, 21 June 2017, to consolidate the first phase of engagement sessions. You are invited to be part of the process to chart the path forward. The university community needs to engage on and contribute to the call for free decolonial education. All students and staff are therefore invited to join the planning group. You can contact the planning group project manager, Charmaine January, by email or by phoning 021 650 1065 to find out how you can become involved.

2. Staff nominations for EE representative to serve on the VC recruitment and selection committee

In terms of the Vice-Chancellor (VC) Selection and Recruitment Policy, the Institutional Forum is required to select two employment equity (EE) staff representatives to serve on the VC recruitment and selection committee. The Institutional Forum has decided to select one EE representative from the University Transformation Advisory Committee (UTAC) and one from the university staff. Nominees from the university staff are required to be EE staff representatives who have attended training in the last two years (2015–17) and who are not currently part of UTAC. The deadline for nominations by staff members is at 12:00 on Monday, 19 June 2017. Nominations should be sent via email to Cheryl Vallay and should include proof of the nominee’s acceptance. Should there be more than one nominee, a poll will be administered on 19 June and staff members will be asked to vote. Voting will close on 27 June 2017 at 12:00.

3. The call for proposals for the University Capacity Development Grant

The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) is phasing out teaching development grants and research development grants. They are introducing a new University Capacity Development Programme (UCDP), which is to be resourced by the University Capacity Development Grant (UCDG) from 2018. The UCDG will continue to take the teaching development grant and research development grant functions forward through a more rigorously and coherently structured programme. An internal UCT template and criteria must be used for the evaluation of proposals. The proposal deadline is by the end of business on 10 July 2017. To support the development of proposals, the UCT UCDP Steering Committee will convene a workshop on 21 June 2017 from 14:30 to 16:00 in the finance meeting room in the Bremner building.


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