UCT formal online programmes and courses: call for expressions of interest

09 February 2018 | From the DVC’s Desk

Dear colleagues

I am inviting academics and departments to put forward an expression of interest for support and seed funding in developing formal credit-bearing online courses or programmes at the University of Cape Town. Submissions are due on 20 April 2018.

In September 2017, UCT adopted a new Online Education Policy linked to goal four of the new strategic plan: to renew and innovate in learning and teaching, and to increase access to and success in quality education. The policy recognises that “higher education in general is moving towards flexible forms of provision, and increasingly includes mixes of blended and fully online provision in various configurations”. It commits us to strengthening our capacity to support online delivery of courses and programmes.

The policy reaffirms UCT’s orientation towards residential undergraduate teaching, while also encouraging experimentation with the use of technology to enhance learning. Fully online provision at postgraduate level is particularly suitable for working professionals or those requiring flexibility for participation in higher education.

Read the Online Education Policy...

This policy enables the UCT Formal Online Education Project, which provides an opportunity to innovate in online learning and to strengthen capacity. We are committed to improving access and reach, and using online methods to address key teaching and learning challenges. This project is not in anticipation of disruption, nor is it simply about changing the teaching mode.

The expression of interest should be a brief description of the online programme or course you want create. Viable expressions of interest will be offered support in the following ways:

  • Assistance to develop the full proposal and documentation for accreditation as an online qualification (if needed)
  • Assistance to scope and develop a budget
  • Funding to investigate feasibility through market research
  • Funding for staff time and/or academic buyout
  • Online course and curriculum design support
  • Video and visual materials production
  • Planning student engagement and support and
  • Support for building a course/programme on a suitable online learning environment.

The following criteria will be applied when evaluating the expressions of interest:

  • Motivation: why this programme/course is likely to attract online enrolments
  • An estimation of the likely demand
  • Motivation of anticipated impacts of offering programmes/courses in an online mode (revenue, improved student outcomes, etc.)
  • Evidence of capacity – availability of a team willing to work on the development of the programme/ course (for the sustainability of the enterprise, there should be more than one academic involved) and
  • Evidence of the support of the head of department.

Please note:

  • For undergraduate courses, the committee will be particularly looking at improving learning and student success.
  • For postgraduate programmes, the committee will also consider whether there will be sufficient demand and/or whether new markets will be reached.

If the expression of interest is supported, you will be invited to collaborate with the Institutional Planning Department and the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching (CILT) to develop a proposal (including a budget), before a final decision will be made to proceed with formal steps (such as programme accreditation).

Complete the online form for the expression of interest...

Read about the UCT Formal Online Education Project...

If you have any questions, please contact Sukaina Walji, the Online Education Project Manager at CILT.


A/Professor Lis Lange
Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching & Learning

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