Report to Council (October 2018) on student deaths that occurred on campus for the period 2014 to 2017
Executive Summary by the Vice Chancellor
During the reporting period from 2014 to 2017, six student deaths that occurred on campus were reported. All of the deaths were suspected suicides.
All six students were black South African nationals, of whom three were female and three were male. The age range of the students was between 20 and 23 years.
In terms of academic years at UCT per student, only one of the six students was in the first year of study, while the remaining five students had spent between two and four years of study at UCT. In all instances, the deaths were alleged to be from unnatural causes, specifically suspected suicides.
Support to students
A range of additional interventions has been put in place to support students as a way of countering the risk of suicide and attempted suicide. The interventions are summarised below:
While many interventions have been put in place for vulnerable students at UCT, understandably this is not sufficient. Enhanced learnings could be gained through a national comparative and descriptive retrospective research case study across the HEI sector to gauge ways in which student deaths through suspected suicide can be overcome, early warning systems can be developed and linkages between key academic / other indicators and student well-being can be brought into focus for any role these may play in negating student’s well-being and risk status.
Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Please view the republishing articles page for more information.