Monday, 20 April

20 April 2020


On Monday, 20 April, the University of Cape Town’s students began a week of online orientation to prepare for the start of the second term on 28 April.

Our plan uses all of UCT’s investments in technology, infrastructure and expertise.

Please help us by supporting them in this important phase.

Students with questions about emergency remote learning should contact their faculty supervisors, course lecturers and tutors via email and Vula.

We have reached agreements with all four of South Africa’s major mobile service providers for zero-rated access to university online platforms.

This week we will begin providing data bundles to all students with valid South African cell numbers, along with the delivery of laptop computers on loan to qualifying students. We will also distribute printed learning materials and USB drives to students who can’t access the internet in any form.

UCT is invested in getting every student through this difficult period, both academically and emotionally. We will continue to assess what works, identify problems and develop solutions.

Read the VC’s email to parents, guardians and sponsors.


The University of Cape Town (UCT) leadership and senior management teams are working actively to ensure support for the postgraduate community. While the university does not have all the answers, it is working hard to develop plans to support you and your research. Here are a number of developments thus far:

  • Taught programmes: Taught postgraduate degrees and diplomas are now either ready to go online or already online. The orientation week that started on Monday, 20 April, has been designed to give everyone the opportunity to adjust to these new delivery modes. Please contact your course convener or the department’s postgraduate administrator if you have not received communication on your programme going online or if you have difficulty with online access and taking part in academic activities.
  • Research degrees: Postgraduates involved in research degrees are advised to contact their supervisors. Some of you will have limited access because your supervisor is actively working in the frontlines of this pandemic. The university is working with faculties to ensure there are solutions.
  • International postgraduates: Please note that UCT’s International Office is playing an active role in the relevant working groups and the specific challenges faced by our international postgraduates are on the agenda.
  • Resources for working remotely: Please ensure that you have completed the UCT Student Access Survey so that the university can identify the laptop needs of South African students and gauge the connectivity and ability of postgraduates to do academic work in their home environments. UCT has also secured zero-rated academic sites with Telkom and Cell C and negotiations continue with MTN and Vodacom.
  • Fees and funding: UCT is actively looking for paths to address, where possible, the many concerns voiced around fees and funding. Answers will be communicated as soon as possible.
  • NRF postgraduate funding call: The 2021 National Research Foundation (NFR) postgraduate funding call has opened. There are many changes in this call for 2021 and it is important to note that the UCT internal deadline is the one you need to work towards.

Read the DVC’s Desk.

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Please view the republishing articles page for more information.