SAULM survey and other updates

05 August 2020 | Campus Announcement

Dear students

This campus announcement aims to inform the UCT community about recent developments on campus.

1. SAULM survey

UCT students are encouraged to share their educational experiences by taking part in the national Students’ Access to and Use of Learning Materials (SAULM) survey before 31 August 2020. To determine whether a revision of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) funding policy in terms of learning materials allowance is needed, the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) will co-administer a sector-wide survey to explore students’ experiences with learning materials. Data gathered will also be used as a foundation to guide discussions on other pressing matters, such as digital inequalities, engaging more with digital or open educational resources, and enhancing digital skills within the sector. To provide extra incentive, the University of the Free State, which is leading the survey, is offering students the chance to enter a lucky draw that will offer 200 participants virtual Checkers vouchers worth R200 each (also redeemable at Shoprite or USave stores). Details of how to enter the draw are on the link below.

2. Update on COVID-19 cases

UCT has a total of 116 reported COVID-19 cases as at 4 August 2020. This includes 87 non-health sciences staff members, of which 63 have recovered. The reported number of student cases is 29, which includes eight Faculty of Health Sciences students on clinical platforms. UCT has not had any new cases of staff or student deaths since the last update. The university has unfortunately had 10 deaths due to COVID-19 – nine staff members and one student.

3. Distinguished Teacher Award recipients for 2019

Each year through the Distinguished Teacher Award (DTA), the university recognises excellent teaching and acknowledges the primary place of teaching and learning in the institution’s work. The DTA Committee chooses awardees from a large pool of eligible teachers whose portfolios, submitted in support of their nominations, attest to the distinctiveness of some of UCT’s teachers.  The recipients this year are: Professor Andrew Argent, head of the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health and the medical director of the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital; Dr Tessa Dowling, senior lecturer in African Languages; Associate Professor Amrita Pande, a sought-after supervisor in sociology; and Associate Professor Romy Parker from the Anaesthesia and Perioperative Medicine department.

4. UCT’s Women’s Day celebration event

Women’s Month is an important time to reflect and celebrate achievements of womnx at UCT. This year, amid the complexities brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng will host a virtual Women’s Day event on Thursday, 13 August via Microsoft Teams. The programme will include Chancellor Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe, who will present the keynote address, and chair of Council, Ms Babalwa Ngonyama, who will deliver a vote of thanks.

Recipients of the For Womxn By Womxn research grants – Professor Floretta Boonzaier, Professor Janet Hapgood and Dr Katye Altieri – will also provide an update on their research projects which range from shifting how we do research around gender-based violence, to contraception and HIV risk of women in sub-Saharan Africa, and building capacity in the field of oceanography. The research grants were launched two years ago by Professor Phakeng to focus on training postgraduates and postdoctoral fellows, with an emphasis on building capacity among black South African women and transgender researchers.

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