Dear colleagues and students
This campus announcement aims to inform the UCT community about recent developments on campus.
1. Women’s month event
For the first time, three University of Cape Town (UCT) female leaders will come under one virtual roof to commemorate women’s month. Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng will host a celebratory virtual Women’s Day event on Thursday, 13 August via Microsoft Teams. The programme will include Chancellor Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe, who will give the keynote address, and Chair of Council, Ms Babalwa Ngonyama, who will deliver a vote of thanks.
Two years ago, Professor Phakeng launched the For Womxm by Womxn research grants to create more opportunities for womxn. These grants focus on training postgraduates and postdoctoral fellows, with an emphasis on building capacity among black South African women and transgender researchers.
2. Update on COVID-19 cases
UCT has 119 reported COVID-19 cases as at 11 August 2020. This includes 89 non-health sciences staff members, of which 67 recoveries have been reported. The number of students’ cases is 30, which includes nine Faculty of Health Sciences students on clinical platforms. The university has sadly lost nine staff members and one student due to the virus.
3. Assessment, dropping courses and fee rebates in the second semester
The university has just commenced the second semester and on 3 August Senate approved that the extension of remote teaching to the fourth term requires the modality of assessment to be consistent with the first semester approach. Data from the results of the first semester to the Student Access Survey supports the continuation of the pass/fail approach for all first semester half (F) courses.
During the first semester the deadline for dropping courses, with 100% fee rebate, could reduce course load where students felt that they could not cope under remote teaching. With the second semester already having started in remote learning mode, the deadline for dropping courses, with the associated full fee rebate, has moved from 7 August 2020 to 16 August 2020.
4. UCT reissues funding call for sustainability campus projects
The university has made funds available that focus on establishing and strengthening all forms of sustainability in UCT campuses. This call was first issued before the lockdown brought about by COVID-19. Due to the pandemic, the way in which environmental, social and financial sustainability is viewed has shifted and thus it is important that this topic is viewed within complexities that have emerged over the past months.
The new submission deadline for proposals is 1 October 2020, with an anticipated date of 1 January 2021 for the start of the project. This reissued call contains updates and revisions to the original call that was released in February 2020.
5. Student Wellness compulsory weekly webinars continuing
A series of compulsory webinars is being hosted by Student Wellness Service (SWS) for the limited number of students invited to return to campus. The webinars are inclusive of presentations on COVID-19 preventative measures and other related information available to students. Each webinar includes a Q&A session where students can engage with the panellists. Pre-registration is not required. The next sessions are scheduled for 18 and 25 August from 11:00 to 12:00.
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