Key upcoming virtual events and other updates

09 September 2020 | Campus Announcement

Dear colleagues

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

1. Key upcoming virtual events

The university will host two key events in the next two weeks – the VC's Open Lecture and a webinar on decolonialisation and decoloniality.

The VC's Open Lecture will be presented by Professor Stephen J Toope, vice-chancellor of the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. His lecture is titled “Global partners, global leaders” and will take place on Wednesday, 16 September 2020 at 17:30 on the Microsoft Teams online platform.

UCT will also host a webinar that explores decolonialisation and decoloniality at the university. Discussions will look at decolonisation in the context of UCT’s Vision 2030. The webinar will be held on Tuesday, 22 September 2020 at 10:00 on the Microsoft Teams online platform.

2. Unleashing the New Global University series

In June, UCT launched a series of webinars under the theme Unleashing the New Global University. On 24 August, the fourth of these “challenging conversations” saw academics from Ghana, South Africa and the United Kingdom reflect on the question: “Postgraduate researchers: can we rethink the international experience?” Hosting the event, Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng outlined the benefits of mobility for postgraduates.

The series was concluded on 7 September, with the final session focusing on the topic: “How does changing the medium change the way of doing things?”

3. Update on UCT COVID-19 cases

As at 8 September, UCT has a reported 99 cases among non-health sciences staff members, with 83 recoveries. The reported students’ cases remain 35, with 10 of these being Faculty of Health Sciences students on clinical platforms. The university has sadly lost nine staff and one student to the pandemic.

4. Staff return to campus

Staff at UCT have been asked to continue working from home where possible, to mitigate COVID-19 infections. This approach remains the university’s default position. All departments have identified those staff members whose work requires them to be on campus. These staff members have been granted access to campus on condition that they undergo a daily health assessment and adhere to strict protocols.

A series of frequently asked questions is available online to make it easier to access the necessary information about the COVID-19 Personal Health Risk assessment for staff members. In addition, every person is required to complete the HealthCheck app each time they enter any of the UCT campuses.

5. Thank you to administrative staff

On 2 September, which is Administrative Professionals’ Day, the UCT executive expressed appreciation to staff for rising to the challenge and ensuring that the university continues with its operations. Staff are encouraged to take care of themselves both physically and mentally and access the UCT support services available to staff and their close family members.

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