This campus announcement aims to inform the UCT community about recent developments on campus.
1. Approved 2021 academic calendar
The 2021 calendar has been adjusted and is no longer accurate due to changes made in response to COVID-19. Up-to-date information is available on the UCT Coronavirus Disease web page.
2. Update on COVID-19 cases
The university has 105 reported positive COVID-19 cases among non-health sciences staff as at 27 October. A reported 92 staff members have recovered. With regards to students, 47 cases have been reported, including 15 health sciences students on clinical platforms.
Staff and students’ deaths due to the pandemic remain nine and one respectively. The university has created a dedicated web page through which we pay tribute to students and staff lost during the pandemic.
3. P18 parking discs for 2021
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, applications for student parking discs will only be done online. All Masters/PhD students interested in a parking disc for 2021 are invited to add their details to the online Microsoft list in order to be issued with a P18 parking disc for an annual fee. The online list will only be made available on the first working day of November, which is next week Monday, 2 November 2020. Please note that there are 120 bays available. Only the first 120 students will be accepted, and once this number is reached the application process will be closed off.
To complete the form please go to the link on 2 November.
4. Virtual graduation ceremonies
Graduations are undoubtedly the highlight of the university’s calendar year, and occasions celebrated with great pride. In adopting a very cautious approach guided by the regulations permissible under lockdown alert Level 1 that have a limit of 250 persons for an indoor event, and a limit of 500 persons for an outdoor event, the December 2020 graduations will be hosted online. This decision was not taken lightly but was underpinned by the need to consider the health and safety of the university community. Details of the virtual events will be shared at the appropriate time with the affected students.
The details will relate to arrangements for the virtual event in respect of the ceremonies that were planned for March 2020 but had to be suspended following the national lockdown, and for which qualifications were awarded in absentia; and the virtual ceremony in respect of the December 2020 graduating cohort.
5. HR reminder: Annual Leave
Studies show that, in South Africa, more than 50% of employees do not take the annual leave which is due to them. While this may indicate that we are a hard-working nation, there are many studies which show that there are disadvantages to not taking a break. Also, while there may be a desire to grow a workforce of super-efficient and hard-working employees, people do need rest.
Taking annual leave, and using it for its intended purpose, allows staff to take paid time off from work to rest, reduce stress levels, re-energise the mind and body, practice self-care and spend time with loved ones.
In unusual circumstances, where leave days may be lost as a result of operational requirements preventing staff from taking leave, a formal request and detailed motivation as to why the leave could not be granted and must be carried forward is to be submitted to your HR Administrator by 1 December 2020. These will be considered in accordance with the Council approved policy and HR Delegations of Authority. The deadline of 1 December 2020 is to ensure sufficient time to effect the necessary system changes and it will therefore not be possible to consider requests which come in after this deadline.
6. Manage your productivity with Microsoft tools
The Information and Communication Technology Services (ICTS) Training team is running several free information sessions that highlight new and useful features in some of the Microsoft products that are frequently used. The next session titled ‘Powerpoint on steroids’ is taking place on Tuesday, 3 November 2020, 10:00–11:00. Join to learn more.
7. Irma Stern Museum website & education
The recently launched UCT Irma Stern Museum (ISM) website enables the public to virtually ‘visit’ the museum as the COVID-19 pandemic continues while also supporting teaching and learning in South African schools. The website, through images, texts and timelines, gives insight into the life and work of the artist Irma Stern – one of South Africa’s most noted artists – and houses an extensive education section. Besides being educational, by featuring upcoming exhibitions and events, tour offerings, logistical information and venue hire opportunities, the website will make visits to and interaction with the ISM easier once it opens to the public again. Importantly, this new website is designed to visually pay tribute to Irma Stern, the work she collected, and serve as a reminder that the museum represents a valuable part of African cultural heritage and a valuable part of UCT’s heritage.
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