Dear colleagues and students
The First-Year Campus Reception (FYCR) service welcomed our new students to campus this week. Read more about this and other recent developments in this campus announcement.
1. First-Year Campus Reception programme
UCT’s FYCR, which seeks to welcome students to the university, commenced on Sunday, 28 February 2021.
The FYCR service helps students with, among others, processing the registration declaration, issuing student cards, handing out laptops to students who choose to opt in to the UCT laptop scheme, providing shuttle services to residences, and offering health screening.
Only first-year students are admitted to the FYCR service. This is to allow for social distancing and to limit the number of people in the venue. In order to follow strict health protocols, the FYCR service does not accommodate more than 50 people in the venue at any time. All staff and students are screened before admission.
2. Connect to UCT via WhatsApp and UCT CARES platforms
DestinationUCT, an initiative of the Academic Advising Project at UCT, has launched a dedicated WhatsApp line to provide prospective and current students with essential information and the latest updates. Students are advised to add the number 060 018 0288 to their contact list on WhatsApp and type ‘Hi’, after which the menu for DestinationUCT will pop up.
Students can also connect to the university via the UCT Central Advising and Referral System (UCT CARES), also an initiative of the Academic Advising Project. It has a dedicated team of agents available to assist with relevant up-to-date information on UCT-related matters. Queries can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. Reminder: Undergraduate debt appeals closing soon
Undergraduate 2020 debt appeals will close on Friday, 5 March 2021. No late appeal applications will be accepted.
The university has actively fundraised and set aside limited funding from its own resources to assist students with fee debt or who have not met the academic performance renewal requirements for financial aid and GAP funding. Funds are limited and specific criteria will be applied to ensure fair access to available resources.
Eligible students whose 2021 funding has been stopped due to poor academic performance in 2020 can submit an online appeal by logging onto their PeopleSoft Student Portal. Financial aid students with fee debt from 2020, who were on NSFAS, UCT or GAP funding can also submit an online appeal by logging onto their PeopleSoft Student Portal. Students not on financial aid or GAP funding (including those who have not been means tested) can email the Undergraduate Funding Office at FinAidAppeals@uct.ac.za for assistance to activate the online appeal tile in the PeopleSoft Student Portal.
Undergraduate students can expect a final outcome by 12 March 2021. It is therefore important to submit a detailed appeal with supporting documents as soon as possible so that decisions can be communicated early on.
Postgraduate appeals from funded students should be directed to the Postgraduate Funding Office. Postgraduates can submit an appeal based on legitimate reasons, as agreed by the Postgraduate Studies Funding Committee.
4. Postgraduate studies at UCT in 2021
A combination of remote learning and in-person activities in the postgraduate arena will be implemented this year, with all face-to-face activities being physically distanced and on a low-density campus. Over the course of last year, new online systems were introduced and tested that support staff and students to work remotely, only using on-campus facilities as the work will demand.
5. Update on COVID-19 cases
As at 1 March, the university has 339 reported cases of COVID-19 among non-health sciences staff members, with 309 recoveries. The number of students who have tested positive stands at 100. The university has lost 19 staff members and two students to the virus.
Please be reminded that updates on COVID-19 cases within the university community are now shared every second week. Updates will be included as part of the campus announcement issued immediately after the first and the 15th of every month.
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