Africa Day public symposium and other updates

19 May 2021 | Campus Announcement

Dear colleagues and students

In commemoration of Africa Day, the university will host an online youth-centred public symposium that will look at the critical role played by the youth in developing our continent. Read more on this and other updates below.

1. Africa Day public symposium 2021

UCT will co-host a youth-centred public symposium on 24 May 2021 from 10:00 to 13:00 SAST on Zoom. The symposium, which will mark Africa Day celebrated on 25 May, will be held under the theme, “Youth development and participation on the African continent amidst the COVID-19 pandemic”. It will focus on three topics: youth participation in Africa’s peace and security amidst COVID-19, youth participation and contributions towards building a strong African Continental Free Trade Agreement, and the decolonisation of African education curricula. It is hosted in collaboration with the African Union’s African Peer Review Mechanism and the Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance.

2. Inaugural Lecture: Professor Muthama Muasya

Professor Muthama Muasya will deliver the Vice-Chancellor’s Inaugural Lecture this month. The lecture is titled “Biodiversity studies in the Anthropocene: from species discovery in fragmented landscapes to unravelling the origin of iconic African flora”. Professor Muasya is an internationally recognised plant taxonomist and evolutionary biologist. The lecture will showcase species discovery in the Cape flora and highlight the evolution of the savanna – the cradle of humankind – and other iconic African flora.

Please join us on Wednesday, 26 May at 18:00 for this interesting lecture.

3. The Learning Platforms Update Project

In line with UCT’s Vision 2030 goals, the university has initiated a project to improve its digital learning infrastructure. This infrastructure plays a critical role across campus, in all faculties and departments and at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

The Learning Platforms Update Project is choosing a set of learning platforms to meet the needs of UCT’s teaching and learning community for the next decade. This includes reviewing our current learning management system, Vula. Please take the opportunity to engage with the project and to give input by completing a survey or joining a focus group.

4. Update on COVID-19 cases

As at 15 May, the university has 355 reported cases of COVID-19 among non-health sciences staff members, with 328 recoveries. The number of students who have tested positive stands at 111, with 105 recoveries. The university has lost 19 staff members and three students to the virus.

5. ICTS scheduled maintenance on Sunday, 23 May

Please note that on Sunday, 23 May 2021, the Information and Communication Technology Services (ICTS) department will perform scheduled maintenance from 09:00 to 17:00.

Unless advised to the contrary, staff and students should note that no ICT services will be available for the duration of the maintenance slot. Please remember to consult the scheduled ICTS maintenance slots for 2021 before planning any teaching, conferences, meetings, and other activities that require ICT services.

Students are to please note that during this maintenance slot, a change will be implemented, affecting how they sign in to the UCT ServiceNow portal. After 23 May, please do not sign in using as your username. Instead, use as your username.


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