Learning Platforms Update Project and other updates

26 May 2021 | Campus Announcement

Dear colleagues and students

In line with the Vision 2030 goals, the University of Cape Town (UCT) has initiated the Learning Platforms Update Project (LPUP) to improve the digital learning infrastructure at UCT. Read more on this and other updates.

1. Learning Platforms Update Project survey and online focus group

The UCT community is invited to come up with ideas to develop and enhance the university’s digital learning infrastructure as part of repositioning the institution for the future. In line with the Vision 2030 goals, the university initiated the Learning Platforms Update Project (LPUP) to improve the digital learning infrastructure at UCT. This infrastructure plays a critical role across campus, in all faculties and departments, and at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. The infrastructure is meant to meet the needs of UCT’s teaching and learning community for the next decade. As this is a significant project for the university and its commitment to Vision 2030, there is a need for a wide range of perspectives to guide the decisions appropriately.

Staff and student voices in this process are very important. Please share your ideas in one of these two ways: take the online LPUP learning management systems (LMS) student or staff survey (deadline extended to Friday, 28 May), or sign up for a student or staff online focus group between 26 May and 3 June.

2. Statement by the UCT executive on the Israel–Palestine conflict

The UCT executive has expressed concern over the Israel–Palestine conflict. In a statement released on Tuesday, 18 May 2021, the executive echoed the statement previously made by the UCT Council in March where Council reaffirmed its commitment to supporting the rights and freedoms of all people as universally recognised under international law; condemned any acts that violate those rights and freedoms; condemned the atrocities and human rights violations perpetrated in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and elsewhere in the world; called on all academics and academic institutions to support the resolution, and reaffirmed UCT’s commitment to academic freedom but reserved the right to dissociate itself from those academics and academic institutions that support the violation of human rights and/or enable the violation of human rights.

3. Inaugural Lecture: Professor Muthama Muasya

The UCT community is reminded of the Vice-Chancellor’s Inaugural Lecture to be presented online by Professor Muthama Muasyaon on Wednesday, 26 May 2021 at 18:00. His 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 register online to attend the lecture.

4. Applications for the UCT Teaching Innovation Grant

Individual academics, teams or departments are invited to apply for the UCT Teaching Innovation Grant to fund initiatives aimed at making teaching at the university more effective. This grant is available to support individuals or teams who are engaged in developing departmental, programme or faculty level innovations to curricula or courses aimed at improving student learning, including through the design of digital materials for blended or online learning as well as open educational resources. A limited number of grants of up to R20 000 are available to support such projects.

5. UCT Open Textbook Award nominations 

Nominations are open for the 2021 UCT Open Textbook Award, which recognises outstanding and/or influential open textbooks written by UCT staff and students. The award carries a value of R30 000. It is an initiative of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning, in collaboration with the Digital Open Textbooks for Development project in the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching.

6. Self-Service unavailable due to SAP upgrade this weekend

SAP will be upgraded from Friday, 28 May to Tuesday, 1 June 2021. In this period, staff will not be able to access any Employee or Manager Self-Service functionality (such as applying for leave and updating personal information).

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