Guidelines for the June examination period

11 June 2021 | DVC A/Prof Lis Lange

Dear students and colleagues

By now I hope you have read Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng’s message about the need for the University of Cape Town (UCT) to continue guarding against the possibility of COVID-19 infection as the pandemic reaches its third wave in South Africa.

In co-operation with the national and provincial Departments of Health and the UCT Student Representative Council (SRC), we have developed guidelines for the June examination period.

First, I offer sincere thanks to the SRC members for their proposals, which are based on sound evidence and demonstrate many points of agreement with the UCT executive. We all remain aligned with the principles that underpinned the university’s approach to the operational plans for Academic Year 2021. In keeping with those principles, and to curb the spread of the virus, we will adhere to the following guidelines for June exams:

  • The fewest possible students and staff will be on our campuses at any given time, in order to maintain social distancing.
  • Disadvantaged students will be given precedence in respect of access to online learning and safe studying environments on campus, as a way of addressing inequities.
  • The professional councils that govern certain qualifications offered at UCT will guide our decisions on exams for their respective degrees.
  • We acknowledge the need for critical practical experience in laboratories, studios and workshops for students pursuing certain degrees.
  • Forms of blended and online learning now have a permanent place in our “new normal” learning environment.

Because there are so many variables depending on the degree programme, we realise that the exam schedules are not likely to please everyone. Where possible, assessments will take place via online examinations or formative assessment procedures. However, this is not possible in the following cases:

  • Students in the faculties of Commerce and Engineering & the Built Environment, along with students in pre-clinical and clinical years in the Faculty of Health Sciences, must sit for invigilated examinations in line with professional council requirements.
  • Students who have undergone face-to-face instruction in the performance arts, creative arts and languages are required to undergo in-person assessment.
  • Faculty of Science students in most programmes must attend invigilated examinations where there is high potential for collusion, which could threaten the integrity of UCT qualifications.

Please confirm your assessment requirements with your faculty and course convenors.

The number of students  sitting in invigilated exams is a small proportion of our student body. We will apply all health and safety requirements in line with current lockdown protocols. Ventilation has been assessed at all exam venues and upgraded where required. This may make some venues colder, so students are advised to bring a warm coat with them to exams.

Adequate distancing between students is a priority and exam venues have been carefully laid out to ensure that 1.5 m social distancing is maintained to mitigate any spread of the virus. Please also maintain physical distancing outside examination venues and on the way to campus, exercising personal responsibility for keeping ourselves and others around us as safe as possible.

No one will be allowed into any examination venue without a green result on their UCT Daily Health Screening App. It is a requirement for every student to do the UCT Daily Screening on the app and to complete the questions truthfully, to ensure that other students are not put at risk by anyone who does have COVID-19 symptoms. If you get an Amber or Red Result on your UCT Daily Health Screening App, students can contact Student Wellness Services (SWS) on the number indicated on the Daily Screening results screen. A SWS counsellor can advise you whether your symptoms are in fact COVID-19 related and, if necessary, will assist in changing your result to Green if symptoms are not COVID-19 related.

Everyone in the exam venue will be required to wear a mask. Sanitiser will be provided at entrances. Jammie Shuttles are available for students who must be on campus.

If you believe that COVID-19 protocols are not being followed on campus, please report your concern so that it can be addressed appropriately.

  • Email Brent Proctor in UCT Occupational Health and Safety Department about COVID-19 related issues.

Faculties are closely monitoring student performance in all programmes, such as through early intervention frameworks. At this stage in the submission of assignments and tests the faculties are not identifying any concerns. At the same time, we are prepared to institute any further interventions we deem necessary to assist students who may be struggling.

I wish all of you luck with the upcoming examinations and assessments. We are fully committed to your success at UCT.


Associate Professor Lis Lange
Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning

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