VC’s final GESDA session and other updates

28 July 2022

Dear colleagues

University of Cape Town (UCT) Vice-Chancellor (VC) Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng will host the last session in the Geneva Science Diplomacy Anticipator (GESDA) series on Sunday, 31 July 2022. The final session will focus on Science and Diplomacy. Read more on this and other updates below.

1. Virtual discussion on Science and Diplomacy

On Sunday, 31 July at 16:00 SAST VC Professor Phakeng will host the last virtual session on Science and Diplomacy. The session will address how the world is susceptible to the powerful winds of change unleashed by economic, social and political forces that interact in intricate feedback loops.

Phakeng will be joined by public health physician and epidemiologist Dr Tolullah Oni and Daan du Toit, the deputy director-general: International Cooperation and Resources in the SA Department of Science and Innovation, for the last of a four-part series themed “Using the science of the future to shape your present”.

Be part of the conversation on Microsoft Teams, or on UCT’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.


2. Closure of the UCT Community of Hope Vaccination Centre

The UCT Community of Hope Vaccination Centre will close on Friday, 29 July 2022. UCT staff, students, and neighbouring communities benefitted from the convenience of having the centre at our doorstep for almost a year. The site also formed part of the Sisonke trial, ensuring approximately 4 246 health care and other frontline workers received their second dosage of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine as well as booster shots. In total, over 26 400 vaccinations and boosters were administered at the site. Additionally, approximately 400 final-year MBChB students were supported in completing a mandatory training programme for the administering of vaccinations.


3. July 2022 PhD graduation

Over 100 PhDs were conferred during two graduation ceremonies that took place at Sarah Baartman Hall on upper campus on Friday, 22 July 2022. The university also awarded honorary degrees to seven distinguished candidates during the two ceremonies. These are Dr Rob Adam, Mr Geoffrey Budlender SC, Sir Franklin Berman QC, Mr Trevor Jones, Professor Khaya Mfenyana, Mr Kaizer Motaung and Mr Mzolisi Toni. During the same ceremony, Professor Leslie London was honoured with the 2021 Social Responsiveness Award. Emeritus Professor Marian Jacobs received the 2022 Vice Chancellor’s Medal at the Health Sciences ceremony. The 2021 UCT Book Award was conferred to Professor Philippe-Joseph Salazar during the Law ceremony.


4. Virtual staff assembly in July

Professor Phakeng will host a virtual staff assembly on Friday, 29 July 2022. She will share plans for the next five years of her term of office, following her reappointment in April 2022. She will be joined by members of the executive, who will provide updates from their various portfolios as they relate to achieving Vision 2030 goals.

The staff assembly will be hosted on the Microsoft Teams platform at 09:30.


5. Nominations for the UCT Open Textbook Award

Nominations are still open for the 2022 UCT Open Textbook Award. Nominations can be submitted either by open textbook authors or by a third party. The deadline for nominations is 15 August 2022. The UCT Open Textbook Award aims to incentivise innovation in teaching and learning, recognise efforts of open textbook authors, and promote the creation and reuse of open educational resources

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