VC’s final GESDA session and other updates

28 July 2022

Dear students

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. Student session on repealed COVID-19 regulations

VC Professor Phakeng will host a session for students to share an update and respond to any questions and concerns regarding on-campus operations following the repealing of COVID-19 regulations. This will take place on Thursday, 28 July 2022. The VC will be joined by Dr Reno Morar, COO and Chair of the COVID-19 Coordinating Committee as well as two speakers – Professor Ntobeko Ntusi, Chair and HoD of the Department of Medicine and Dr Memory Muturiki, Director of Student Wellness Service. The panellists will include Professor Sue Harrison, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC): Research and Internationalisation; Professor Harsha Kathard, acting DVC: Teaching and Learning; Mr Pura Mgolombane, Executive Director: Department of Student Affairs; and Dr Tracey Naledi, Deputy Dean: Health Services, Faculty of Health Sciences.


3. 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.


4. The 2022 UCT Student Experience Survey

UCT is running a survey about students’ experiences with learning and teaching in the first semester 2022. The deadline for responses to the survey is Friday, 29 July 2022. The survey also needs to establish how the university can enhance the learning experience going forward. The survey is for undergraduate and postgraduate students.


5. 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.


6. 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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