The University of Cape Town (UCT) has put in place a number of measures to facilitate the academic programme in response to the national loadshedding situation, in particular due to the escalation to stage 6. Read more on this and other recent developments on campus.
1. Important steps to ensure connectivity
The UCT leadership is taking a number of steps towards mitigating the impact of loadshedding. These include having available spaces for working and studying during loadshedding, zero-rating of websites, and ongoing work to improve connectivity and study spaces on campus.
The UCT leadership understands and acknowledges how stressful the impact of loadshedding can be for students and staff at this time of the academic year.
Course convenors and deans are requested to exercise compassion and discretion in granting concessions to students who may have been affected and may still be affected in completing their academic work, particularly with respect to the challenges of escalated loadshedding which led to the failure of the UCT data centre on 18 September 2022.
2. Student survey on mental health services by SWS clinic
The Department of Student Affairs (DSA) urges students to share their experiences of the Student Wellness Services (SWS) Clinic. Students’ views and suggestions are valuable and will help the SWS improve students’ experience through its support services.
3. VC Inaugural Lecture by Professor Linda Ronnie
The third Vice-Chancellor’s Inaugural Lecture for 2022, to be presented by Professor Linda Ronnie, is scheduled for Wednesday, 28 September 2022. It will be held at Lecture Theatre 5, UCT Graduate School of Business on 8 Portswood Road, V&A Waterfront at 18:00 (doors open at 17:30).
Professor Ronnie’s lecture is titled “Women in Academia: Thriving or Surviving?”. The psychological contract – the relationship between academics and their institutions – has been changing over the last decade. When coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic, there may be long-term effects on retention, productivity and overall performance. The lecture will examine the psychological contract from the perspectives of women academics in South Africa at a turbulent time for universities.
4. Fire at UCT residence
On Monday, 12 September 2022 at around 18:00, a fire broke out in one of the bedrooms in UCT’s Glen Residence on Main Road, Rosebank.
UCT’s Campus Protection Services alerted the Salt River Fire Station, whose quick response led to the fire being successfully contained and extinguished shortly before 19:00. There were no injuries to students or staff members at the time. Students who later complained of smoke inhalation were treated, with three treated at the scene by ER24 and one taken to hospital for further treatment.
All affected students were swiftly evacuated shortly after the fire was detected, and were safely accommodated in UCT’s other residences through the efficient and coordinated efforts between the DSA and P&S. Students in need of trauma counselling were offered assistance through UCT’s SWS.
A fact-finding investigation is in progress.
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