The University of Cape Town (UCT) community is reminded of the Annual Bongani Mayosi Memorial Lecture on Saturday, 28 January 2023. Read about this and other recent developments on campus.
1. Annual Bongani Mayosi Memorial Lecture
In celebration of African scholarship and to honour the legacy of a foremost scientist and clinician, the Annual Bongani Mayosi Memorial Lecture will take place this Saturday, 28 January 2023 in a hybrid format. The lecture will be hosted by the UCT Faculty of Health Sciences, in partnership with the Bongani Mayosi Foundation, at a fundraising gala dinner on the late professor’s birthday.
The guest speaker for the lecture is Professor Abdool Salim Karim, director of the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa.
The funds raised will go towards supporting the work of the foundation which include projects such as the Bongani Mayosi National Students Academic Prize for final-year Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB) students, where one final-year MBChB student in each South African university is voted for by classmates for best balancing academic excellence and social responsiveness. Another project is the Critical Scholars Programme. This is an intercalated degree programme already successful in producing clinical scientist graduates with medical qualifications.
The foundation’s fundraising gala dinner will raise much-needed funds to continue their important work.
2. Student debt appeals for 2022 and financial assistance for 2023
The provision of student financial assistance is the cornerstone of our transformation initiative to assist academically and financially deserving students. In our effort to assist as many deserving students as possible, our projection for 2022 shows that at least R1.9 billion (unaudited) was spent by several key financial aid sponsors in support of UCT students.
Important information was shared earlier this month and deadlines such as:
3. Reminder: UCT Summer School 2023
The UCT Summer School 2023 is currently underway, taking place until Saturday, 28 January 2023.
The school continues its culture of presenting world-class lectures and courses in art, music, history, current affairs, medicine, science, literature and information technology.
For further enquiries please contact Dr Medee Rall.
4. Update on COVID-19 subvariant XBB 1.5
The COVID-19 subvariant XBB1.5 has become dominant in a number of countries, and many have taken precautions to prevent its spread. On Tuesday, 10 January 2023, the South African National Department of Health (NDoH) shared an update on COVID-19, including information on the highly transmissible XBB.1.5 variant.
The NDoH notified the public that this subvariant had been identified in South Africa. However, the department mentioned that although it is more transmissible, there is currently no indication of any change in the severity of illness and fatalities caused by this subvariant.
We urge all within the UCT community to continue with our 3-V’s approach (vaccination, ventilation and vigilance) as set towards the end of 2022.
Should you present with COVID-19 symptoms and test positive, please isolate for at least seven days. Please note that absence by staff from work or by students from academic activities will be treated as normal sick leave.
Several vaccination sites remain available.
5. Update on Leadership Lekgotla roles
An update was shared on three Leadership Lekgotla roles, namely: the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC): Teaching and Learning (T&L), the Dean of the Faculty of Science, and the Executive Director: Human Resources (ED: HR).
Professor Harsha Kathard took up the role as acting DVC: T&L in May 2022 and her term was to end on 31 December 2022. At an ordinary meeting held in October 2022, Council approved the extension of her acting term to 30 June 2023.
Professor Maano Ramutsindela, the Dean of the Faculty of Science, has requested to step down from this role at the end of June 2023 due to personal reasons. Professor Ramutsindela took up his position on 1 March 2019, and his contribution has been invaluable. The process of appointing a new dean of Science will now commence, with an intention of concluding it prior to Professor Ramutsindela’s departure.
In April 2022, the UCT community was informed that the ED: HR, Ms Miriam Hoosain had volunteered to be a participant in the Executive Transformation Initiative (ETI). Subsequently, Mr Bongani Ndaba was appointed as acting ED: HR from 1 May 2022. Mr Ndaba’s acting tenure has been extended to 30 June 2023, for continuity purposes. The selection process for the position is currently underway and the position is expected to be filled in due course.
6. Amathuba progress and what lies ahead for 2023
UCT’s new digital learning platform, Amathuba, was implemented during the first semester of 2022. A total of 41 pilot courses were taught on Amathuba to trial the platform. Just over 200 first-year courses will be launched on Amathuba in the first semester in 2023. More than half of first-year courses have now been successfully migrated and converted to Amathuba. The Centre for Innovation in Learning & Teaching (CILT) is working closely with first-year course convenors, teaching staff and administrators to complete the migration and conversion of as many of the remaining first-year courses.
There are various support options available for course convenors, teaching or administrative staff for first-year courses, or site owners of first-year academic student support sites.
Amathuba stand-alone webinars are also available on the CILT YouTube channel.
For further support, please email the CILT Helpdesk or call 021 650 5500 (between 09:00 and 17:00, from Monday to Friday).
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