Fee block agreement and other updates

17 March 2023

Dear colleagues and students

The University of Cape Town (UCT) management and the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) have reached an agreement over fee block issues following two days of mediation sessions. Read about this and other recent developments on campus.

1. UCT management and SRC reach mediated agreement

Following mediation sessions between UCT management and the SRC on 14 and 15 March 2023, facilitated by an independent external mediator, the parties have reached an agreement over fee block issues.

Under the agreement, which came into effect on Wednesday, 15 March, UCT management shall, in a consultative manner, “conduct a review in respect of its fee policy, with specific reference to the application of a ‘fee block’ on the grounds of the financial means of the university and the needs of each student, the socio-economic conditions affecting each student, the academic performance of each student, and so forth.”

The agreement is applicable to academically eligible UCT students who were registered in 2022, including students in the Graduate School of Business. However, it is not applicable to international students due to visa restrictions.

2. Appointment of interim Vice-Chancellor

The UCT Council has announced the appointment of Emeritus Professor Daya Reddy as interim Vice-Chancellor. He will hold this position until a new Vice-Chancellor is appointed.

Professor Reddy has spent almost his entire academic career at UCT. He has served in various management and leadership positions at UCT as a head of department, as dean of the Faculty of Science, and as director of the Centre for Research in Computational and Applied Mechanics. He served on three occasions as an acting deputy vice-chancellor covering collectively a wide range of portfolios. He also served three terms on Council as a member elected by the Senate. Professor Reddy also has extensive governance and leadership experience nationally and internationally.

3. Acknowledging the challenges of protest environment

Interim Vice-Chancellor Emeritus Professor Daya Reddy has reassured the university community that management will continue the various efforts and engagements geared towards speedily finding resolutions to recent issues at the university, particularly in relation to the student protest action that resurfaced in the week of 6 March 2023.

The university acknowledges that it has been a very difficult period for all. The executive fully recognises and deeply regrets the impact of unlawful acts on staff and students and expressed gratitude to staff and students who, for the most part, have responded to these developments with forbearance.

4. ICTS scheduled maintenance on Sunday, 19 March 2023

Please note that on Sunday, 19 March 2023, ICTS has a scheduled maintenance slot from 09:00 to 17:00. Unless advised to the contrary, do not expect any on-premises ICT services to be available for the duration of the maintenance slot. Cloud-based services, including Amathuba, email, Microsoft 365 services, and ServiceNow, will not be impacted and can still be accessed.

Please remember to consult the scheduled ICTS maintenance slots page before planning any teaching, conferences, meetings, etc that require ICT services.

For more information, read article on why ICTS schedules regular monthly maintenance slots.

5. VC’s Open Lecture: Professor Edvard Moser

The second Vice-Chancellor’s Open Lecture for 2023 will be presented by Professor Edvard Moser, internationally acclaimed neuroscientist and Nobel Prize laureate, on Wednesday, 22 March 2023. He is the co-director of the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

The title of the lecture is “Neural computation of space and time”. The lecture will review recent advances in the understanding of brain mechanisms for tracking space and time. He will show that the brain contains specialised place-coding cell types called grid cells and that a position code arises in networks of hundreds of interacting grid cells. Data suggests that the code is generated not primarily by integration of sensory inputs but rather by internal neural network dynamics.

6. UCT–UoB launch Professorship and Fellowship programme

UCT and the University of Bristol (UoB) have strengthened their longstanding relationship through new initiatives, the UCT–UoB Professorship and Fellowship Programme.

As part of the professorship programme, each university will award a professorship to three researchers for a duration of three years. These researchers will have the opportunity to spend up to six months a year at the partner university, working within one of three themes that have been jointly identified by the two universities.

For the fellowship programme, three early- to mid-career researchers from each institution will spend a maximum of three months a year, over two years, at the partner university. Both universities believe in the importance of supporting their early career researchers so that they can build their international experience and profile and take advantage of the possibilities that each institution has to offer.

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