University of the Future launch and other updates

31 May 2023

Dear colleagues and students

The University of Cape Town (UCT) will launch the University of the Future (UoF) project this afternoon, Wednesday, 31 May 2023. Read about this and other recent developments on campus.

1. Launch of the University of the Future project

UCT will launch the UoF project on Wednesday, 31 May 2023 at 14:00. The UoF is a strategic project which aims to create a modern, vibrant and striking campus, designed to attract staff and student talent, local businesses, donors, industry interest and the broader community. The mission of the UoF is to create enabling places, spaces, services and functions for the future of UCT.

The project steering committee is chaired by Professor Salome Maswime, the head of the Global Surgery Division from the Faculty of Health Sciences; with Mr Richard Perez, the director of the Hasso Plattner d-school Afrika serving as deputy chair. The committee has wide representation from across the university – including academic staff; professional, administrative and support service (PASS) staff; unions; executives; and the Students’ Representative Council – as well as the broader Cape Town community. This diverse committee will advise the UCT executive on the future of places and spaces at UCT.

2. UCT Council accepts resignation of Chair

The UCT Council has resolved to accept the resignation of Council Chair and member of Council, Ms Babalwa Ngonyama, with immediate effect. This decision was taken after Council carefully considered the interim report submitted by the Panel of Investigation.

3. Inaugural lecture by Professor Parker

Professor Romy Parker will present the next lecture in the UCT Inaugural Lecture series on Thursday, 8 June 2023 at 17:00. It will be held in the Neuroscience Institute Lecture Theatre, Groote Schuur Hospital.

The lecture is titled “Pain management to reduce suffering in South Africa: integrating interdisciplinary research into the healthcare professions”. The primary driver for people to seek help from a healthcare professional is pain. Yet, limited time is spent in undergraduate curricula teaching on pain, its complex physiology and its evidence-based management. Professor Parker will take the audience on a reflective journey – exploring the phenomenon of pain, asking how it affects us, and what we have learnt about pain in South Africa. She will also address how to ensure that every South African has access to a healthcare professional who understands pain.

Professor Parker leads a dynamic and diverse team in the Department of Anaesthesia and Perioperative Medicine. She is a teacher, a researcher and a clinician working as part of the interdisciplinary team of the Groote Schuur Hospital’s Chronic Pain Management Clinic. Professor Parker is an active researcher who has supervised numerous postgraduate students. She is a passionate teacher, who was awarded the 2019 UCT Distinguished Teacher Award. She teaches undergraduate and postgraduate healthcare professionals and is the course convener of the Postgraduate Diploma in Interdisciplinary Pain Management, the first programme of its kind in Africa. Her research focuses on developing and testing mechanism-based pain treatments relevant to a South African context.

4. Forthcoming events by Centre For Extra-Mural Studies

The Centre for Extra-Mural Studies (EMS) will host a number of interesting events in June. These include a free webinar titled “The age of the AI-Chatbot: new technology at its best or/and a major challenge to our society?” on 6 June at 18:00. It will be addressed by Professor Dan Remenyi, who has been part of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry for many decades and has worked with major suppliers, consultants and with several universities delivering leading edge research.

EMS will also host a short course on “The art and craft of editing”, to be facilitated by Dr Helen Moffett. It will take place on Wednesdays from 7 June to 16 August (except on 9 August due to the public holiday) from 18:00 to 20:00. The cost is R4 500 (full fee); R2 500 (staff); R1 500 (students). Booking is through webtickets. Moffett is an experienced editor, author, academic and poet. She has lectured as far afield as Trinidad and Alaska. She has authored, co-authored, or collated over 20 books, ranging from university textbooks to poetry to literary fiction. She has worked in publishing for almost 30 years. In 2016, she was named one of the top ten literary editors and curators from the African continent.

The third event is a Creative Fiction Writing online course to be facilitated by Dr Ron Irwin from 24 June to 29 July on Saturdays from 10:00 to 12:00. The course fee is R1 800, with staff and students paying a discounted R900. Booking is through webtickets. Dr Ron Irwin is a professional lecturer and writer. He was the writer in residence for the University of Cape Town's prestigious MA in Creative Writing in 2008 after teaching on the programme for ten years. He has taught in the Centre for Film and Media since 2009 where he is a senior lecturer.

For further information, please email, phone 021 650 2634 or WhatsApp 060 487 9719 (messages only)

EMS has also made some of the 2023 Summer School lectures and courses available online at a reduced fee as a once-off opportunity to not miss out on the knowledge shared during the Summer School in January. Bookings opened on Monday, 15 May and will continue until Thursday, 30 June. See the full brochure for booking details and for further information. All participants will need to register or log into their Webtickets profile to process their transaction. Participants can register and book online via Webtickets.

5. Exams planning and logistics

UCT’s mid-year examinations got under way on Monday, 29 May and will continue until Thursday, 15 June 2023. Various departments, including the Department of Student Affairs, Properties and Services and the Registrar’s Office, have collaborated in planning the logistical arrangements for the exam period.

Logistical arrangements have been made in respect of study spaces, security services, UCT Shuttle services, parking, loadshedding and medical assistance.


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