UCT Open Textbook Award and other updates

14 June 2023

Dear colleagues and students

Nominations for the 2023 UCT Open Textbook Award opened this week. Read more on this and other updates below.

1. UCT Open Textbook Award: call for nominations

Nominations for the 2023 UCT Open Textbook Award are now open. The award is a crucial mechanism for supporting innovative open education activity that addresses issues related to the cost of teaching and learning materials, as well as curriculum change and multilingualism at UCT. Nominations can be submitted by either the open textbook authors or by a third party.

The deadline for nominations is Friday, 28 July 2023.

2. Update for postgraduate students

UCT has lots to offer for postgraduate students – in experiences, support directly related to their studies, people of varied skills and expertise to interact with, and more broadly. It is recommended that students embrace this and ensure that they experience the richness of UCT’s academic environment within and beyond their specific discipline, such as attending departmental and interest seminars, inaugural lectures,Vice-Chancellor’s lectures, student competitions, forums and the like, as time permits.

Those planning to submit their thesis or dissertation this year are advised to submit their Intention to Submit documents at least six weeks before submission of their thesis or dissertation.

UCT has launched a pilot to include an oral exam in the PhD examination process. This allows the PhD candidate to present and defend their thesis directly with examiners, alongside the examination of the thesis itself. Those interested in volunteering for the pilot are advised to consult their supervisor and email phdoral@uct.ac.za. The university hopes to mainstream the PhD oral exam by the end of 2024.

UCT offers various forms of writing support tailored for different stages of this journey, from department- and faculty-level support to various offerings. These include the Office for Postgraduate Studies as well as its comprehensive list of resources, and UCT Libraries.

3. Summer School 2023 courses available online

The Centre for Extra-Mural Studies (EMS) has made some of the 2023 Summer School courses available online at a reduced fee as a once-off opportunity to take advantage of 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.

EMS will also host a Creative Fiction Writing online course to be facilitated by Dr Ron Irwin starting 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 Irwin is a professional lecturer and writer. He was the writer in residence for UCT’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, where he is a senior lecturer, since 2009.

For further information, please email ems@uct.ac.za, phone 021 650 2634 or WhatsApp 060 487 9719 (text only).

4. Baxter’s biggest production for last decade

Booking is now open for the limited return season of Nobel Prize-winning author JM Coetzee’s Life & Times of Michael K, adapted for the stage by Lara Foot in collaboration with the Tony Award-winning Handspring Puppet Company (of War Horse and Little Amal-fame) from 5 to 15 July at 19:00 weekdays and at 14:00 on Saturdays, 8 and 15 July, in The Pam Golding Theatre at The Baxter.

Written and directed by Foot, it is The Baxter's largest and most illustrious undertaking over the past decade, with many of the performers and producers being UCT alumni.

Booking is through the Baxter website, Webtickets or at Pick n Pay stores. For discounted block or schools’ bookings and fundraisers, please contact Leon van Zyl.

Following its hugely acclaimed, sold-out success last year, this short run is back by popular demand before the production heads off on its international tour to the Galway Festival in Ireland in July and the prestigious Edinburgh Festival in Scotland in August.

Winner of the Fleur du Cap Best Production and Best Puppetry Design awards, it also received five further nominations for Best Lighting Design, Best Costume Design, Best Performance by an Ensemble, Best Sound Design, Original Music, Soundscape or Live Performance (for Original Music and Sound Design).

Epic in scale, the multi-layered theatrical staging which combines puppetry, performance, film and evocative music gives life to Coetzee’s Booker Prize-winning novel and brings together some of South Africa’s most revered, multi-award-winning artists and creatives.

5. Reminder: Opportunity to become an accredited mediator for UCT

The Office for Inclusivity and Change (OIC) is offering 40 permanent staff members an opportunity to become accredited mediators for UCT. As a mediator, participants will be capacitated in dispute resolution techniques that will contribute towards creating a UCT workplace environment that is conducive to resolving differences in a manner that promotes collegiality and addresses matters of discrimination, workplace grievances and harassment.

The mediation course which will be facilitated by UCT Law@Work is internationally accredited (at a cost of R20 000 per delegate, funded by the OIC). This qualification will provide staff with many opportunities to expand their career development within and beyond UCT as a mediator. In addition to the training, participants will receive coaching, assessments, and mentorship.

The training will take place from 21 to 28 July 2023.

All mediators trained by the OIC in 2018 are encouraged to take up this opportunity to get accreditation.

The OIC is specifically seeking four staff members from each of the specific faculties and departments.  

To apply, please send an email to oic.informalprocess@uct.ac.za and include a 300-500 word motivation that details your interest in this opportunity and how you will use this accredited training to contribute towards equity, transformation and inclusion at UCT in your work environment, and spheres of influence. The closing date for applications is Thursday, 15 June 2023.

Communication and Marketing Department

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