Francis Wilson Memorial Lecture and other updates

22 June 2023

Dear colleagues and students

The University of Cape Town (UCT) will co-host the first annual Francis Wilson Memorial Lecture next month. Read more about this and other recent developments on campus.

1. First annual Francis Wilson Memorial Lecture

UCT, in partnership with the Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit (SALDRU) and DataFirst, will host the first annual Francis Wilson Memorial Lecture on Monday, 3 July 2023.

The late Emeritus Professor Francis Wilson, who founded SALDRU in 1975, was among the most pre-eminent economic researchers of his time. His work, combined with a strong social conscience, made him a leading voice for economic justice in apartheid South Africa, exposing the hardship and poverty caused by the migrant labour system and the mining industry. Under his leadership, Professor Wilson put SALDRU and UCT on the map as a leading centre producing hard evidence on poverty, inequality and unemployment. In 2001, he founded DataFirst, which has produced a wealth of survey and administrative data accessible to researchers and policymakers.

The lecture will be held in a hybrid format:  

The lecture will be delivered by Professor Sir Angus Deaton FBA, a senior scholar and a Dwight D Eisenhower Emeritus Professor of Economics and International Affairs at the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs and the Economics Department, at Princeton University. Professor Deaton was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his analysis of consumption, poverty and welfare and was a personal friend of Professor Wilson.

Professor Deaton’s lecture is titled “The politics of numbers: economists confront poverty and inequality”. Professor Deaton will deliver the lecture virtually, with an option for guests to watch in their own spaces or to attend the livestream in-person at the School of Economics, Middle Campus.

2. Feedback from UCT Council meeting of 17 June

UCT’s Council provided feedback on key discussions and decisions following its plenary meeting held on Saturday, 17 June 2023. These include an update on new Council members, appointment of members to Council committees, and the election of a new chair of Council. Council also approved the Whistleblowing Policy, approved changes to the names of buildings and spaces, adopted UCT’s 2022 consolidated annual financial statements, and approved the Senate-recommended 2024 limits and targets for student enrolments.

3. Amathuba update: new course evaluations system

Through a meticulous tender process, Explorance Blue was carefully selected to be UCT’s new course evaluations platform, which will seamlessly integrate with Amathuba. This new system, with add-ons Blue Text Analytics and Blue Dashboard, will help transform the way UCT runs course evaluations, providing a streamlined and user-friendly experience for both students and faculty members.

The launch of the new system is planned for the latter half of the second semester, to ensure that the university gathers comprehensive feedback and insights to further improve our educational offerings. The university is committed to fostering an environment that values student input and continuously strives for excellence in teaching and learning.

4. ICTS scheduled maintenance

Please note that on Sunday, 25 June 2023 there will be an Information and Communication Technology Services (ICTS) 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) are not impacted and can still be accessed.

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

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

This Campus Announcement was amended at 16:00 on Wednesday 28 June 2023 to reflect that the in-person venue for the Inaugural Francis Wilson Memorial Lecture is at capacity.

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