VC’s Excellence Awards 2023 and other updates

11 October 2023

Dear colleagues and students

Nominations are open for the Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence Awards, which recognise contributions by staff at the University of Cape Town (UCT). Read more about this and other recent developments on campus.

1. VC’s Excellence Awards 2023

The Office of the Vice-Chancellor is calling on anyone who is aware of teams or individuals who have gone beyond the call of duty to make a difference in the lives of others through transformative change, to nominate them for the Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence Awards. The awards recognise the contributions that teamwork, collective action, collaboration and leadership make towards the health and wellbeing of colleagues and in ensuring the sustainability of the university.

These awards will be made in three categories: global citizenship, service excellence, and transformation. All professional, administrative support and services (PASS) staff are encouraged to apply or nominate colleagues for the Global Citizenship Award and the Service Excellence Award, while all staff at UCT involved in work related to transformation are invited to apply for or nominate colleagues for the Transformation Award. Nominees can be whole teams. The deadline for submissions is Friday, 20 October 2023.

2. Amathuba migration update

UCT is in the process of migrating from Vula to Amathuba, its new digital learning platform. The process is currently in Phase 2, where most second- and third-year courses are migrating to Amathuba for teaching on the platform in 2024.

3. UCT Ombud Office to co-host webinar

In commemorating Ombuds Day on Thursday, 12 October 2023, UCT Ombud Office invites staff, students and alumni to a webinar titled “A Conversation with Thomas Zgambo” at 19:00 SAST.

4. UCT’s pride month 2023 celebrations

The Faculty of Health Sciences in collaboration with the Office for Inclusivity and Change and Rainbow UCT will host a number of pride month 2023 events to celebrate and recognise African and queer histories and stories. A variety of events and initiatives have been planned around the celebration, socialisation and education of the LGBTQIA+ staff and students. An opening function is scheduled for Friday, 13 October 2023. It will take the form of a round table discussion, a screening of a documentary “Simon and I”, followed by a discussion.

On 13 October 1990, the first pride march was held in Africa, in Johannesburg, South Africa. Around 800 people marched through the city on that day. Many of these participants wore masks and paper bags to cover their faces in wake of the extreme fear of being identified and targeted by authorities. To mark this historic event, October is celebrated as pride month in the broader African continent. Throughout this month, the LGBTQIA+ community celebrates and remembers how far they have come, and commemorates its pioneers and those whose lives have been lost.

5. P&S workplace services portal maintenance

The Properties & Services (P&S) Workplace Services Portal will undergo routine maintenance and will not be available between Friday, 13 October 2023 at 14:00 and Sunday, 15 October 2023 at 22:00. 

Staff will not have access to the portal during this time.

For any maintenance emergencies during this period, please contact the maintenance and operations helpdesk on 021 650 4322/4321.

The P&S department thanks staff for their patience while this important maintenance update is being undertaken.

For any queries, please email the P&S technical support team.

6. ICTS scheduled maintenance on Sunday, 15 October

Please note that Sunday, 15 October 2023 will be an ICTS scheduled maintenance slot from 09:00 to 17:00. Unless advised to the contrary, do not expect any on-premise 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 page before planning any teaching, conferences, meetings, etc. that require ICT services. 

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

7. Please complete the 2023 student engagement survey

UCT students and staff are invited to participate in the 2023 South African Survey of Student Engagement (SASSE) and the Lecturer Survey of Student Engagement (LSSE). These two national surveys gather feedback from undergraduate students and staff across South African universities, and the results provide each institution with invaluable institutional and comparative data. 

The feedback gathered provides insight into the quality of teaching and learning at UCT, allow the institution to identify areas of improvement, and help ensure that educational practices are aligned with the needs of students and staff. Both surveys should be completed by Tuesday, 31 October 2023.

8. University of the Future call for ideas

The University of the Future (UoF) project steering committee invites all staff and students to submit ideas to contribute towards shaping UCT’s developmental strategic roadmap. This is an exciting opportunity to rethink, redesign and realign current spaces and services to be fit for purpose and fit for the future. The guidelines, requirements, themes and eligibility criteria can all be found on the UoF challenge ideas webpage.

The committee has been on a university wide roadshow since August to assist colleagues and students with conceptualising their ideas. The UoF aims to create enabling places, spaces, services and functions for UCT as part of Vision 2030.

Ideas should be submitted by Tuesday, 31 October 2023. Ideas which the committee selects for further development will be showcased at an exhibition in early 2024. Following the exhibition, a further set of curated proposals will then be prepared for submission to relevant UCT committees and council subcommittees for implementation.

Communication and Marketing Department

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