Student financial aid appeals and other updates

24 January 2024

Dear colleagues and students

The University of Cape Town’s (UCT) provision of student financial assistance is one of the cornerstones of the university’s transformation initiatives to assist academically and financially deserving students. Read about this and other recent developments on campus.

1. Student debt appeals for 2023 and financial aid for 2024

In a commitment to assist as many deserving students as possible, projections for 2023 show that at least R1.7 billion (unaudited) has been spent by key financial aid sponsors in support of UCT students. The funding received is less than that from prior years.

Despite the anticipated funding challenges of 2024, the university remains committed to assisting current financially needy students in good academic standing with a 2023 fee debt within approved financial aid policies. UCT has therefore set aside a fee debt appeals budget for this purpose. In addition to the fee debt appeals budget, the university’s Council has approved that the total allowable debt of R10 000 at the time of registration for continuing students that were registered in 2023 will remain in place.

2. Bongani Mayosi Memorial Lecture: Change of venue

The venue for the fourth edition of the Annual Bongani Mayosi Memorial Lecture has been changed to the New Lecture Theatre on UCT’s Upper Campus. UCT’s Faculty of Health Sciences, in partnership with the Bongani Mayosi Foundation, will host the lecture on Friday, 26 January 2024 at 18:00 SAST.

The lecture will be presented by UCT alumnus, Dr Vuyane Mhlomi. A distinguished healthcare leader and innovator, Dr Mhlomi holds an MBChB from UCT, an MBA from Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford, and a DPhil from New College, University of Oxford.

The legacy of Professor Mayosi will continue to have a long-term impact on the aspirations and success of African health sciences students, academics and researchers. This hybrid lecture will be a celebration of African scholarship.

3. UCT-Bristol programme

An exciting initiative between UCT and the University of Bristol (UoB), the UCT–UoB Professorship and Fellowship Programme, was launched in 2023. This initiative provides funds and an enabling mechanism to allow successful applicants at each institution to spend time at the other institution over a period of two to three years.

Following the first call for applications in 2023, the second round of the call has now been launched. This will be identical to the previous call except for one important difference: the new call includes mid-career researchers.

4. UCT Inaugural Lecture: Professor Lebogang Ramma

The annual UCT Inaugural Lecture series will resume in February 2024. The first lecture in the series, titled “Hearing the Call – Trading Epistemic Curiosity for Contextual Relevance in Audiology”, will be delivered by Professor Lebogang Ramma on Thursday, 1 February at the Neuroscience Institute Auditorium, Groote Schuur Hospital, at 17:30 SAST.

Professor Ramma is a professor of audiology in the Faculty of Health Sciences at UCT, and he is recognised nationally for his work in the prevention of treatment-induced hearing loss (ototoxicity). In his lecture, Professor Ramma will share his experience regarding the challenges of trying to balance a research agenda informed mainly by academic interests versus the responsibility of generating basic knowledge that helps advance the field of audiology in South Africa and beyond. He will reflect on his research, teaching and social responsiveness work in relation to his area of interest: acquired hearing loss. He will also provide insight into his efforts to support the initiation and development of training programmes for audiologists in Africa.

Professor Ramma has led a national initiative to prevent treatment-induced hearing loss in patients undergoing treatment for drug-resistant tuberculosis and a Health Professions Council of South Africa’s (HPCSA) task team to develop contextually relevant guidelines for audiological management of patients on treatment that includes ototoxic drugs.

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