Academic year 2024 and other updates

21 February 2024

Dear colleagues

The University of Cape Town (UCT) has welcomed staff as well as new and returning students as the academic year officially got underway on Monday, 12 February 2024. Read about this and other developments on campus.

1. Welcome to the 2024 academic year

The Vice-Chancellor interim, Emeritus Professor Daya Reddy, extended a warm welcome to all UCT students. He reminded first-year students that they were about to set out on a life-changing adventure that would be full of development, learning, and exploration. He urged returning students to continue doing well academically, and make a significant impact on our community; and expressed gratitude to staff members for their dedication to the university.

2. Navigating the new semester with Amathuba

As the university continues with learning platforms update and migration from Vula to Amathuba, the Centre for Innovation in Learning & Teaching has shared some important updates. These include an update on the migration process; streamlining course management; new Amathuba features; third-party access to Amathuba; and available support and resources.

3. UCT to confer honorary doctorates on six remarkable individuals

UCT will confer honorary doctorates upon six outstanding individuals: Dr Debbie Bradshaw, Mr Lionel Davis, Ms Shirley Gunn, Professor Michael R Hayden, Professor Brian Huntley and Professor Lehlohonolo BBJ Machobane at this year’s graduation ceremonies.

These individuals serve as inspirational figures: their work and accomplishments align with UCT’s values and vision of being an inclusive, research-intensive African university that addresses the challenges of our time through cutting-edge teaching and research.

4. Support for soft-funded researchers

The Soft-funded Academic Research Staff (SFARS) policy was approved by Council in October 2022, following the revision of existing Human Resources (HR) policies. Consequent to this, a phased implementation plan was agreed on. In early 2023, HR business partners worked across the university to develop and validate a record of SFARS members on permanent conditions to benefit from the policy. Completed by mid-year 2023, this data has been used to inform the roll out of the components of the policy. Furthermore, the intention is for this record to be updated in March of each year.

The policy provides four groupings of benefits: improved conditions of service; growth of salary security; contribution to salary security based on productivity; and performance recognition.

5. Update on engagements with UCTEU

Following the Campus Announcement of Friday, 16 February 2024, UCT’s management has shared a detailed update resulting from two weeks of engagement with the UCT Employees Union (UCTEU), who represent some of the university’s Professional, Administrative and Support Service (PASS) staff.

These outcomes were agreed to between management and UCTEU on Friday, 16 February 2024.

6. Parking discs 2024

Parking discs for 2024 are now available to purchase, with the rates remaining the same as for 2023. All staff and students wishing to park on any university campuses have to obtain a disc from the Traffic Administration office on upper campus.

Please note:

  • Office hours are Monday to Friday, from 08:00 to 15:00.
  • First-year students are not eligible for a parking disc.
  • Restrictions apply to the bays in which students and staff members may park.
  • Parking on campus without a valid parking disc will result in a fine.

To apply for a temporary parking disc, email the Traffic Administration office or call 021 650 3312 / 3313 / 3640.

For more information, visit the campus parking and introduction to transportation and parking pages on the UCT website.

7. ICTS scheduled maintenance on Sunday, 25 February

Please note that Sunday, 25 February 2024 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.

8. Food arrangements made following minor fire at the Steve Biko building

On the morning of Saturday, 17 February 2024, a minor fire impacted two vendors in the food court in the Steve Biko Students’ Union building, alongside Cissy Gool Plaza on upper campus.

As a result of the damage, these vendors’ outlets were closed for repairs from Monday, 19 February 2024. Properties and Services hopes to complete repairs as soon as possible.

Communication and Marketing Department

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