Academic year 2024 and other updates

21 February 2024

Dear students

The University of Cape Town (UCT) has welcomed new and returning students as well as staff 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. Joint proposal on fee debt approved by Council

In a commitment to providing financial support and ensuring broader access to higher education for academically eligible students, the UCT management and the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) presented a proposal during a special Council meeting held on Wednesday, 14 February 2024.

The joint proposal sought to address fee debt issues for students with outstanding balances above R10 000.

Subsequent to the approval of the proposal, the university draws students’ attention to some of the relevant extended deadlines. The deadline for students eligible for fee debt concessions to sign an Acknowledgement of Debt and submit payment plans for consideration by the Fees Office is 21 February 2024; while the deadline for registration of undergraduate and postgraduate coursework studies is 23 February 2024. The deadline for change of curriculum is 23 February 2024.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. Provision of data to eligible groups of students

UCT has made arrangements to provide mobile data to support teaching and learning for eligible groups of students when classes commenced on Monday, 12 February 2024. Data provisioning was done through the main mobile network providers.

The once-off data rollout followed a decision taken by UCT management in January 2024 to ease the transition of designated vulnerable students into the new academic year. All taught programmes assume a measure of virtual engagement, both synchronously and asynchronously, and where this cannot be done reasonably through existing connectivity provided by UCT or the students, the institution provided this temporary assistance.

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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