Student mental health and other updates

17 April 2024

Dear colleagues and students

The Department of Student Affairs (DSA) is conducting a comprehensive survey to better understand challenges faced by University of Cape Town (UCT) students and how to improve its services. Read about this and other developments on campus.

1. Student mental health survey

DSA’s Student Wellness Service (SWS) is conducting an important survey on student mental well-being. The survey will assist SWS with insights from UCT students on preferences for counselling and treatment.

Participation is completely anonymous. By sharing your experiences and perspectives, you can contribute to making a difference in the mental health support available to students.

Please take a few minutes to complete the survey.

Any questions or concerns regarding the survey should be directed to Mr Alan Florence.

2. Please participate in the 2024 UCT Alumni Survey

Have you participated in the 2024 UCT Alumni Survey yet? More than 3 000 UCT staff members are part of the UCT alumni family. As a valued alumnus, you should have already received an email notification from the Development and Alumni Department (DAD) regarding the survey. UCT would like to hear from all alumni because your insights matter! The survey takes under 15 minutes to complete. You stand a chance to win in the weekly survey competition draws.

3. Application for The Pitch UCT 2024 now open

Applications are now open for The Pitch UCT 2024, a student-led competition that seeks to encourage a culture of entrepreneurship among students at UCT. The programme has grown from humble beginnings at Baxter Hall residence dining hall in 2016 to a fully-fledged incubator.

Applications close on 23 April 2024 at 23:59.

Now in its ninth year, The Pitch UCT continues to impact the lives of student entrepreneurs and student leaders. Organisers extend an invitation to students to pitch their business idea or existing business to esteemed judges and stand a chance to be a part of a game-changing and enlightening entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The winner stands a chance to receive business mentorship from the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation, get entrepreneur resources, and win Jamboree Entrepreneur Festival tickets.

4. RADC webinar series gets under way

The 2024 Residence Academic Development Committee (RADC) webinar series has begun! This year's main theme for the webinars is: "Transform: Thriving with small steps towards big milestones". Sessions take place via MS Teams.

The first webinar was launched successfully on Tuesday, 9 April and it was presented by Mr Samuel Julius, a consultant with the UCT Writing Centre. This webinar provided insights on developing effective study methods.

The second webinar, scheduled for Thursday, 25 April, is themed “Academic Development: How to maintain focus and interest in academic work and projects in the heat of the semester”. This webinar offers students key insights on developing grit in academic work and persevering through the heat of the semester. Students may also benefit much from this chance to study under seasoned experts and raise their academic standards.

It will be presented by Dr Siyabonga Ngubane, a senior lecturer in the chemistry department in the Faculty of Science. Dr Ngubane is an esteemed and highly experienced research scientist and academic with several years of experience.

The RADC’s subcommittee on funding created the webinar series in 2020. It has since become a platform for presenters to share their knowledge, experience, and wisdom with students and has grown to be a popular online learning community.

The topics and presentations for this year are in line with the grit learning outcomes which were drafted as part of the positive psychology programmes spearheaded by Mr Sean Abrahams, a learning innovations specialist within the Residence Life Department of Student Affairs.

Please contact for more information.

5. ICT scheduled maintenance on Sunday, 21 April 2024

Please note that on Sunday, 21 April 2024, there will be an ICTS scheduled maintenance slot from 07:00 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.

6. Upcoming Summer School courses

UCT Centre for Extra-Mural Studies (EMS) is hosting a number of interesting Summer School courses between April and June 2024. The courses cover a range of interesting subjects such as GenAI, self-publishing, and learning isiXhosa at intermediate level.

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