Key info ahead of the mid-year exams

22 May 2024

Dear colleagues and students

The University of Cape Town’s (UCT) mid-year examinations will commence on Thursday, 23 May and continue until Wednesday, 12 June 2024. Ahead of these exams, various departments have collaborated in planning the logistical arrangements to ensure operations proceed as smoothly as possible.

Logistical arrangements have been made in respect of – among others – study spaces, security services, UCT Shuttle services, loadshedding and medical assistance.

Students and staff are urged to take note of the arrangements that will be in place to ensure a smooth exam period.

1. Study spaces during the examination period

The below study spaces have been made available. Please note the various times of availability at each of these spaces.

Please see the below additional study spaces:

Study spaces during examination period

Operating times

Back-up power

Temporary foyer / quad study spaces

Leslie Social mezzanine
(30 desks and seats)



Leslie Social entrance and foyers

24/7 availability


Kramer quad (30 desks and seats)

24/7 availability


Otto Beit (old Post Office entrance)



Avenue Road Dining Hall will be open for residence students from Monday, 27 May 2024 until Tuesday, 11 June 2024. The space is available during non-mealtimes (20:30–06:00 ie after supper and before breakfast, Monday to Sunday).

Please note that examination venues may not be used as study spaces, as these venues need to be prepared for the sessions. These venues will be clearly marked as such.

2. Security services

Campus Protection Services (CPS) officers will be onsite at various venues for the duration of the examination period. Students are requested to always have their student cards with them, especially to access exam venues and libraries.

For the evening sessions, additional CPS officers will be deployed along the routes from the examination venues to the shuttle stops and parking areas.

Students who will be using the 24-hour study spaces at night and requiring a CPS officer to escort them to the shuttle stops or parking areas are advised to contact CPS on the applicable contact numbers.

  • CPS Operations Centre: 080 650 2222 (toll-free number)
  • Upper Campus, Robert Leslie Social Science, Basement:
    021 650 2121 / 4080
  • Middle Campus, Kramer Building, Level 4: 021 650 5759
  • Lower Campus, Burnage: 021 650 4788
  • Faculty of Health Sciences, Barnard Fuller Building: 021 406 6100

Please note the following safety tips:

  • Please save the CPS control room number on your phone: 080 650 2222.
  • Wherever possible, do not walk alone.
  • Be in possession of your student card to assist CPS officers in identifying non-UCT staff and students.
  • When walking at night, do not use headphones or be on your phone. Always be aware of your surroundings.
  • Follow the “blue route” when walking between upper and lower campus. The blue route consists of nine emergency bollards with flashing blue lights. The bollards are evenly spaced along the routes and have an intercom linked directly to CPS. See the blue route on the campus maps for upper and middle campus.

3. UCT Shuttle services

The UCT Shuttle service will remain operational, and the timetable may be amended as and when necessary during the examination period.

Please ensure that you are in possession of your staff/student card in order to make use of the UCT Shuttle service.

Please note that due to the timetable being subject to change, students are urged to regularly check online for any amendments on any routes. These amendments will be reflected timeously on the timetable and communicated via the UCT website and social media platforms.

The UCT Shuttle office can be contacted on 021 650 5289 (between 07:00 and 00:00 during weekdays and 08:30 to 14:00 over public holidays and weekends). For after-hours queries, please contact the CPS control room on 080 650 2222 (toll free).

4. Parking

Students are encouraged to make use of the UCT Shuttle service as the availability of parking spaces can be limited during the examination period.

If you make use of your own vehicle, please ensure that you have the required parking permit.

Temporary parking discs are available for first-year students during examination times only. These can be purchased at the Visitors’ Reception and Information Centre (opposite the Sports Centre) at the entrance to upper campus, as well as at the Traffic Administration Office on upper campus.

Please note the following parking tips:

  • Arrive early and allow enough time to find parking.
  • Never leave valuables in plain sight. Items like backpacks, laptop cases or any packages should be put in your boot.

5. Loadshedding

Although the country has not had any loadshedding for the past few weeks, measures will be put in place in an event of there being any power cuts. These measures include multiple exam venues being fitted with back-up power solutions. The university has previously issued an update sharing more specific details on measures in place to mitigate the impact of loadshedding.

In the event of a power outage, please follow the FAQ when moving about campus or using lifts.

Please note the following tips to minimise the impact of loadshedding:

Please note that the upper, middle, lower and Faculty of Health Sciences campuses are in Zone 15. The Hiddingh Campus is in Zone 7.

6. Medical and counselling services

Any student who requires medical care or support can access the Student Wellness Service (SWS) through an online booking system or, in urgent situations, through the walk-in service.

Students not in urgent situations can book an appointment on the SWS online booking platforms, which is accessible via the SWS pages on the DSA website.

Should any student have difficulties in securing an appointment, they can contact the SWS admin team or utilise the walk-in service at the Sports Centre Clinic without an appointment or apply for deferred exams on medical grounds on the same day. Please note the following contact details:

  • Medical consultations: 021 650 1020
  • Psychological / counselling: 021 650 1017
  • SWS nurse triage line for medical advice: 021 650 5620 from 08:30 to 16:30 and 021 650 1271 after hours.

Additionally, SWS offers support for students with mental health issues through various telephonic services, the Panda app, the Ollie Health platform, and the Vimbo mental health app.

The SWS’s 24-hour telephonic counselling services are available even during weekends and after hours as follows:

  • UCT SADAG Care: 0800 24 25 26 (voice call) or 31393 (text)
  • ICAS counselling line: 0800 872 676
  • Higher Health Counselling: 0800 36 36 36
  • ER24 UCT collaboration line: 010 205 3010

Students can also download the Panda app for online mental health support.

  • Step 1: Search for “Join Panda” in the iOS, Android or Huawei app store.
  • Step 2: Download the app and create an anonymous user profile.
  • Step 3: Use the promo code “SWS Cares” to unlock free 1:1 text-based chat support sessions.

Furthermore, students can book a live video session with a mental health expert via the Ollie Health platform, or access the Vimbo mental health app. To access the Vimbo app, students will need to:

  • register using a UCT email address
  • enter the voucher code: UCT158
  • see the brochure for more information.

With respect to COVID-19 and a flu-like illness:

  • Health screening will not take place at the examination venue entrances.
  • If a student is infected with COVID-19 or another infectious respiratory illness, they must avoid being with others within indoor spaces for five days. In this instance, they should contact SWS.
  • Properties and Services’ cleaning department will ensure that all venues are cleaned before each examination.

Please see the SWS’s guidelines on COVID-19 or other infectious respiratory illnesses; as well as the recent communication issued by Higher Health.

7. Medical assistance

Paramedics will be on standby on campus. Should you require medical attention during an examination, an invigilator will summon the paramedics.

8. General emergency and safety measures at exam venues

In the event of a fire or any other emergency, note the following:

  • An invigilator will instruct you to leave the venue and guide you to the nearest safe exit.
  • Leave your belongings and exit the venue in an orderly fashion.
  • Once out of the venue, you will be directed by CPS to a safe emergency assembly point, where you should await further instructions.

Should there be a need to communicate rapidly during exams, please note that the university will post notices on the following platforms: main website, staff website, students website, Facebook; and X. SMSes may also be sent directly to staff and students as an additional channel for rapid communication.

All staff and students are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the above-mentioned logistical arrangements.

Best wishes to all students during this examination period.

Communication and Marketing Department

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