KU Leuven

20 April 2021

Dear Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng,

Dear Colleague,

Greetings from KU Leuven.

It is with tremendous sadness and sense of loss that we took note of the horrific events that unfolded in Cape Town and on UCT Rondebosch Campus in the last few days. The scenes of destruction of the campus facilities and especially of the historic library have touched all of us at KU Leuven deeply. Even though we are relieved that thanks to resolute action taken by UCT management and the emergency services, there are no fatalities to be mourned, the loss of the historic library and other important cultural heritage is a tragedy we can unfortunately relate to all too well at KU Leuven. In the course of the 20th century, during the course of two World Wars we experienced the destruction of our own historic library and substantial cultural heritage several times. Only because of the tremendous solidarity shown to KU Leuven by partner universities and knowledge institutions (in the USA and across the globe), vigorously supported by local, national and international (especially US) governments we were able to overcome these tragedies and re-emerge stronger.

Inspired by and still grateful for this particular experience and because of our close ties to UCT, KU Leuven would like to offer its assistance in bringing together like-minded institutions in support of the recovery effort that will undoubtably unfold in the upcoming months. We have already taken the initiative to put a possible effort in this regard on the agenda of the main international networks that KU Leuven chairs or in which it plays an important role (League of European Research Universities, UNA Europa, Universitas 21, Coimbra Group).

In order to make these discussions as relevant and purposeful as possible, we invite you to provide us, at your convenience, with information concerning the most pressing needs. Our International and other support offices would be happy to work with your dedicated offices to establish a communication line to put the focus where it needs to be, as determined by UCT management.

Please be assured that KU Leuven stands with you in solidarity in these difficult times. Together with others, we will do our utmost to work with you to overcome this tragedy, and like we did in the last century, emerge stronger and invigorated.  

Sincerely,

Luc Sels
Rector
KU Leuven


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In an email to UCT students, Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng said:
“Thank you for your patience as we seek ways to return to full academic activity at the University of Cape Town under COVID-19 regulations. Our first priority is to ensure the health and safety of everyone who needs to return to campus buildings.”

UCT is deeply grateful to all the donors who supplied food and other essential items for our students, and to everyone who has so generously offered other forms of support and assistance.

Everyone who would like to support the #UCTFire emergency relief fund is urged to please make financial donations to UCT through the UCT Alumni Ways to Give web page.

Donations can also be made by EFT using the details below:
Account name: UCT Donations Account
Bank: Standard Bank of South Africa
Branch code: Rondebosch Branch, 025009
Account number: 07 152 2387
Swift code: SBZAZAJJ
Please include your donor name if you so wish, as well as the reference for your donation, e.g. Name Surname, #UCTFire.

Messages of support


Cengage EMEA 17:00, 7 June 2021
Ricardo de Sao Joao 16:00, 17 May 2021
J.P. Morgan 10:00, 17 May 2021
Unilever Southern Africa 16:10, 6 May 2021
Iziko Museums of South Africa 16:20, 5 May 2021
Sciences Po, France 10:05, 4 May 2021
The University of Tokyo 09:00, 30 April 2021
McCall MacBain Foundation 16:00, 29 April 2021
Stephen Toope, Chair of IARU 23:50, 27 April 2021
Mazi Asset Management 21:00, 27 April 2021
The National Archives (UK) 17:40, 27 April 2021
Universiteit Antwerpen 16:20, 26 April 2021
Yale University 21:15, 23 April 2021
SOAS University of London 17:00, 23 April 2021
University of Nairobi 15:45, 23 April 2021
Zhejiang University 12:05, 23 April 2021
University of Glasgow 11:20, 23 April 2021
Durham University 18:20, 22 April 2021
Sanlam Corporate Team 16:00, 22 April 2021
MANCOSA 16:00, 22 April 2021
Mastercard Foundation 13:30, 22 April 2021
National Research Foundation 09:05, 22 April 2021
Taylor & Francis 08:20, 22 April 2021
McGill University, Canada 21:35, 21 April 2021
Wild Bean Café 19:50, 21 April 2021
Worldwide Universities Network 19:10, 21 April 2021
University of Groningen 13:35, 21 April 2021
National University of Lesotho 11:00, 21 April 2021
Google South Africa 10:35, 21 April 2021
Chinese Ambassador Chen Xiaodong 09:00, 21 April 2021
George Whitefield College 08:40, 21 April 2021
Virginia Tech 02:00, 21 April 2021
University of Southampton 18:10, 20 April 2021
University of the Free State 17:25, 20 April 2021
KU Leuven 15:45, 20 April 2021
Northwestern University 15:45, 20 April 2021
Council on Higher Education 14:00, 20 April 2021
Times Higher Education 11:45, 20 April 2021
Regent Business School 11:15, 20 April 2021
Professor Crain Soudien 09:05, 20 April 2021
University of the Western Cape 09:00, 20 April 2021
Bishop Tshalo Katshunga 07:30, 20 April 2021
National Library of France 20:50, 19 April 2021
Thabo Mbheki Foundation 20:00, 19 April 2021
Stellenbosch University 19:10, 19 April 2021
Chinese Embassy in South Africa 17:20, 19 April 2021
University of Hull 17:00, 19 April 2021
University of Copenhagen 13:25, 19 April 2021
Cape SA Jewish Board of Deputies 13:10, 19 April 2021
Mastercard Foundation 10:50, 19 April 2021
Stellenbosch University 09:20, 19 April 2021
Minister Blade Nzimande 09:15, 19 April 2021
Committee on Higher Education 09:10, 19 April 2021
University of the Witwatersrand 09:05, 19 April 2021
University of Pretoria 09:00, 19 April 2021

 

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