Dear students and colleagues
Please see below important information from the Registrar on exam arrangements:
As you are aware, the final examinations for 2017 will commence on 15 November. I write to you about important announcements ahead of these examinations.
The university management has had to take the extraordinary step of arranging an examination venue on the upper campus rugby field. It is a decision that has not been taken lightly. It was an outcome of an assessment of what arrangements would offer the best chance of conducting and successfully concluding the examination programme in the current circumstances of threats of disruption. The Vice-Chancellor had previously made the point that examinations would proceed as scheduled for a host of very important reasons, not least of which are the obligations that the university has to its students.
The main examination venue (the exam centre) will be in the marquee on the rugby field on the upper campus. The exam centre has been set up according to the appropriate health and safety standards. Access to the examination centre will be restricted to students taking examinations and to invigilators. The main entrance to the examination centre will be from the Jameson Steps towards the rugby field. Another access route is via the tunnel from middle campus. Madiba Circle (East), alongside the rugby fields, will be closed to vehicle traffic.
The inside of the marquee is divided into spaces that duplicate the capacity of the venue names as listed on the examination timetable (Sports Centre 1, Sports Centre 2, Sports Centre 3, the Memorial Hall, Beattie, New Lecture Theatre, etc.). Each of the marquee venues has its own entrance and will be signposted appropriately with the venue names listed in your examination timetable. The small venues have been clustered together and called ‘November Hall’. This has been changed on student’s timetables. For access to the examination centre, you are to please follow the signposts that will direct you to the specific entrance points.
Departmental venues for practical examinations, laboratories, oral examinations, etc, will be as arranged by the departments and students would already have been advised in that regard by departments directly. Extra time venues, and the Disability Services venues remain as arranged as per your previous timetables.
Safety and related procedures
In the interest of safety for all UCT staff and students, the procedures listed below will apply. It is recognised that these procedures may well cause inconvenience, but they are deemed necessary at this time and your patience is requested. UCT's Campus Protection Services will be supported by the South African Police Services and by PSIRA-accredited private security. We have taken the further extraordinary step to secure the examination centre in ways that are different to our regular arrangements. The purpose is twofold: to control access and to ensure your safety.
UCT continues to uphold the right to peaceful protest. But the university cannot condone actions that are unlawful. Your attention is drawn to the interim interdict of the High Court of the Western Cape restraining all persons from participating in, or attempting to participate in, unlawful conduct on UCT’s properties. In terms of this order, any interference with, or disruption of, an examination would be unlawful. In such instances the South African Police Services are directed to assist the university with enforcing the order of the court. We all hope that there will be no need to invoke the enforcement of this order.
Health and safety
Your safety is of fundamental importance. Medical personnel will be on duty for the full duration of the examination. Invigilators will be briefed in this regard. Toilet facilities will be available in the examination centre, and emergency evacuation plans have been made should there be a need to invoke such steps.
Please follow all instructions at the venue, and always heed all safety considerations. We wish to conclude the 2017 academic year without further incident. I wish you every success in your examinations and a well-deserved break thereafter.
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In a statement to UCT students, Vice-Chancellor Dr Max Price said:
“I wish no student to be ignorant about what constitutes unlawful protest behaviour.
Disruption of classes, blocking of entrances or exits, interfering with traffic flow, putting up barricades that prevent people from conducting normal business or attending classes, and any form of intimidation – whether physical or verbal – is unlawful.”