Greetings. I hope you are well and taking care of yourselves. As we now move into the countrywide lockdown for 21 days, as announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa, we have a better view of how the academic calendar will change at the University of Cape Town (UCT), when the term will restart, and how teaching and learning will take place.
Our plan is set out below, in the hope that this will answer some of your questions. Some specific dates might still change, depending on the COVID-19 situation, but this will give you some idea of what the new term will look like.
Term 2 (week 6-12 of the first semester) will start on 20 April. It will be scheduled as follows:
Things that you need to know to put your mind at rest:
Learning online is very different from learning face-to-face. Because of this, we are preparing a guide for you that we will use during the Student Orientation (20–24 April). It will help you understand how you need to work to succeed in your courses.
Important for you to know:
To serve you better, we need to know what your needs are. Next week we will send out a survey about devices, connectivity and workspace. The survey will be sent via email and SMS. Please respond to it. It is very important that your course convenors know where you are, how you are working and what you need.
This is the second message I have sent to you on this topic. You can review the first message online if you missed it for any reason.
Next week, when there is more clarity about other elements of our programme, I will write again.
In the meantime, take care of yourselves and be assured that we are here to support you.
Associate Professor Lis Lange
Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning
Updates will be posted on UCT’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 feature page on the UCT News website.
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Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a global pandemic that caused President Cyril Ramaphosa to declare a national disaster in South Africa on 15 March. This was followed by the implementation of a national lockdown, which has been in effect since midnight on 26 March and has recently been extended to 30 April. The intention of this drastic measure is to “flatten the curve” and contain the spread of the coronavirus to enable healthcare workers to more effectively treat those affected.
UCT is taking the threat of infection in our university community extremely seriously, and this page will be updated regularly with the latest COVID-19 information.
Getting credible, evidence-based, accessible information and recommendations relating to COVID-19
The Department of Medicine at the University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital, are producing educational video material for use on digital platforms and in multiple languages. The information contained in these videos is authenticated and endorsed by the team of experts based in the Department of Medicine. Many of the recommendations are based on current best evidence and are aligned to provincial, national and international guidelines. For more information on UCT’s Department of Medicine, please visit the website.
To watch more videos like these, visit the Department of Medicine’s YouTube channel.
As the COVID-19 crisis drags on and evolves, civil society groups are responding to growing and diversifying needs – just when access to resources is becoming more insecure, writes UCT’s Prof Ralph Hamann.03 Jul 2020 - 6 min read Republished
The Covid-19 crisis has reinforced the global consequences of fragmented, inadequate and inequitable healthcare systems and the damage caused by hesitant and poorly communicated responses.24 Jun 2020 - >10 min read Opinion
Our scientists must not practise in isolation, but be encouraged to be creative and increase our knowledge of the needs of developing economies, write Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, vice-chancellor of UCT, and Professor Thokozani Majozi from the University of the Witwatersrand.09 Jun 2020 - 6 min read Republished
South Africa has been recognised globally for its success in flattening the curve, which came as a result of President Ramaphosa responding quickly to the crisis, writes Prof Alan Hirsch.28 Apr 2020 - 6 min read Republished
In an email to the UCT community, Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng said:
“COVID-19, caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2, is a rapidly changing epidemic. [...] Information [...] will be updated as and when new information becomes available.”
We are continuing to monitor the situation and we will be updating the UCT community regularly – as and when there are further updates. If you are concerned or need more information, students can contact the Student Wellness Service on 021 650 5620 or 021 650 1271 (after hours), while staff can contact 021 650 5685.