What the new term at UCT will look like

27 March 2020 | DVC A/Prof Lis Lange
 

Dear students

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:

  • 20-24 April: Student orientation: How to learn online
  • 27 April: First week of Term 2 teaching starts.

Things that you need to know to put your mind at rest:

  • There will be no formal invigilated exams at the end of the semester.
  • Instead, assessment will be continuous during the term and you will need to obtain duly performed (DP) credit in your courses.
  • You will find details about the assessments and the DP requirements of your courses in their respective Vula sites before classes resume.
  • The courses you take online will be graded as PASS or FAIL (no marks will be assigned). This will not hurt your chances of getting a distinction when you graduate.

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:

  • You are not expected to carry the same workload online that you would have had face-to-face. We will provide the detail of this within the next week.
  • You will not have to sit in front of your computer at the time of your lectures. You will be able to access and download your lectures; to listen to or watch them as often as you need to; and then do your assignments in your own time.
  • We understand that for some of you, studying away from the university will be intimidating and you will need more support. You can get this support by staying in touch with your course convenors and tutors in the numbers provided in Vula.
  • For those of you whose courses require practical work or field work, this part of your courses will be done on campus once we reopen and the situation has stabilized.
  • We are developing support for you in the form of tutors and consultation times with your lecturers using Vula, WhatsApp and SMS. Contact details will be given to you in each course.
  • We know that some students did not receive laptop computers. We have identified those students and once the lockdown is finished (on 17 April), we will start distributing laptops to them. We have contracted a company that will deliver the computers to you wherever you are.
  • We are working to ensure that you have the necessary data to access your courses online. The detail of this will also be available next week. Please note that all communication will come to you from official UCT platforms.

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.

Warm regards,

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 updates

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.

Campus updates

 

Daily updates


Monday, 6 July 16:20, 6 July 2020
Thursday, 25 June 10:15, 25 June 2020
Tuesday, 23 June 12:30, 23 June 2020
Thursday, 18 June 17:35, 18 June 2020
Wednesday, 17 June 10:45, 17 June 2020
Tuesday, 2 June 12:20, 2 June 2020
Friday, 29 May 09:25, 29 May 2020
Monday, 25 May 14:00, 25 May 2020
Thursday, 21 May 12:00, 21 May 2020
Wednesday, 6 May 10:00, 6 May 2020
Tuesday, 5 May 17:05, 5 May 2020
Thursday, 30 April 17:10, 30 April 2020
Tuesday, 28 April 10:30, 28 April 2020
Friday, 24 April 09:35, 24 April 2020
Thursday, 23 April 17:00, 23 April 2020
Wednesday, 22 April 14:25, 22 April 2020
Monday, 20 April 17:45, 20 April 2020
Friday, 17 April 12:30, 17 April 2020
Thursday, 16 April 09:45, 16 April 2020
Tuesday, 14 April 11:30, 14 April 2020
Thursday, 9 April 09:00, 9 April 2020
Wednesday, 8 April 15:40, 8 April 2020
Wednesday, 1 April 15:50, 1 April 2020
Friday, 27 March 11:40, 27 March 2020
Thursday, 26 March 18:30, 26 March 2020
Tuesday, 24 March 15:40, 24 March 2020
Monday, 23 March 15:40, 23 March 2020
Friday, 20 March 16:00, 20 March 2020
Thursday, 19 March 09:15, 19 March 2020
Wednesday, 18 March 16:00, 18 March 2020
Tuesday, 17 March 12:50, 17 March 2020
Monday, 16 March 17:15, 16 March 2020

Campus communications


Pre-paid data for UCT students 14:25, 22 April 2020
Update for postgraduate students 12:55, 20 April 2020
UCT Human Resources and COVID-19 16:05, 19 March 2020
UCT confirms second COVID-19 case 09:15, 19 March 2020
Update on UCT COVID-19 response 13:50, 11 March 2020
Update on COVID-19 17:37, 6 March 2020

Resources

Video messages from the Department of Medicine

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.

Useful information from UCT

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Statements from Government



 
 

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.

 

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