I hope you and your families are well.
The orientation week held to help students adapt to the new learning environment has been largely successful. I would like to thank all the staff in the faculties and in the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching (CILT) who have contributed to this. We have had a record number of students accessing Vula this week. The feedback from students is that they are ready to go. We are therefore starting online teaching as planned on Tuesday, 28 April.
This said, we face the challenge of delays in the delivery of laptop computers and the settling of agreements on zero-rating data with South Africa’s cellular network providers. These delays will have a knock-on effect on the ability of some students to join in the teaching term. Since the teaching and learning offerings are asynchronous, allowing students to engage with learning in their own time, there is no risk of students missing anything. However, these students will require that course conveners are flexible in terms of submissions of work, continual assessments and other matters that may arise. I am sure we all understand that flexibility is probably one of the top qualities that we need to have in our approach to teaching at this time.
We are aware that staff and students are concerned about the viability of Friday, 8 May as the deadline to effect changes in the curriculum, specifically the dropping of courses. We are preparing a proposal for the Senate Executive Committee to extend that deadline. As soon as this is approved we will communicate the new deadline.
The next two weeks will be very important in terms of assessing how remote teaching is working, identifying problems that need addressing, and, in particular, identifying those students who need to be supported more directly or in different ways. We will keep you informed about course- and faculty-specific issues, as well as on university-wide trends.
I would like, once again, to take this opportunity, to thank academic and professional, administrative support and service (PASS) colleagues in all faculties, as well as all the academic and PASS colleagues in the Centre for Higher Education Development (CHED), for rising to the challenge of offering emergency remote teaching. We keep on working together.
Until the next message, take care.
Associate Professor Lis Lange
Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching & Learning
Updates will be posted on UCT’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 feature page on the UCT News website.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Please view the republishing articles page for more information.
COVID-19 is a global pandemic that caused President Cyril Ramaphosa to declare a national disaster in South Africa on 15 March 2020 and to implement a national lockdown from 26 March 2020. UCT is taking the threat of infection in our university community extremely seriously, and this page will be updated with the latest COVID-19 information. Please note that the information on this page is subject to change depending on current lockdown regulations.
Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phaahla, has in June 2022 repealed some of South Africa’s remaining COVID-19 regulations: namely, sections 16A, 16B and 16C of the Regulations Relating to the Surveillance and the Control of Notifiable Medical Conditions under the National Health Act. We are now no longer required to wear masks or limit gatherings. Venue restrictions and checks for travellers coming into South Africa have now also been removed.
“After almost a year of operation, the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Community of Hope Vaccination Centre, located at the Forest Hill residence complex in Mowbray, will close on Friday, 29 July 2022. I am extremely grateful and proud of all staff, students and everyone involved in this important project.”
– Vice-Chancellor Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng
With the closure of the UCT Community of Hope Vaccination Centre, if you still require access to a COVID-19 vaccination site please visit the CovidComms SA website to find an alternative.
UCT’s Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine (IDM) collaborated with Global Citizen, speaking to trusted experts to dispel vaccine misinformation.
If you have further questions about the COVID-19 vaccine check out the FAQ produced by the Desmond Tutu Health Foundation (DTHF). The DTHF has developed a dedicated chat function where you can ask your vaccine-related questions on the bottom right hand corner of the website.
“As a contact university, we look forward to readjusting our undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in 2023 as the COVID-19 regulations have been repealed.”
– Prof Harsha Kathard, Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning
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.