Unleashing a new global university and other updates

08 July 2020 | Campus Announcement

Dear students and colleagues

This campus announcement aims to inform the UCT community about recent developments on campus.

1. Unleashing a new global university

UCT hosted the first in its series of digital events aimed at reimagining the new global university on Monday, 29 June. Challenging international thought leaders on the globalisation of higher education, the first conversation asked: “How virtual can academic conferences go?” The events in the series run until Monday, 7 September.

The next event will be held on Monday, 13 July and will focus on “International collaborations: how can we shift the power towards Africa?” Other events in the series will take place as follows:

  • Monday, 27 July - “Undergraduate student mobility: are virtual experiences a realistic substitute?”
  • Monday, 24 August - “Postgraduate researchers: can we rethink the international experience?”
  • Monday, 7 September - “How does changing the medium change the way of doing things?”
  • Visit the feature page: Unleashing the new global university.

2. Weekly COVID-19 cases update

As at 7 July, the total number of reported COVID-19 cases at UCT is 77. This total comprises 58 non-health sciences staff members and 19 students, of which five are Faculty of Health Sciences students on clinical platforms. The number of reported recoveries for staff is 35. Recoveries for students are not included as not all cases are managed by the Department of Student Affairs. There have sadly been six deaths reported – five staff members and one student.

3. Return to campus framework

The UCT executive has issued updates on how the university will coordinate the phased return to campus for staff and students. The framework does not signal a return to normal. Staff and students may only return to campus if they have been specifically issued with an invitation. If this invitation has not been issued, you may not return.

The small group of staff and students who are invited back to campus will have to adhere to very strict health and safety guidelines. All UCT staff must continue to work remotely unless invited back to campus as an essential service – this is a very small group. Although the university is putting a number of measures in place, staff and students are encouraged to take personal responsibility for their health.

4. UCT pays homage to COVID-19 frontline workers

The UCT Choir has paid tribute to the country’s essential workers at the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic. The choir’s rendition of the traditional isiZulu hymn, Thuma Mina, is also dedicated to UCT community members battling COVID-19 and those who lost their lives or family members to the virus.

5. UCT’s commitment to eradicating racism

The Leadership Lekgotla has reaffirmed the university’s commitment to the eradication of all forms of racism and inequality, including, but not limited to women, black staff and students, and the LGBTIQ+ community. This comes following the horrendous killing of George Floyd in the US. This inhumanity was displayed to a global audience and once again exposed the suffocating and deadly legacy of centuries of systemic racism and structural inequality. The Leadership Lekgotla also fully supports and endorses the Council’s statement which commits to the eradication of all forms of racism across UCT.


Communication and Marketing Department

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UCT’s response to COVID-19

COVID-19 is a global pandemic that caused President Cyril Ramaphosa to declare a national disaster in South Africa on 15 March and implement a national lockdown from 26 March.

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.

Frequently asked questions


Daily updates

Friday, 16 October 10:05, 16 October 2020
Wednesday, 14 October 12:50, 14 October 2020
Tuesday, 22 September 14:10, 22 September 2020
Friday, 11 September 10:05, 11 September 2020
Monday, 31 August 12:20, 31 August 2020
Wednesday, 12 August 10:20, 12 August 2020
Friday, 7 August 11:24, 7 August 2020
Thursday, 6 August 18:26, 6 August 2020
Monday, 27 July 14:00, 27 July 2020
Wednesday, 15 July 09:30, 15 July 2020
Monday, 13 July 14:25, 13 July 2020
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

Online staff assembly and other updates 15:09, 30 September 2020
Fee adjustments and other updates 15:21, 16 September 2020
Call for proposals: TLC2020 10:15, 26 August 2020
SAULM survey and other updates 15:30, 5 August 2020
COVID-19 cases and other updates 15:26, 5 August 2020
New UCT Council and other updates 15:12, 15 July 2020
Upcoming UCT virtual events 09:30, 15 July 2020
Pre-paid data for UCT students 14:25, 22 April 2020
Update for postgraduate students 12:55, 20 April 2020


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

External resources

News and opinions

Statements and media releases

Media releases

Read more  

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.