This campus announcement aims to inform the UCT community about recent developments on campus.
1. Guidelines on completing the 2020 academic year
In consultation with faculties and student representatives, the UCT executive has decided to finish the 2020 academic year using remote teaching. This decision, which implies a change in the academic calendar, has been approved by Senate and Council.
2. Update on COVID-19 cases
As at 28 July 2020, UCT has a total of 102 reported COVID-19 cases. The number of infected non-health sciences staff members is 77, of which 57 have recovered. The reported number of student cases is 25, which includes eight Faculty of Health Sciences students on clinical platforms. There have sadly been 10 deaths in the UCT community – nine staff members and one student.
3. Support for staff members
The university is aware that some staff may be having challenges coping during this period of uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For staff and their family members who require support, the Independent Counselling and Advisory Services (ICAS) counsellors are available for telephonic counselling. Staff can contact them via the toll-free number 080 111 3945; send a call back request to *134*905# or email email@example.com. ICAS counsellors are also available for chatting via the online app ICAS On-the-Go. The code for UCT staff is UNI003.
The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) also offers free telephonic counselling to anyone suffering from depression, anxiety and other mental health disorders. To contact them staff can call 0800 171 171 (toll-free from a Telkom line 24 hours a day), send a call back request to 31393, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the SADAG Facebook page for daily expert Q&A from 13:00 to 14:00. There is also much useful information about how to cope with the daily stresses of working during the national lockdown on the SADAG website and practical tips to cope in a time of anxiety on the SADAG podcasts.
To find out more about UCT support during COVID-19, visit the Frequently Asked Questions page.
4. Call for applications: UCT Teaching Innovation Grant
Individual academics, teams or departments are invited to apply for the UCT Teaching Innovation Grant to fund initiatives aimed at making teaching at UCT more effective. This grant is available to support individuals or teams who are engaged in developing departmental, programme or faculty level innovations to curricula or courses aimed at improving student learning. Grants of up to R20 000 are available to support such projects.
5. Appointment of executive director: research
Dr Linda Mtwisha has been appointed as the new executive director of research at UCT with effect from 1 October 2020. She joins UCT from the University of Johannesburg, where she is the senior director of strategic initiatives and administration.
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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 regularly with the latest COVID-19 information. Please note that the information on this page is subject to change depending on current lockdown regulations.
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.