This campus announcement aims to inform the UCT community about recent developments on campus.
1. Key upcoming virtual events
The university will host two key events in the next two weeks – the VC's Open Lecture and a webinar on decolonialisation and decoloniality.
The VC's Open Lecture will be presented by Professor Stephen J Toope, vice-chancellor of the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. His lecture is titled “Global partners, global leaders” and will take place on Wednesday, 16 September 2020 at 17:30 on the Microsoft Teams online platform.
UCT will also host a webinar that explores decolonialisation and decoloniality at the university. Discussions will look at decolonisation in the context of UCT’s Vision 2030. The webinar will be held on Tuesday, 22 September 2020 at 10:00 on the Microsoft Teams online platform.
2. Unleashing the New Global University series
In June, UCT launched a series of webinars under the theme Unleashing the New Global University. On 24 August, the fourth of these “challenging conversations” saw academics from Ghana, South Africa and the United Kingdom reflect on the question: “Postgraduate researchers: can we rethink the international experience?” Hosting the event, Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng outlined the benefits of mobility for postgraduates.
The series was concluded on 7 September, with the final session focusing on the topic: “How does changing the medium change the way of doing things?”
3. Update on UCT COVID-19 cases
As at 8 September, UCT has a reported 99 cases among non-health sciences staff members, with 83 recoveries. The reported students’ cases remain 35, with 10 of these being Faculty of Health Sciences students on clinical platforms. The university has sadly lost nine staff and one student to the pandemic.
4. Staff return to campus
Staff at UCT have been asked to continue working from home where possible, to mitigate COVID-19 infections. This approach remains the university’s default position. All departments have identified those staff members whose work requires them to be on campus. These staff members have been granted access to campus on condition that they undergo a daily health assessment and adhere to strict protocols.
A series of frequently asked questions is available online to make it easier to access the necessary information about the COVID-19 Personal Health Risk assessment for staff members. In addition, every person is required to complete the HealthCheck app each time they enter any of the UCT campuses.
5. Thank you to administrative staff
On 2 September, which is Administrative Professionals’ Day, the UCT executive expressed appreciation to staff for rising to the challenge and ensuring that the university continues with its operations. Staff are encouraged to take care of themselves both physically and mentally and access the UCT support services available to staff and their close family members.
Read previous communications:
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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 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.
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.