Distinguished Teacher Award 2020 and other updates

04 February 2021 | Campus Announcement

Dear colleagues and students

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

1. Call for nominations for Distinguished Teacher Award 2020

Students and members of the academic staff are reminded to submit nominations for the Distinguished Teacher Award (DTA) for 2020. The closing date for nominations is 19 February 2021.

The DTA is the highest accolade awarded to teaching staff at all levels within the university. Through the award, the university recognises excellent teaching and acknowledges the primary place of teaching and learning in the institution’s work. Each year, the DTA committee considers nominations made by students and staff on behalf of a number of excellent teachers. The committee examines each submission in detail, in accordance with a carefully devised rubric, terms of reference and set of criteria.

2. Chair of Council’s message on facing challenges of our time together

Chair of Council, Babalwa Ngonyama, looks back at the challenges and achievements amidst the complexity and uncertainty that the university community, with all its stakeholders, experienced in 2020. She alludes to the new bullying policy, new executive appointments and various milestones and critical projects the university has undertaken in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The chair further encourages UCT to celebrate its achievements and look at 2021 as a year which must be faced with a positive and resilient attitude.

3. Update on COVID-19 cases

Please note that updates on COVID-19 cases within the university community will now be shared every second week. Updates will be included as part of the campus announcement issued immediately after the first and the 15th of every month.

As at 1 February the university has 326 reported cases of COVID-19 among non-health sciences staff members, with 262 recoveries. The number of students who have tested positive stands at 100. The university has lost 19 staff members and two students to the virus.


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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 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.


Frequently asked questions


News and opinions

Campus communications


Mid-year exams and other updates 17:11, 23 June 2021
Virtual July graduation 16:05, 17 June 2021
Postgraduate studies at UCT in 2021 09:00, 24 February 2021
Welcome to 2021 14:30, 17 February 2021

Media releases

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Commemorating a year of COVID-19

At midnight on 26 March 2020, South Africa went into the first nationwide hard lockdown. A year later, we remember those who have died and those who have been affected by COVID-19, as well as the pandemic’s effects across society and campus. We are especially grateful for the front-line health workers who have done so much for so many.


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.