Campus arrangements for undergraduate students

12 March 2021 | DVC A/Prof Lis Lange

Dear undergraduate students

We are in the final countdown to the start of the academic year, and I am writing to confirm how we will be managing undergraduate teaching and learning during the first semester of 2021.

Until the COVID-19 pandemic is over, we need to ensure that the University of Cape Town (UCT) remains a low-density campus. This will allow us to maintain physical distancing in order to minimise transmission of the virus. We will achieve this by using online teaching and learning, and physically distanced teaching that is conducted on campus under specific conditions.

Accessing campus

Campus can be accessed by students who are required to be on campus because of the demands of their degrees. At this point in time, this means students in the Faculty of Health Sciences; students in the Faculty of Engineering & the Built Environment; selected classes in the Faculty of Commerce; second- and third-year students in the Faculty of Science; and performance, creative arts and languages students in the Faculty of Humanities.

All other students who are not staying in residence and do not need to be on campus for academic reasons are strongly encouraged not to come to campus. This will help us to maintain low-density spaces.

Study spaces

We are aware that some students might need to come to campus to make use of space to study and access the internet. As such, we have identified dedicated spaces where students will be able to work while observing physical distancing protocols and wearing masks. These spaces will be carefully monitored and controlled.

Health screening

Students coming onto campus must have their student cards and are required to present the outcome of their UCT Daily Health Screening app to the Campus Protection Services (CPS) officers at campus checkpoints or faculty entrance points as required. As of 1 April 2021, as indicated in the COO Desk of 5 March, the Higher Health screening app will be fully replaced by the UCT Daily Health Screening app.

Please remember that the well-being of all UCT staff and students depends on our individual behaviour. So, please remember to:

  • wear a face mask at all times
  • maintain a physical distance of at least 1.5 m from others
  • wash or sanitise your hands regularly.

If low-density conditions do not prevail on campus, we will have to institute stricter control measures to access campus. This will be communicated if necessary.

I want to encourage you to complete a survey on campus access and other obstacles to online learning, which will be forwarded to you on 31 March 2021. This survey will help us to identify students who may face obstacles to participating fully in online learning.

I hope you had a great start into 2021, and wish you well for the start of the academic year. Take care of yourselves and one another.

Warm regards

Associate Professor Lis Lange
Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning

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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 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.

In July 2022, the University of Cape Town (UCT) revised its approach to managing the COVID-19 pandemic on UCT campuses in 2022.
Read the latest document available on the UCT policies web page.


Campus communications


Adjusting to our new environment 16:50, 23 June 2022
VC Open Lecture and other updates 17:04, 13 April 2022
Feedback from UCT Council meeting of 12 March 2022 09:45, 18 March 2022
Chair of Council
March 2022 graduation celebration 16:45, 8 March 2022
Report on the meeting of UCT Council of 21 February 2022 19:30, 21 February 2022
Chair of Council
COVID-19 management 2022 11:55, 14 February 2022
Return to campus arrangements 2022 11:15, 4 February 2022

UCT Community of Hope Vaccination Centre

On Wednesday, 20 July, staff from the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Faculty of Health Sciences came together with representatives from the Western Cape Government at the UCT Community of Hope Vaccination Centre at Forest Hill Residence to acknowledge the centre’s significance in the fight against COVID-19 and to thank its staff for their contributions. The centre opened on 1 September 2021 with the aim of providing quality vaccination services to UCT staff, students and the nearby communities, as well as to create an opportunity for medical students from the Faculty of Health Sciences to gain practical public health skills. The vaccination centre ceased operations on Friday, 29 July 2022.

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.


“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.

Thank You UCT Community

Frequently asked questions


Global Citizen Asks: Are COVID-19 Vaccines Safe & Effective?

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.

IDM YouTube channel | IDM 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.