Dear students and colleagues
By now I hope you have read Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng’s message about the need for the University of Cape Town (UCT) to continue guarding against the possibility of COVID-19 infection as the pandemic reaches its third wave in South Africa.
In co-operation with the national and provincial Departments of Health and the UCT Student Representative Council (SRC), we have developed guidelines for the June examination period.
First, I offer sincere thanks to the SRC members for their proposals, which are based on sound evidence and demonstrate many points of agreement with the UCT executive. We all remain aligned with the principles that underpinned the university’s approach to the operational plans for Academic Year 2021. In keeping with those principles, and to curb the spread of the virus, we will adhere to the following guidelines for June exams:
Because there are so many variables depending on the degree programme, we realise that the exam schedules are not likely to please everyone. Where possible, assessments will take place via online examinations or formative assessment procedures. However, this is not possible in the following cases:
Please confirm your assessment requirements with your faculty and course convenors.
The number of students sitting in invigilated exams is a small proportion of our student body. We will apply all health and safety requirements in line with current lockdown protocols. Ventilation has been assessed at all exam venues and upgraded where required. This may make some venues colder, so students are advised to bring a warm coat with them to exams.
Adequate distancing between students is a priority and exam venues have been carefully laid out to ensure that 1.5 m social distancing is maintained to mitigate any spread of the virus. Please also maintain physical distancing outside examination venues and on the way to campus, exercising personal responsibility for keeping ourselves and others around us as safe as possible.
No one will be allowed into any examination venue without a green result on their UCT Daily Health Screening App. It is a requirement for every student to do the UCT Daily Screening on the app and to complete the questions truthfully, to ensure that other students are not put at risk by anyone who does have COVID-19 symptoms. If you get an Amber or Red Result on your UCT Daily Health Screening App, students can contact Student Wellness Services (SWS) on the number indicated on the Daily Screening results screen. A SWS counsellor can advise you whether your symptoms are in fact COVID-19 related and, if necessary, will assist in changing your result to Green if symptoms are not COVID-19 related.
Everyone in the exam venue will be required to wear a mask. Sanitiser will be provided at entrances. Jammie Shuttles are available for students who must be on campus.
If you believe that COVID-19 protocols are not being followed on campus, please report your concern so that it can be addressed appropriately.
Faculties are closely monitoring student performance in all programmes, such as through early intervention frameworks. At this stage in the submission of assignments and tests the faculties are not identifying any concerns. At the same time, we are prepared to institute any further interventions we deem necessary to assist students who may be struggling.
I wish all of you luck with the upcoming examinations and assessments. We are fully committed to your success at UCT.
Associate Professor Lis Lange
Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning
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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 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.
“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.
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.
“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.