Dear colleagues and students
Mid-year examinations have commenced and to ensure the wellbeing of all, the necessary precautionary measures have been put in place to minimise the spread of COVID-19 infections. Read more on this and other updates below.
1. Reducing COVID-19 risk and excelling in exams
In light of the COVID-19 third wave, the university has gone to extraordinary lengths to arrange exam venues that exceed the health and safety requirements for reducing COVID-19 infections.
This includes not only cleaning the venues, but also ensuring that ventilation meets safety standards; setting up a one-way system for leaving and entering the venue for a safer flow of traffic; and checking that everybody who enters the venue shows a green daily status result on the UCT Health App.
2. Exam venues, study spaces and reopening of South entrance
Please note that exam venues are not available for use as study spaces during the exam period. Students requiring study spaces are encouraged to make use of alternative venues not serving as exam venues. Exam venues cannot be used for any other purposes as these are cleaned and prepared for the exam sessions in accordance with the COVID-19 protocols.
Please also note that the south entrance on Upper Campus has been reopened with effect from Wednesday, 23 June 2021. Campus Protection Services will operate at this check point during exams until 9 July 2021 from 07:00 till 18:00. The entrance will be closed daily outside these times. After the exams, the entrance will operate from 07:00 to 11:00 daily, excluding weekends and public holidays.
3. UCT to provide a provincial health vaccine site
The university has made available a site that will be used as a Community Vaccination Centre at the Forest Hill residence in Mowbray. This is a partnership with the Western Cape Department of Health.
The vaccination site, which will be operational within the next three to four weeks, is not only for the UCT community but will be available for the broader public who have been invited by the government to be inoculated. The provincial government will provide the vaccines as well as all personnel to manage the site, including medical, administrative and security staff members.
4. SWS hosting COVID-19 seminars on Thursdays
As part of efforts to share information on COVID-19 infections as well as campus and residence public health protocols, Student Wellness Service (SWS) hosts webinars every Thursday from 12:30 to 13:30 via MS Teams.
Further details, including confirmed dates and links for upcoming webinars, will be made available on the SWS website.
5. Update on COVID-19 cases
As at 15 June, the university has 373 reported cases of COVID-19 among non-health sciences staff members, with 334 recoveries. The number of students who have tested positive stands at 131, with 118 recoveries. The university has lost 19 staff members and three students to the virus.
6. Remote emergency teaching and learning survey
Staff members are encouraged to take part in a national survey on their experiences of remote emergency teaching and learning (RETL) and its future. The survey is run by the Council on Higher Education, Universities South Africa and the University of the Free State.
UCT is specifically interested in how it can improve the type of support provided by the institution for teaching staff.
The survey will close on 30 June 2021. Further questions about the survey can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
7. Nominations for the UCT Open Textbook Award
Nominations are still open for the UCT Open Textbook Award. The award, which carries a value of R30 000, can be made to single and multiple authored books and is not restricted in terms of publication date of the work. The deadline for nominations is 30 July 2021.
8. UCT’s commitment to strengthening responsible research practices
The university’s obligation to extend assessment of research impact recognises behaviours that strengthen research integrity. This is also driven to realise Vision 2030. The Office of Research Integrity (ORI) works to support the adoption of responsible research practices by researchers and institutional structures. The ORI has developed online training modules to address the growing needs of the research community.
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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.
The University of Cape Town in partnership with the Western Cape Government (WCG) have reinforced our commitment to bringing hope to the residents of the Mother City with the launch of the world‑class Community of Hope Vaccination Centre that opened its doors on Monday, 30 August 2021.
The site is located on Main Road in Mowbray – in the Forest Hill Residence – and access is from Broad Street. The site is open every day: Monday to Friday from 08:00 to 15:00.
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.