How UCT will manage the rest of the 2021 academic year

03 July 2021 | Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng

Dear undergraduate students and colleagues

Since President Cyril Ramaphosa announced South Africa’s return to Lockdown Level 4 on 27 June, we have been working with the faculties at the University of Cape Town (UCT) to arrive at the best possible approach to managing the invigilated exams we had to postpone. After thorough consultation, we have arrived at what we think is the most viable way of dealing with the impact of the lockdown on the first semester exams.

The rest of the 2021 academic year for undergraduate students will be managed as follows:

  1. The vacations will remain as previously published:
    • the winter vacation starts on 10 July and ends on 1 August
    • the mid-semester vacation starts on 18 September and ends on 26 September.
  2. Exams will continue in online mode next week (5 to 9 July). Some invigilated exams that had to be suspended have been converted to online mode at the request of the conveners, and these have been scheduled on the timetable for next week. To maintain the exam schedule, two exams will take place on the weekend of 10 to 11 July. The exam results will be published as planned on Friday, 23 July 2021.
  3. Invigilated exams that had to be suspended and have not been converted to online mode will be held immediately after the September vacation, during the first few teaching days of the fourth quarter. We expect that no more than three teaching days will be needed for these invigilated exams. The timetable for this short exam session will be published by Friday, 16 July 2021. This will happen simultaneously with the start of the fourth quarter.

University staff are working hard to manage the changing lockdown levels with as little disruption as possible to the academic project. I thank my colleagues for their dedication and attention to the many details involved, and I thank the students for their patience and understanding.


Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng

Please note: this VC desk applies to all faculties, except the Faculty of Health Sciences. The Faculty of Health Sciences will manage their calendar within the general parameters while taking into account the specific needs of their programmes.

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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.


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.