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 regularly with the latest COVID-19 information. Please note that the information on this page is subject to change depending on current lockdown regulations.

Thank You UCT Community

UCT Community of Hope Vaccination Centre

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.

#UCTCOVIDPledge – social media elements

Customised Facebook frames and Instagram stickers are now available on those social media platforms. Watch the tutorial videos here to see how easily you can show your support for the #UCTCOVIDPledge.


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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.