Teaching and Learning Encounters (TLE) 2021

16 November 2021 | DVC A/Prof Lis Lange

Dear colleagues

We have seen impressive resilience from students and staff during the pandemic and we have learnt a lot from this often painful crisis. While we are still immersed in the dilemmas and stresses of online teaching, we need to consider how teaching and learning at UCT after the pandemic can be enriched by lessons and practices learnt. What have we gained? What have we lost? Where are we going?

Some of the key issues that have been highlighted are:

  • compassionate approaches to teaching and learning at individual and institutional levels
  • building sustainable systems to support teaching and learning in unequal conditions
  • developing innovations that can become part of normal teaching and learning practices.

At the same time, staff and students have complained about lack of engagement and personal interaction. Concerns have been raised as to the effectiveness of the teaching done under pandemic conditions. For some there is a sense of loss, for others there is a strong sense of hope and opportunity, and for the largest majority there is a sense of exhaustion. It is for these reasons that we will be hosting the Teaching and Learning Encounters (TLE) 2021 from 26 November to 2 December 2021. The platform is designed to encourage and provoke colleagues across UCT to share insights and reflect on our experiences over the last 18 months, and to dream and plan together for our post-pandemic future.

TLE2021 is adopting an open space methodology to support participant-initiated conversations, supporting online experiences of human connection and authentic shared presence. We will use a range of asynchronous and synchronous activities, to unleash the best thinking and creativity in the UCT teaching and learning community, and provide activities focused on community building and self-care. We will convene open space conversations on 26 and 29 November, as well as on 1 December. The community building and self-care events will be on 30 November and 2 December.

Key questions:

  • How do we exercise self-care and compassion in teaching and learning?
  • What did the pandemic reveal about the institution?
  • What have we learnt about learning and teaching?
  • What does leadership look like in such uncertain and changing contexts?

TLE2021 is open to only UCT staff (including those on contract).

If you have any further queries, please contact cilt.events@uct.ac.za, and a team member will get back to you.


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
UCT 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
UCT 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.