Socially responsive course development grant awards 2021

30 November 2021 | DVC A/Prof Lis Lange

Dear colleagues

COVID-19 has offered unique opportunities to deepen our commitment to society through our teaching, research and service. As a university we have committed ourselves to continue with the core project of teaching and learning.

Vision 2030 highlights the importance of embedding a socially engaged learning experience into the curriculum for students. As part of this imperative, and as an indication of institutional commitment, we invited applications for socially responsive engaged teaching and learning course development grants. Four grants of R10 000 each were available to develop, design or revise a course that meets the criteria of engagement with external non-academic constituencies through a pedagogical process and approach.

I am pleased to announce that three awards were made this year, and to share the details with you. All of these courses or reflexive practices are linked in very meaningful ways to the broader social responsiveness curriculum project at UCT.

Dr Helen Scanlon – Department of Political Studies, Faculty of Humanities
Fault-lines in Transitional Justice: addressing historic abuses in South Africa

This course will be developed as a series of three short courses. The target audience is civil society actors working in the realm of social justice, and the course will be developed in partnership with the Foundation for Human Rights. This course is intended to support new, integrative, and path-breaking studies of South African experiences and to be accessible to anyone interested in the area of social justice.

Collaborating with key actors involved in the South African coalition for transitional justice, this course will develop modules centred on ongoing advocacy for truth, reparations, criminal accountability and memorialisation. A central intention of the course is to create strong cross-environmental dialogue about local contexts of violence and strategies that have been used to confront impunity. It is envisaged that students in the political studies department will learn and benefit from engagement with civil society actors.

Ms Leigh-Ann Richards and Mr Elvin Williams – Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Occupational Therapy Division, Faculty of Health Sciences
A critical review of practice learning in the curriculum

Practice learning (PL) is a Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) requirement in Occupational Therapy (OT) undergraduate curricula. Practice learning includes both clinical practice and service learning and all undergraduate OT students are required to complete 1000 hours of PL across the four-year programme. The curriculum provides opportunities for PL in various platforms i.e. class/skills lab practicals and PL blocks in health facilities, schools and non-governmental organisations.

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown forced the OT division to rapidly adapt PL in response to the health and social crisis in our practice contexts. The response was reactive to the pandemic. In thinking about the need for health practitioners with an ability to understand the broader context of their practice, the division decided to initiate a critical review of the PL curriculum with the aim of designing a re-imagined PL curriculum that supports socially responsive practice and the transformation agenda in terms of social and health justice for all. Funding from the grant will be used to critically evaluate the practice learning approach with the intention of developing a space for more critical engagement in PL by students and other stakeholders.

Dr Vuyiswa Lupuwana – Department of Archaelogy, Faculty of Science
Archaeology ‘for the people and by the people’: engaged scholarship, collaborative discourse and social justice

The discipline of archaeology has long been critiqued for its colonial origins. In more recent years, the positionality of archaeological practice has become a strong point of focus and restructures among social groups globally. However, the theory of archaeology coming to terms with itself is still in its infancy. The course to be designed will engage and outline critical discourse for transforming the archaeological discipline. The overall learning outcome of this course therefore focuses on developing a critical lens for engaging with scientific and theoretical disciplines through an approach that aspires towards benefit sharing and mutual access to knowledge.

The course will be framed around public and community archaeology approaches. One of the issues around engaging more critically with inclusive discourse in the practice of archaeology goes to providing spaces for students to interact with the community, heritage, and heritage spaces. The course will have practical outcomes in the form of archaeology exhibitions, community walk-throughs, visual art exhibitions and capsule comic books. Having the space to develop a project and facilitate its implementation will be key to this course.

On behalf of the university Teaching Grants Award Committee, I congratulate all the grant awardees and wish them luck in their exciting projects. We look forward to learning about their work at a UCT Teaching and Learning Conference in the future.

Warm regards

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.


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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.