Welcome to the new academic year and other updates

02 February 2022

Dear colleagues and students

The 2022 academic is well under way, new and returning students are currently busy with registration and orientation. Read more on this and other updates below.

1. Welcome to the new academic year

The university is in the process of welcoming undergraduate and postgraduate students onto campus and into residences. There are some principles that will guide the work of the university during this academic year. These will ensure that everyone enjoys a vibrant, safe and healthy campus.

COVID-19 has brought complexities and changes with regards to maintaining face-to-face engagements. As such, engagements will take a variety of forms, this will be informed by the needs and requirements of students’ academic programme, such as tutorials, group projects, laboratory work, lectures and many others.

From 2022, and to the extent that it is possible within continuing restrictions, the university will ensure that every student is given the best possible learning experience. Existing and emerging digital technologies will be used to enhance engagement, considering the specific needs and opportunities of each course.

It is important to remember that COVID-19 is still very much with us and we need to continue to act responsibly in this regard,  by ensuring that we adhere to all health protocols.

All faculties have developed comprehensive faculty specific plans to ensure teaching and learning is successfully delivered. These will be communicated directly from faculties.

The best contribution all staff and students can make is to fully vaccinate themselves, and to work extremely hard from the very start of the year. This will contribute to a most productive and successful year.

2. UCT Parent Orientation 2022

Parent Orientation aims to introduce new UCT parents, guardians and sponsors of students to the UCT community by offering a wealth of information about the support services available to parents and students.

The Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng invites parents, guardians, and sponsors of first-year students who have received firm offers for studying at UCT in 2022 to Parent Orientation.

The online event will take place from 14:00 to 16:30 SAST on Wednesday, 9 February 2022.

Please register to attend the online event.

3. Higher Health 2022 induction message

Higher Health welcomes students and staff back as the 2022 academic year kicks off. The induction message includes important information, especially for first-year students, on COVID-19, access to vaccines, the COVID-19 daily screening passport via HealthCheck, Gender-Based Violence, sexual reproductive health, mental health, and psycho-social services, among other health and wellness support structures available to them.

Communication and Marketing Department

Read previous communications:

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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.