Dear members of the UCT community
The University of Cape Town Council met earlier today, Monday, 21 February, to consider the difficult issue of unpaid fees that are preventing some students from re-registering for the new academic year. Student fee debt is a national problem. Earlier this month, the Minister of Higher Education, Science, and Technology, Dr Blade Nzimande reported that R16.5 billion was owed by students to public universities in South Africa. Cumulative fee debt at our university currently stands at R317.8 million. At the same time, we provide financial support every year to about 50% of our undergraduate students and about 35% of our postgraduate students. For the 2021 academic year, this financial support amounted to approximately R1.7 billion.
For some students – but not all – Council agreed to suspend the block on students re-registering for the 2021 academic year. This suspension was for one year only and, for the 2022 academic year, students with fee arrears of more than R10 000 have so far not been permitted to register, subject to appeal. However, we also know that there are students with fee debt higher than R10 000 who have the potential to complete their courses of study. The special meeting of Council was called to consider the plight of these students.
The outcomes of Council’s deliberations resulted in the following decision:
The provision of progressive financial assistance for students at undergraduate and postgraduate levels are important interventions that contribute to the current socio-economic challenges facing the country. Such assistance must be provided in ways that do not threaten the financial sustainability of the university.
Consequently, Council has made a number of resolutions in this regard.
We are confident that this additional support to our students will make a significant and material contribution to their ability to realise their potential at UCT.
Babalwa Ngonyama, CA (SA)
Chair of UCT Council
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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.
“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.
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.
“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.