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

Read previous communications:

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Please view the republishing articles page for more information.

UCT’s response to COVID-19 in 2021

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

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

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 Monday to Friday from 08:00 to 15:00 and on Saturday from 09:00 to 13:00. Please allow time for attending to COVID-19 protocols and arrive as early as possible at the vaccination centre.

Frequently asked questions


News and views

Campus communications



Media releases

Read more  

UCT statements related to COVID-19 vaccinations

This is a space created for all formal bodies and structures within the university community to share their opinions on the need for a mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policy. Please note that some editorial judgement may be applied if the received statements go against any constitutional rights, and that no correspondence will be entered into, statements will be posted unedited and as received. Statements can be sent to opinions@uct.ac.za.


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.

#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.


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.