December 2021 graduation celebration and other updates

17 November 2021

Dear colleagues and students

The University of Cape Town (UCT) will host the “walk of celebration” ahead of the virtual graduation ceremonies on 13 and 14 December 2021. Read about this and other recent developments on campus.

1. December 2021 graduation celebrations

Due to COVID-19, UCT will hold graduation ceremonies virtually on 13 and 14 December 2021. These graduations will celebrate an exceptional cohort that has overcome so much to get to the finish line, having persevered and shown commitment despite the pandemic. Graduands have also been invited to a live “walk of celebration”, which will afford them the opportunity to invite up to three of their guests to watch them walk across a platform outside the Sarah Baartman Hall and have their name called out while the vice-chancellor, Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, and their loved ones congratulate and celebrate with them.

2. Welcoming the 2021/22 SRC

The term of the new Students' Representative Council (SRC) started on 1 November 2021 and will conclude on 31 October 2022. The university commends all the students who made time to cast their votes online, the Election Commission for delivering free and fair elections, and the previous SRC who stepped up by leading at a very challenging time.

3. UCT bids farewell to retirees

This year UCT has the privilege of honouring nearly 90 retirees from across the university, including academic and professional, administrative support and service (PASS) staff. It is an opportunity for the university to say a well-deserved thank you to the staff members who have served UCT for as long as they have. Although UCT won’t be able to celebrate retirees through a physical ceremony as has been the case in the past, the university has since last year introduced an alternative to thank them for their selfless contributions by creating a feature page on the UCT News website. The page includes the retirees’ names, photos and their length of service.

4. Teaching and Learning Encounters (TLE) 2021

In a bid to figure out how teaching and learning after the pandemic can be enriched by lessons and practices learnt, UCT will host the Teaching and Learning Encounters (TLE) 2021 from 26 November to 2 December 2021. The platform is designed to encourage staff members across UCT to share insights and reflect on their experiences over the last 18 months, and to dream and plan together for the post-pandemic future.

5. Reminder: Wolfson Memorial Lecture

The UCT community is invited to attend the annual Wolfson Memorial Lecture, which will be presented by Professor Valerie Mizrahi, the world-renowned director of the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, on 22 November 2021 from 17:00 to 18:00. This will be a hybrid event, which will be live-streamed, with a physical event held at the Wolfson Pavilion for a limited number of guests, in strict accordance with UCT’s COVID-19 protocols.


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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.

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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


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.