Dear students and colleagues
This campus announcement aims to inform the UCT community about recent developments on campus.
1. UCT_Cares – central point for info and services
The UCT Call Centre and Referral System (UCT_Cares), developed by the university’s Academic Advising Project in April 2020, provides the campus community with a central point of contact for the information and services they need. UCT_Cares helps students and the greater UCT community to navigate and connect to the many nodes of support already existing within the university.
The service has already received and dealt with over 100 queries - many of these from across faculties and levels of study and spanning a range of topics, including struggles with connectivity and financial aid. The UCT_Cares service can be used by anyone from the university community who does not know who to contact regarding UCT-related questions and issues they may have. Queries can be sent to email@example.com.
2. Return of researchers and postgraduates to campus
Following the recent update by Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng on UCT developing a framework for returning to campus, the Return to Research Task Team has decided on a set of principles and steps for the process of returning researchers and postgraduates to campus. The overarching principle is that UCT will keep numbers as low as possible, particularly through July and August 2020. Every staff member and postgraduate returning to campus will need a formal letter of invitation and a permit for travel.
Researchers and postgraduates are scheduled to return in two tranches, subject to change according to national or provincial circumstances. The first group aligns with Phase 2 of UCT’s return to campus and is likely to start at the beginning of July. The second group aligns with Phase 3 of UCT’s return to campus (after August 2020).
3. Securely managing MS Teams platform
The Microsoft Teams collaboration platform has played a significant role in helping UCT to continue operations during the ongoing national lockdown. One of its key features is that it facilitates online meetings using audio and/or video. Over the past few months, numerous queries have arisen about how to securely manage meeting recordings and confidential documentation. To answer these and other questions, ICTS has compiled articles covering Teams meeting recordings as well as FAQs. Please read these articles to familiarise yourself with the platform’s features and settings so that you can manage your content effectively.
The ICTS training team also runs Teams information sessions, including custom sessions for individual groups or departments. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on this. Alternatively, you can take several online courses to learn more about the platform. For a detailed overview, along with information on how to get started, please read: Collaborate with Microsoft Teams.
4. ICTS scheduled maintenance on 21 June
Please note that ICTS will conduct extended scheduled maintenance on Sunday, 21 June 2020 from 08:00-17:00. Unless advised to the contrary, do not expect any ICT services to be available for the duration of the maintenance slot.
Please remember to consult the Scheduled ICTS Maintenance slots for 2020 before planning any teaching, conferences, meetings, or any activities that require ICT services.
For more information, see the article on why ICTS schedules regular monthly maintenance slots.
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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 and implement a national lockdown from 26 March.
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.
Getting credible, evidence-based, accessible information and recommendations relating to COVID-19
The Department of Medicine at the University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital, are producing educational video material for use on digital platforms and in multiple languages. The information contained in these videos is authenticated and endorsed by the team of experts based in the Department of Medicine. Many of the recommendations are based on current best evidence and are aligned to provincial, national and international guidelines. For more information on UCT’s Department of Medicine, please visit the website.
To watch more videos like these, visit the Department of Medicine’s YouTube channel.
As the COVID-19 crisis drags on and evolves, civil society groups are responding to growing and diversifying needs – just when access to resources is becoming more insecure, writes UCT’s Prof Ralph Hamann.03 Jul 2020 - 6 min read Republished
The Covid-19 crisis has reinforced the global consequences of fragmented, inadequate and inequitable healthcare systems and the damage caused by hesitant and poorly communicated responses.24 Jun 2020 - >10 min read Opinion
Our scientists must not practise in isolation, but be encouraged to be creative and increase our knowledge of the needs of developing economies, write Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, vice-chancellor of UCT, and Professor Thokozani Majozi from the University of the Witwatersrand.09 Jun 2020 - 6 min read Republished
South Africa has been recognised globally for its success in flattening the curve, which came as a result of President Ramaphosa responding quickly to the crisis, writes Prof Alan Hirsch.28 Apr 2020 - 6 min read Republished
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.