Dear students and colleagues
This campus announcement aims to inform the UCT community about recent developments on campus.
1. Virtual VC’s Open Lecture
The first Vice-Chancellor’s (VC) Open Lecture for 2020 – which will also be the first in this series to be held online – will be presented by Colin Coleman, senior fellow and lecturer at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs. The lecture is titled “From a two-speed economy to one for all South Africans”. It will take place on Wednesday, 15 July on the Microsoft Teams online platform. Please register online to attend the lecture.
2. Update on COVID-19 cases at UCT
As at 1 July, UCT had 67 reported COVID-19 positive cases. These include 52 non-health sciences staff members and 15 students, of which five are Faculty of Health Sciences students on clinical platforms. The reported recoveries were 31 staff members and three students. There have sadly been five deaths – four staff members and one student.
3. Council concludes 2016-2020 term of office
The 2016-2020 Council’s term of office ended on 30 June, with the last meeting held on 20 June. The outgoing Chair of Council issued a statement reflecting on the term and addressing other matters. The Vice-Chancellor has, on behalf of the university, thanked Council for the hard work and energy to uphold the high standards that continue to keep UCT among the world’s top universities.
4. UCT Whistle-blowing Hotline update
The UCT Hotline continues to receive several calls pertaining to allegations of unethical conduct and, in some instances, what is perceived as fraud and corruption. In 2019, a total of 34 unique matters were reported to the hotline for investigation. An interesting aspect of the 2019 cases was the number of student-related issues. This demonstrates the university’s efforts to ensure greater awareness of the hotline to all key stakeholders. The UCT Whistle-blowing Hotline number is 0800 650 000. If there is any group, department or faculty that wants more information about the hotline and its operations, they can contact Shai Makgoba, UCT’s director of Risk, Compliance and Relationship Management, on 021 650 2754 or firstname.lastname@example.org for a presentation.
5. A toolkit for supporting marginalised students
To assist students with complexities brought about by remote learning, the Office for Inclusivity and Change has developed a toolkit which aims to spark conversation around the needs of students who live in an environment that is not conducive to remote learning. The toolkit relies on data from the UCT Student Access Survey, relevant Statistics South Africa reports and conversations with students and staff. It also explores how race, gender, class and disability play a role in access to resources that are important for teaching and learning.
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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.