I hope you and your families are well. Thank you, once again, for all the work you did during the first semester. All the data we have collected indicates students’ appreciation for the care and attention provided by academics. I will, in due course, write to you about the outcomes of exams and of the Student Access Survey.
Today I am writing about:
The approach to marks and assessment during the second semester
On 3 August the Senate Executive Committee approved that the extension of remote teaching to the fourth term requires the modality of assessment to be consistent with our approach in the first semester.
All the data at our disposal – from the results of the first semester to the Student Access Survey – supports the continuation of the pass/fail approach for all first semester half (F) courses. Given the extension of remote teaching to the end of the academic year, the following has been decided regarding pass/fail final results in second semester half (S), full year half (H) and full year (W) courses in the second semester for 2020:
As in the first semester, it is understood that the structure of the different LLB programmes in the Faculty of Law makes the application of this approach very difficult. It has therefore been agreed that the Faculty of Law will be exempted from this decision. Service courses offered to other faculties which have endorsed the pass/fail principle will have to fall in line with this principle.
Dropping second semester courses and fee rebates
The COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying lockdown has had a wide-ranging impact on the academic operations of the university. During the first semester of this year, the deadline for dropping courses, with the associated full fee rebate, was amended to allow students, with the benefit of curriculum advice, to reduce their course load where they felt particularly concerned that they would not be able to cope under the circumstances.
With the second semester having commenced, and given the ongoing adjustments to the regular academic operations of the university due to the lockdown, the deadline for dropping second semester courses, with the associated full fee rebate, has been amended as follows: the deadline originally set as 7 August 2020 has been amended to 16 August 2020. Curriculum advisors have been alerted by their respective faculties that students who elect to manage their curriculum load by dropping second semester courses for which they are registered have until 16 August 2020 to do so. The 100% fee rebate will apply in such cases.
This is the form for students to complete to drop a course.
Best wishes for a successful second semester and, once again, thank you for your dedicated work and commitment to supporting our students during these challenging times for all of us.
Associate Professor Lis Lange
Deputy Vice-Chancellor: 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.
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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.