Dear students and colleagues
This campus announcement aims to inform members of the University of Cape Town (UCT) community about:
1. Update on the novel coronavirus outbreak
The novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), which emerged last month, was declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization late last week. With students and staff due to return to UCT classrooms for the beginning of the academic year, the university is monitoring reports of the spread of this disease.
Students who require further information or have questions about 2019-nCoV should contact SWS: firstname.lastname@example.org, 021 650 1020/5620 (week days) or 021 650 1271 (weekends and after hours). Staff members can contact Blanche Claasen-Hoskins on 021 650 5685 or Margie Tainton on 021 650 3028.
2. Load-shedding measures in place at UCT
UCT has put measures in place to ensure that minimal teaching and learning time is lost during load-shedding, and that the impact on all other university operations is reduced as far as possible. Both Eskom and the City of Cape Town issue regular notices in advance of load-shedding. UCT’s upper, middle and lower campuses, the health sciences campus and all residences are in Area 15. Hiddingh campus and the Graduate School of Business are in Area 7. Staff and students are encouraged to check load-shedding schedules regularly and to plan accordingly. The university has a limited number of venues with full back-up power, which can be booked for study purposes, but these may not be available if they are already booked for other purposes.
Some UCT facilities have generators to provide back-up power that is limited to research activities, emergency lighting, some power points, and access and fire-detection systems. Other UCT facilities have uninterruptible power supplies that will provide emergency lighting and some power points for a limited time – usually about two hours. Wi-Fi will unfortunately not be available in most UCT buildings during power outages. Although UCT IP landlines will not function during load-shedding, the Campus Protection Services (CPS) landline (080 650 2222) will still be operational.
UCT has over 100 lifts. Staff and students are cautioned not to use these lifts 10 minutes prior to scheduled load-shedding times. Some of the lifts have emergency dial-out systems that will allow communication with CPS, which you are advised to use if necessary. Alternatively, if you have airtime, make use of your cellphone to contact CPS on 021 650 2222/3.
During load-shedding periods the Maintenance Department staff, in conjunction with contractors, monitor the status of all the generators and ensure that they all start as expected. After load-shedding periods, all generators are refilled with diesel to be ready for the next power cut. Any repairs that need to be done are also attended to timeously to ensure that all generators are available when needed.
3. Memorandum of Understanding between supervisors and postgraduates
A standard-format Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between postgraduate students and their supervisors has been rolled out across the university and its use is now compulsory in all faculties. Guidelines for completing the MoU have also been introduced this year. The MoU is a formal agreement between a postgraduate student (master’s or doctoral) and their supervisor regarding their expectations of each other, and the research requirements for completion of the degree. The intention is for students and supervisors to discuss and agree on important issues at the point of registration.
There are three versions of the MoU: two for postgraduates in their first year of study (ACA47a or ACA47b) and the third for returning postgraduates (ACA48).
Students may direct any questions around the MoU to their supervisor, while supervisors may contact their faculty postgraduate manager if they have any queries.
4. Book launch: ‘UCT Under Apartheid: From onset to sit-in 1948 - 1968’
As part of the Distinguished Alumni Speaker Series, the Development and Alumni Department will host the launch of the book ‘UCT Under Apartheid: From onset to sit-in 1948 – 1968’, written by retired UCT academic Emeritus Professor Howard Phillips. Drawing on an extensive array of sources (written, oral and visual) this richly illustrated volume provides a rounded social, intellectual, educational, cultural and political history of one of Africa’s foremost universities during the first phase of apartheid.
When: Wednesday, 12 February 2020
Where: Centre for African Studies Gallery, [directions]
Level 2, Harry Oppenheimer Institute Building, Engineering Mall Road, UCT upper campus
Time: 17:30 for 18:00
RSVP: Extended to 13:00 on Monday, 10 February. Kindly email email@example.com on or before this deadline in order to avoid disappointment.
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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 2020 and to 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. Please note that the information on this page is subject to change depending on current lockdown regulations.
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.