Dear students and colleagues
This campus announcement aims to inform the UCT community about recent developments on campus.
1. Framework for returning to campus
The university is developing a framework for the safe return of staff and students in a coordinated and phased manner, in line with the guidelines provided by the government. This framework is based on the university’s commitment to protect the health and safety of all staff and students.
2. Students to receive 100% rebate for dropped courses
The UCT Council has decided that students who drop courses by Friday, 5 June 2020, will receive a 100% fee rebate. This means that if students are thinking about dropping a course to ensure they have a manageable workload (after consultation with their course convenors) they can make that decision without having to take into account any financial constraints.
3. Phishing attacks at UCT
UCT is a prime target of numerous types of phishing attacks. Some UCT staff have fallen victim to these attacks and incurred financial loss, with the most recent being in May 2020. The UCT Computer Security Incident Response Team reminds the campus community of the risks associated with responding to phishing emails and how to spot them.
Phishing attacks are a reality, and everyone needs to play their role in ensuring that UCT’s network – including its digital resources as well as staff and students’ personal information – remains protected, as these are of great value to cybercriminals. The UCT network is only as secure as those who access it.
4. Africa Month symposium
Last week UCT celebrated Africa Month through a virtual symposium themed “Africa’s innovations in the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic”. A series of webinars discussed a range of topics towards the formulation of policy recommendations. Video recordings of the five webinars are now available on the UCT website.
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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.