This campus announcement aims to inform the UCT community about recent developments on campus.
1. SAULM survey
UCT students are encouraged to share their educational experiences by taking part in the national Students’ Access to and Use of Learning Materials (SAULM) survey before 31 August 2020. To determine whether a revision of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) funding policy in terms of learning materials allowance is needed, the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) will co-administer a sector-wide survey to explore students’ experiences with learning materials. Data gathered will also be used as a foundation to guide discussions on other pressing matters, such as digital inequalities, engaging more with digital or open educational resources, and enhancing digital skills within the sector. To provide extra incentive, the University of the Free State, which is leading the survey, is offering students the chance to enter a lucky draw that will offer 200 participants virtual Checkers vouchers worth R200 each (also redeemable at Shoprite or USave stores). Details of how to enter the draw are on the link below.
2. Update on COVID-19 cases
UCT has a total of 116 reported COVID-19 cases as at 4 August 2020. This includes 87 non-health sciences staff members, of which 63 have recovered. The reported number of student cases is 29, which includes eight Faculty of Health Sciences students on clinical platforms. UCT has not had any new cases of staff or student deaths since the last update. The university has unfortunately had 10 deaths due to COVID-19 – nine staff members and one student.
3. Distinguished Teacher Award recipients for 2019
Each year through the Distinguished Teacher Award (DTA), the university recognises excellent teaching and acknowledges the primary place of teaching and learning in the institution’s work. The DTA Committee chooses awardees from a large pool of eligible teachers whose portfolios, submitted in support of their nominations, attest to the distinctiveness of some of UCT’s teachers. The recipients this year are: Professor Andrew Argent, head of the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health and the medical director of the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital; Dr Tessa Dowling, senior lecturer in African Languages; Associate Professor Amrita Pande, a sought-after supervisor in sociology; and Associate Professor Romy Parker from the Anaesthesia and Perioperative Medicine department.
4. UCT’s Women’s Day celebration event
Women’s Month is an important time to reflect and celebrate achievements of womnx at UCT. This year, amid the complexities brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng will host a virtual Women’s Day event on Thursday, 13 August via Microsoft Teams. The programme will include Chancellor Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe, who will present the keynote address, and chair of Council, Ms Babalwa Ngonyama, who will deliver a vote of thanks.
Recipients of the For Womxn By Womxn research grants – Professor Floretta Boonzaier, Professor Janet Hapgood and Dr Katye Altieri – will also provide an update on their research projects which range from shifting how we do research around gender-based violence, to contraception and HIV risk of women in sub-Saharan Africa, and building capacity in the field of oceanography. The research grants were launched two years ago by Professor Phakeng to focus on training postgraduates and postdoctoral fellows, with an emphasis on building capacity among black South African women and transgender researchers.
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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.