Dear colleagues and students
This campus announcement aims to inform the UCT community about recent developments on campus.
1. Women’s month event
For the first time, three University of Cape Town (UCT) female leaders will come under one virtual roof to commemorate women’s month. Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng will host a celebratory virtual Women’s Day event on Thursday, 13 August via Microsoft Teams. The programme will include Chancellor Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe, who will give the keynote address, and Chair of Council, Ms Babalwa Ngonyama, who will deliver a vote of thanks.
Two years ago, Professor Phakeng launched the For Womxm by Womxn research grants to create more opportunities for womxn. These grants focus on training postgraduates and postdoctoral fellows, with an emphasis on building capacity among black South African women and transgender researchers.
2. Update on COVID-19 cases
UCT has 119 reported COVID-19 cases as at 11 August 2020. This includes 89 non-health sciences staff members, of which 67 recoveries have been reported. The number of students’ cases is 30, which includes nine Faculty of Health Sciences students on clinical platforms. The university has sadly lost nine staff members and one student due to the virus.
3. Assessment, dropping courses and fee rebates in the second semester
The university has just commenced the second semester and on 3 August Senate approved that the extension of remote teaching to the fourth term requires the modality of assessment to be consistent with the first semester approach. Data 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.
During the first semester the deadline for dropping courses, with 100% fee rebate, could reduce course load where students felt that they could not cope under remote teaching. With the second semester already having started in remote learning mode, the deadline for dropping courses, with the associated full fee rebate, has moved from 7 August 2020 to 16 August 2020.
4. UCT reissues funding call for sustainability campus projects
The university has made funds available that focus on establishing and strengthening all forms of sustainability in UCT campuses. This call was first issued before the lockdown brought about by COVID-19. Due to the pandemic, the way in which environmental, social and financial sustainability is viewed has shifted and thus it is important that this topic is viewed within complexities that have emerged over the past months.
The new submission deadline for proposals is 1 October 2020, with an anticipated date of 1 January 2021 for the start of the project. This reissued call contains updates and revisions to the original call that was released in February 2020.
5. Student Wellness compulsory weekly webinars continuing
A series of compulsory webinars is being hosted by Student Wellness Service (SWS) for the limited number of students invited to return to campus. The webinars are inclusive of presentations on COVID-19 preventative measures and other related information available to students. Each webinar includes a Q&A session where students can engage with the panellists. Pre-registration is not required. The next sessions are scheduled for 18 and 25 August from 11:00 to 12:00.
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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.