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19 June 2020
From the Acting Rector and Vice-Chancellor: Plans for Certain Students’ Return to Campus During Lockdown Level 3

(Published - 19 June 2020)

As stated by the Minister, once Level 3 is announced, students will be given a period of two to three weeks from the announcement date to return to campus. Level 3 lockdown was implemented from 1 June 2020.

The University of the Western Cape (UWC) has been working according to the Government regulations to ensure that all the relevant protocols, planning and requirements are adhered to before students return.

NB: All identified students have been notified individually via correspondence about their return date to campus. Students have been issued with permits and a certificate to return either to campus or UWC residence.

The following important procedures were highlighted by the Minister of Higher Education and Training:

  • Under Level 3, a maximum of 33% of students and staff will be allowed to return to campuses and UWC residences - as long as they can be accommodated in line with health and safety protocols.
  • The students allowed back under Level 3 should be in their final year of study - both undergraduate and postgraduate students - who require laboratory and clinical work to complete their degree in 2020.
  • The returning students must be determined based on the necessity to access laboratories, technical equipment, data connectivity and also access to UWC residences.
  • The returning students should be notified by the institution, and the institution will issue permits to identified students to allow for their travel.
  • All students and staff members returning to campus will be screened upon entry. All health and safety protocols to be followed.
  • International students will not be allowed to cross borders during the Level 3 lockdown.

UWC Implemented criteria for a Phased-In Plan for the return of certain students to campus.

The following cohort of students were identified to return to campus during the level 3 lockdown:

  1. Final year Undergraduate and Postgraduate students who have clinical and laboratory work to complete their degrees in 2020.
  2. Vulnerable final-year students not identified in level 3 lockdown but who have poor living conditions and no connectivity in their home areas.
  3. Other vulnerable students identified will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

Below are the phased-in stages for students to return to campus so as to ensure safety and relevant protocols are observed.

Phase 1: From 22 June 2020: Postgraduate Natural Science, Community and Health Sciences and Dentistry students who require laboratory research work and also the most vulnerable students (final-year students identified in a group that is not part of Level 3 criteria).
Identified: 594 postgraduate students will be returning to campus.

Phase 2: From 26 June 2020: Residence students mainly - Science postgraduate laboratory students and postgraduate Dentistry students. All M-Psych and 4th-year Nursing students. Vulnerable final- year students identified will also return to UWC residences.
Identified: Approximately 1 000 final-year postgraduate students to return to campus and UWC residences.

Phase 3: From 5 - 8 July 2020: all undergraduate 4th /final-year students requiring laboratory work and all other identified vulnerable students for residence.
Identification: In progress

Phase 4: From 12 - 15 July 2020: All undergraduate and postgraduate clinical students from Dentistry, Science and Nursing to commence clinical platform work from 1 August 2020. Identification: In progress


Prof Vivienne Lawack
Acting Rector and Vice-Chancellor