Dear Campus Community
We hope you are well and doing everything possible to keep safe during these difficult times.
There is no doubt that COVID-19 has had a disruptive influence on our lives, and this reality is affecting the normal running of organisations, including higher education institutions. Students and staff were advised to stay and work from home in compliance with government-introduced level 5 and 4 lockdown conditions.
However, under alert level 3 the Minister of Higher Education and Training declared a phased-approach return to campus of 33%, inclusive of both students and staff.
Management is finalising an integrated plan aimed at appropriately responding to the directives from DHET. Arrangements for movement on campus by those who will return, including protocols for both students and staff are being finalised and will be available on the University’s website, as well as shared with such persons together with the letters they receive.
Staff and students are reminded at all times that in addition to COVID-19-related health and safety protocols, the normal codes of conduct, and University rules and policies continue to be applicable. These protocols are in keeping with the framework provided by Minister Blade Nzimande on 23 May 2020 in guiding higher education institutions in their planning for a phased-in return of students and staff to campus and residences.
Returning to campus does not mean that students will be returning to face-to-face, classroom-based learning and teaching; this will continue online.
As a University community, the present challenging circumstances require a complete change in behaviour of every individual. Cooperation and responsible decisions are to be taken by each individual for everyone’s protection. Our collective effort should be informed by the reality of an ever-increasing infection rate in the Western Cape, and especially since the University finds itself at the centre of the areas identified as ‘hot spots’.
Students who have been identified to return to campus during level three lockdown include very particular categories of students. These students will return from 22 June 2020 until 15 July 2020 according to the four phased-in dates indicated on students’ certificate.
Everyone will be required to take responsibility for their own safety and behaviour when they are back on campus and the University will do its best to support a conducive learning, living and working environment within the existing constraints and realities. The exact protocols to be abided by will be provided to those who have been identified to return to campus.
Staff and students are requested to self-screen with HealthCheck, a free service, every morning before accessing facilities on campus.
Add to WhatsApp contacts on 0600 110 000, or
Follow the prompts by dialling *134*832*2# on your mobile phone
NB: We wish to emphasise that only identified students and staff may return to campus on a date specified by the University. The University will directly communicate your scheduled return with you via a personal letter.
NB: Please bring relevant documentation including letters, certificates/permits, which can be displayed on your mobile phone, when you return to campus. In addition ensure that you produce your HealthCheck assessment and student/staff card.
Please regularly check the UWC COVID-19 portal on the website for FAQs and other information about protocols and personal safety. Conditions are subject to change depending on changes in alert levels of the country.
Dr Nita Lawton-Misra
University of the Western Cape