Stellenbosch University
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COVID-19: SU teaching online from 30 March 2020 (including link to online teaching support for lecturers)
Author: Prof Arnold Schoonwinkel Vice-Rector: Learning and Teaching
Published: 23/03/2020

​​​​Dear Colleague

At Stellenbosch University we have been heeding the call to adapt the way we live and work to mitigate the possible local impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The University’s Institutional Committee for Business Continuity (ICBC)​ has taken the conscious decision to plan with the longer term in mind, put simply, preparing for ‘what if contact lectures cannot continue after 14 April’.

At its meeting on Friday 20 March the ICBC took the following decisions:
Faculties will proceed with online lectures and teaching support as from 30 March 2020, except for the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
The Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences will make special arrangements for clinical rotations from 15 April 2020 as these require students’ presence on campus. As the national situation evolves these arrangements may change. Specific arrangements for the Tygerberg campus will be communicated by the Dean’s office or specific line functions. 
Assessments will only be scheduled after 14 April 2020. This will allow students two weeks (30 March – 14 April) to familiarise themselves with the online teaching and learning process.
The Stellenbosch Business School will proceed as per their current online model for teaching and assessments. There will be no contact sessions at the USB.

It has been encouraging to see what we can achieve by working together. Academic staff, as well as professional and administrative support staff, have been working hard to ensure that we will be able to continue with the second term of 2020 via the SU online platforms as from 30 March 2020. Of course it will not be without challenges: both staff and students will have to adapt to a new way of teaching and learning. More than 90 academics ‘attended’ the first webinar about online teaching this week and these webinars will continue daily till at least 30 March 2020.

With the second term of 2020 commencing via the SU online platforms as from 30 March 2020, I want to call on all lecturers to use SUNLearn as an online learning platform. To assist lecturers with this urgent transitional process, the Division for Learning and Teaching Enhancement has developed a range of guides, websites, documents and virtual seminars. This information is available to lecturers on the online platform for teaching support. Please consult the ONLINE TEACHING webpage for regular updates.

Students will receive a communiqué with information on how to proceed with their academic activities via our online platforms from 30 March 2020. Please refer to the ONLINE LEARNING link on the COVID-19 webpage where the information has been made available to students. Students have been advised to only return to University accommodation once we are in a position to continue with contact teaching.

Thank you for your support for our pledge to assist our students to complete their academic year successfully despite the difficulties the world is facing. Please know that we are in this together and that we will do everything possible to honour our commitment.


Prof Arnold Schoonwinkel 
Vice-Rector: Learning and Teaching