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FAQs Lockdown level 3


FAQs Lockdown level 3

From 1 June, South Africa moves to lockdown level 3. We are preparing our campuses for the phased reintegration and return of staff and students. Please note that students should not return before they are informed by Stellenbosch University to do so.

Click here to read more.

Notice to Residence Students. Click here to read more.

Return to Campus

Faculties have prioritised students who should return during the first phase: those who still need to do compulsory academic work on campus in order to graduate in 2020; students who need to complete practical work in campus laboratories or prescribed clinical work, or need access to specialised software or research materials available on campus only; students who must comply with requirements for on-campus work set by professional bodies; and postgraduate students who require access to laboratories or technical equipment.

All students identified – those returning for academic reasons and those who return to residences for a better studying environment – will only be able to return on invitation and on the specific dates that will be communicated. Students who do not form part of the first 33% cohort may not return to campus.

  • Students who fall within the 33 % will receive a personalised e-mail from the Registrar inviting them to return to campus.
  • All of the students invited will have to respond to the invitation by completing an online form, and either accepting or declining the invitation.
  • All returning students will have to sign a Code of Conduct to comply with the requirements as set out in the DHET Directions.
  • On completion of the online form and accepting the Code of Conduct, the returning student will receive a certificate to travel to the campus aligned to the Alert Level 3 Regulations.
  • The invitation will also contain links to important information on isolation and other health-related protocols that will apply on their return, as well as what to expect in terms of their academic offering once back on campus.

Please note that students studying on the Tygerberg campus will receive their invitations and instructions for their return via the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.

It is expected that the indicated selection of postgraduate students may be able to resume on-campus work from 1 July 2020, and the selected undergraduate students to start academic activities on our campuses from the start of the second semester on 27 July 2020.

Students will be required to do a daily self-check before leaving their place of residence in the morning and shall be requested to disclose the outcome of their self-check before entering SU campus facilities. Higher Health has developed a mobile tool – HealthCheck – as a daily health screening and monitoring tool that will be used as SU’s screening tool.

The decision is final. If you are unsure as to whether you have been invited back, please email

Students in residences

Students who are included in the 33% and who may return and who also have a place in university accommodation will also be invited to return to their residences if the residence capacity allows. Students will be given the opportunity to indicate whether they will return to their residence or not by completing the online form.

Students returning to residences will be required to self-isolate for 7 days or a period prescribed from time to time by Campus Health Services, and will not be able to move around freely even in the residence.

If a student declines to return to residence, the option to cancel the residence place will be provided. No cancellation fee will be applicable. Please note that, if a student cancels a residence place, the cancellation will also apply for 2021 as the place will be allocated to a newcomer. Students will only be able to register on the waiting list that will open in February 2021 to be considered for placement in residence in 2021. Alternatively, a student may opt to keep the place in residence for 2020 on the resumption of payment of residence fees.

Residence students who returned home before the March/April recess, will all receive a rebate on their residence fees as of 26 March 2020 midnight (the start of the national lockdown) and their residence accounts will only be reactivated on the required date of their return to residence. All residence cancellations that were made since 26 March 2020 will also be backdated to 26 March 2020 for these students to qualify for the rebate.

Students in private rented accommodation

The Directions allow for “students who live in private rented accommodation close to campuses to return, but their access to campus must be restricted to keep the campus population to one-third of the capacity, consistent with Level 3 risk for spread of the infection”. Students in this group who are not part of the 33% identified to return to campus for academic purposes, will not be issued with a certificate by the University that would enable them to travel. However, they do have access to their proof of registration via the Student Portal and, should the owners of the rental accommodation be willing to issue them with an invitation to return to their private accommodation, the University will have no objection, bearing in mind that these students will not have access to campus facilities unless they have been invited back as part of the first 33% of returning students. Students who return to their private accommodation, will be required to self-isolate for 14 days as prescribed by the Department of Health, and will not be able to move about freely. Stellenbosch and surrounding areas remain a hotspot of infections.

International Students

International students are only permitted to return to campus under lockdown level 1. Unfortunately, the eligibility requirements under the 33% return to campus excludes International students who are currently based outside the South African national borders, which remain closed except under exceptional circumstances. Support programmes will be implemented for International students who are not able to return to campus to ensure that they are able to complete their academic programmes.

Travel Permits

According to the directions issued by the DHET SU may only issue permits/certificates to students for a once-off return to campus.

If students, who opted to remain in residence since lockdown was announced, should go home during the recess period, they will not be allowed to return unless they fall into the first 33% category who have been invited back for academic activities, or have been accepted to return due to barriers to studying at home. Thus the permit will only enable you to return to Stellenbosch once off.


An email address per faculty was created to allow students who experience technical difficulties when uploading their assessment onto SUNLearn an emergency route for submission within the allowed 30-minute submission time or quiz writing time.

Since this email address is focused on file submissions it can only be used where students are expected to submit a single file (e.g. Turnitin assignment, Assignment or Quiz essay type questions that allow file submissions).

Arts and Social Sciences:
Economic and Management Sciences:
Health and Medicine Sciences: (only available later)

  • As for assessments, Senate accepted that each examination must allow sufficient time for students to produce their outputs online.
  • Furthermore, Senate decided to grant all students a fixed 30-minute period to submit their hand-written or typed assessment outputs online after an assessment’s writing time has expired (except for online quizzes where students type in their answers as they go).
  • Senate confirmed that where students have exam schedule clashes, lecturers may offer students to write two exams back-to-to back under certain conditions, or students may opt to take the second exam opportunity.
  • Students who fail to submit their output during the first exam opportunity for whatever reason, will have access to the second exam opportunity.

Read more here

An additional assessment opportunity will be available in January 2021 for all first semester and some year modules. Year modules that primarily use project or practical-based assessment methods, and year modules in which a supplementary assessment will be offered in the second semester already are excluded from the A4 opportunity. Arrangements for second semester modules and postgraduate research students are not part of these arrangements and will be considered separately.

  • All students automatically qualify to write the A4 exam in a particular first semester module if they did not pass the module after A2/A3 in 2020 (irrespective of class marks), and if they met all subminima applicable to assessments during the teaching period of the semester, for example the satisfactory completion of laboratory practical sessions where applicable.
  • Similarly, all students automatically qualify to write the A4 exam in a particular year module if they did not pass the module after the 2020 December examination period (irrespective of which of the normal assessments the student used), and they met all subminima applicable to assessments during the teaching period of the semester.
    Please take note of the year models that are excluded as indicated in the introductory paragraph above.
  • Access to A4 may also be granted to students in exceptional circumstances, for example those who are required to meet exceptional prerequisites such as marks higher than 50%.

The A4 exams will be offered from Monday 11 January 2021 to Friday 29 January 2021 (including Saturday 16 and 23 January), using the same schedule of the 2020 first semester A2 examination timetable.
Read more about the preparations for A4 exams.

Students may provisionally register for 2021 modules, irrespective of prerequisites that depend on the A4 results. Once the results have become available, the Student Information Systems (SIS) division will deregister students who do not meet prerequisites. There will be no Dean's Concessionary Examinations in modules in which an A4 exam is offered.

Online learning and support

As it is presently very difficult to predict what the national alert levels and regulations due to COVID-19 will be for the rest of 2020, the respective faculties (excluding Military Science) have identified which modules will be presented online ONLY for the second semester. This will assist students and parents with their planning for the rest of the year. You will find your faculty modules and the relevant contact person on this COVID-19 webpage.

Students in these modules will not have to use campus facilities to complete the academic year, and this arrangement will contribute to reducing the total number of students on our campuses. Should there be a return to more stringent lockdown levels during this coming period, these students will not be inconvenienced by changing arrangements.

The SU Library and Information Service has announced new procedures and protocols for clients using SU’s library services. Click here for all the latest information on SU’s library resources and services that will be available from 6 July 2020.

A once off exception was made to send the mobile telephone numbers that students confirmed during the period from 1 April to 8:00 on 22 June 2020 to the mobile network operators for data bundles to be loaded. (All students are required to ensure that they confirm their details as per directions in future)

Please follow the steps below in order to view and confirm that you will be receiving data for July:

  • Undergraduate students: > Undergraduate > Administration > Student Mobile Data
  • Postgraduate students: > Postgraduate > Admin & Support > Student Mobile Data

Read more here

We are unable to provide you with additional data. Please be sure to visit Guidance for student online learning around tips and guidance for best practise around zero-rated SU sites.

The laptop project has been completed and we are not able to assist you.

Graduation documentation and academic transcripts

Graduation documentation of all graduates residing locally (within South African borders) has been sent out via registered mail on 3 June 2020. The SA Postal Services is experiencing a delay with the dispatch of some of these degree certificates due to COVID-19. Graduates are requested to check with their local post office.

Graduates may further contact the following Examinations Office staff members to request their tracking number to follow up with their local post offices:
Cedric Bezuidenhout at or 021 808 4583
Gary Kirsten at or 021 808 9367
Kea Raikane at

Once in possession of their tracking numbers, students may also track their degree certificate by using the following websites:

Only a few countries have yet opened their borders to receive South African mail. The graduation documentation for international graduates has been sent to these countries. SU has been informed by the SA Postal Services that there will be major delays with the delivery, the extent of which is not known at this stage.

There are still many countries, including African countries whose borders remain closed. SA Postal Services will keep SU updated as these countries lift their restrictions to receive mail. These degree certificates are currently still in possession of SU.

Graduates and students in urgent need of copies of their academic records and certificates may send a request to to receive an electronic copy of their academic documents. You are kindly requested to specify your need in the subject heading, by adding either or both of the below to your email request:
· Academic record and/or
· Degree certificate
Due to the high volume of requests and current constraints, requests may take up to five working days to be completed.