COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS DISEASE)
Adjusted 2020 University Almanac
The 2020 University Almanac has been adjusted due to the disruptive impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent national lock-down. Following the approval of an
adjusted academic calendar framework by the Executive Committee of Senate, the Registrar's Division set out to adjust the 2020 Almanac accordingly for the remainder of the year. Once the final version has been approved by the Executive Committee of Senate, the adjusted Almanac will be published on the SU website in the week of 20 April 2020.
Class, test and examination timetables
The class, test and examination timetables are in the process of being rescheduled according to the
amended academic calendar. Please consult the staff and student web portals for the relevant information, as well as additional notifications in this regard.
Information will be made available on the dates as indicated below:
- Class timetables for the rest of the year have already been published. Explanatory notes will follow shortly.
- A1 (class tests) for semester 1: 20 April (or soon after)
- A2 (first exam opportunity) and A3 (second exam opportunity) for semester 1: 30 April (or soon after)
- A1, A2 and A3 for semester 2: 27 July at the latest
Readmission to the University in 2021
The University acknowledges the many challenges facing our students as they continue with their academic programmes during the lockdown period and beyond. Even though we have put various mechanisms in place to support our students through the coming months towards their academic success, we do anticipate that some of you may struggle to complete the academic year successfully.
For this reason, the University has decided to grant all students enrolled in 2020 readmission to their academic programmes in 2021, i.e. irrespective of their academic performance, these students will not be excluded from continuing with their academic programmes next year. This arrangement does not apply to students who were academicaly excluded in previous years – these students still need to apply for readmission to the University for 2021.
Details around the adaptations to be made to our undergraduate programmes, will be communicated by the relevant programme coordinators.
The May edition of the Postgraduate Times newsletter contains an important survey for postgraduate students to complete that will assist the
Postgraduate Office (PGO)
to identify those who might be in need of support, at risk of non-completion and/or those students who are set to graduate this year as planned. This newsletter also sees the timely release of a few ethics resources that you may find useful to you in your role as a postgraduate supervisor. Please also take note of the NRF funding call as well as information from the CSCD on mental health support students can access.
Click here to access the newsletter >
Please note all postgraduate programmes and research will continue until further notice. Postgraduate students are encouraged to contact their supervisors regarding their programme.
here to read more about the embargo placed on research that requires face-to-face interaction with participants.
The Faculty of Medicine and Health Science's Doctoral Office will not manage walk-in enquiries until further notice. The staff in the Doctoral Office will work from home and are fully equipped to do so. The Doctoral Office will ensure that normal levels of service are maintained and will respond to your requests electronically.
Please contact Dr Chabilall on
firstname.lastname@example.org if you are require any assistance especially with PhD matters. You may contact Ms Bronwyn Coombs (email@example.com) for postdoctoral matters and Ms Nicoline Cockrell (firstname.lastname@example.org) regarding Research Master's examination.
If you have specific concerns you would like addressed or need any support, please contact Ms Nicky Blows on
email@example.com or dial 021 938 9086 at the Tygerberg International Office for assistance with international traveling queries.
Extension or renewal of your visa/study permit
If you are awaiting an extension or renewal of your visa and are already in South Africa, the normal process applies and you will not be impacted. The risk of having a visa revoked or refused only applies to those outside of the country applying for a visa. For any queries regarding immigration matters contact to firstname.lastname@example.org
click here to view the latest information about the FMHS library. Library staff will continue to provide services and resources to support students and staff.
More information >
Please see links below for library support and contact details for all librarians. This guide also include all relevant information regarding support.
Re-placement in university residences in 2021
Academic performance (HEMIS) as a criterion will not exclude students from re-placement in undergraduate and senior residences on the Stellenbosch campus in 2021 to align with the decision on academic readmission in 2021 as above. However, residence re-placement is not applicable to students who have exceeded their maximum stay in a residence. As for the Tygerberg campus, third-year residents in junior residences will have to apply for placement in the senior residences as usual.
Re-application for residences will open mid-May on the student portal and will close on 31 July. The Residence Placement Office will send a reminder to all students in residences in this regard. Please heed the deadline and ensure that you apply in time. More information on re-placement of current students in residences will be provided as soon as we have the relevant application data at hand.
As for first-year placements, the University will continue with accommodation offers in September when more information on residence capacity is available.
Since the outbreak of the COVID19 pandemic and its announcement as a global emergency, there have been numerous changes, subsequently, the lockdown introduction in line with the Disaster Act 57 of 2002, forced the organisations to constantly reform their approaches as a response. Our residences are not immune; thus, it is important that we constantly review our processes under lockdown while ensuring that we are the catalyst to the fight of the pandemic. Thus, we wish to advise on Tygerberg Campus's specific arrangements for our residences for 2020/2021.
Adherence to regulations
As per the DHET Risk-Adjusted Strategy for Return to Campuses (2020) in line with the declaration of the Disaster Act, residences are obliged to adhere to the regulations. Since the lockdown, the occupancy increased from 10% to 20% with phasing-in of final years of all programmes, subsequently, this figure will increase to 30% with phasing-in of the 5th year MB, ChB students.
The directives require that the 33% occupancy be observed and must include the residents who opted to remain since the lockdown, those who have already returned during alert level 4, students in the final year of their programmes, who are on a path to graduating in 2020, students that require clinical training in their programmes provided that the clinical training platforms have sufficient space and can accommodate them while adhering to the safety protocols, postgraduate students who require laboratory equipment and other technical equipment to undertake their studies return to campuses.
Furthermore, in the provision of space, those students with barriers to study at home may be considered. Students returning to residences are identified at the institutional level, concomitant with numbers that can be accommodated to enable physical/ social distancing, the handling of communal spaces, hygiene requirements, and dining hall arrangements are also taken into account.
Students not returning to Tygerberg Campus
Subsequently, the Faculty specific communication on students who will not be returning to campus was sent and this means students are able to evacuate their residential spaces. Given the limitations presented by the regulations in line with alert 3, the inter-provincial travel is not permittable, which hinder students outside of the boundaries to evacuate their rooms, however, the following are possible arrangements:
- Residence students within the City of Cape Town Metropolitan and or boundaries that do not require travel permits, they must arrange with their respective Residence Head for once-off access in line with Institutional Committee for Business Continuity (ICBC) directive.
- Residence students outside of the boundary that will require a permit to travel, are still unable to physically evacuate their rooms given the limitations until the stage whereby this is permittable by law. Any special arrangements such as using personal courier services, requests to have family friends/relatives to assist in packing your room and or otherwise must be in line with regulations and must be arranged through the respective Residence Head.
- University does not have a legal scope to issue permits (unless in line with DHET directives) for students to come and evacuate their rooms or collect their belongings, therefore no travel permits requests sent to the RHs will be considered and or referred. Individuals may consult the SAPS and or Magistrate Courts for permits matters hereinto.
Special Request to Return Residence
University acknowledges that there are barriers that hinder some students from studying at home, thus a process to consider applications were put in place. To date, we have received overwhelmingly 180 applications inclusive of PSO. Currently, the residential spaces are reaching the regulated occupancy without the special request to date such that since the lockdown, the residences had occupancy of 10% with the residents who opted to remain in the residences. During the alert phase four (4) of the lockdown, the final year students were phased-in, in line with the directive by DHET and increased the occupancy to 20%. In line with directives by DHET as per the Risk-Adjusted Strategy for consideration of other cohorts, the 5th years are scheduled to return to platforms and will increase the occupancy to 29%. Subsequently, the special requests cohorts will increase occupancy to 42%.
Keeping in mind, that the residences are obligated to ensure that the distribution of residents in PODS, rooms, and or sections is also compliance and is in line with 33%, we are not currently in a position to place students with special requests. Should spaces become available, this will be communicated.
Given these limitations, a working group between the Faculty and Residences was established to look into the best approaches to support students given the occupancy challenges. The working group will make recommendations operational to the Faculty Contingency Committee and Special Requests Committee. The environment is being monitored on a daily basis to ascertain the changes. We also have been made aware of approximately students who returned to residences without permission, are not part of the required cohorts to return and this poses an extreme risk to the efforts that been made by the University to ensure compliance. We appeal to students to adhere to the set-out regulations, as such action is both compromising the individual and the efforts being made to meet students halfway.
Residence Rooms/Placement Regulated Re-Allocation
Given the occupancy directive, residents in overpopulated residences are required to be re-allocated to empty spaces, also taking into account that those spaces are compliant in terms of the number of residents and conform to all COVID19 control measures as required. The protocol that guides the residence rooms re-allocation has been enacted and the process has since started in respective residences. The protocol requires that re-allocation is done in accordance with placement processes. Students returning to the residences regardless of the category may not be returning to their initial placement and or residence, furthermore, the student account will be re-activated upon re-allocation.
Re-allocation is crucial to ensure that COVID-19 precautions are strictly adhered to.
- Placement for 2021 and Room Points
In keeping with the developments, the residences note that the academic calendar for 2021 may be different and this will impact the placement for 2021. Developments around placement for 2021 will be communicated as it becomes available. Furthermore, residences that usually use the 'room point' system will also have an opportunity to submit their input of a special system that may be considered for allocation in 2021. Students are reminded that the re-admission closes on the 31st July 2020 midnight, all inquiries around placement must be directed to the Placement Office.
- Student Leadership Elections
Given the changes in the structure of programming for 2020 such as blended learning, the student elections for 2020/2021 are also set to take a similar approach. The respective communities will communicate the structure of their in-house elections. To ensure the elections' integrity, fairness, and democracy, a detailed protocol of conducting online elections has been enacted and communicated accordingly to the relevant structures. Communities are given flexibility around their processes taking into account their specific environment, however, this will be done in accordance with administrative law to ensure that the processes are inclusive.
We acknowledge and appreciate the marvelous work and great efforts made by student leaders in all spheres and levels to move programming to online platforms to continue engaging the communities. In terms of physical programmes/face-to-face activities such as i.e., house dances are currently not permitted under the enacted regulations. Therefore we further encourage online programming where necessary. Residence committees can engage their specific residence heads on further information and advice.
- Storage Process for 2020
Given the directives and information that some of the academic programmes will not be returning to campus and or residences, a detailed protocol on storage procedures for 2020 will be communicated in due course by the respective environment taking into account different communities. We also appreciate those who used the once-off opportunity to collect their belongings, while noting that not everyone is able to collect their belongings due to regulation limitations at this stage.
- Residence COVID19 Control Measures
The protocol on responding to COVID19 requires that all residences comply with basic measures to stop the virus spread. Efforts are made and reviewed constantly to ensure that residences spaces are COVID19 control measures are in place. Essential services were re-installed for the residences to ensure that residents are supported. We appeal to the residents to remember to do the basics such as wearing masks, disinfect the common areas, keep physical distances, and regularly washing hands.
PROTOCOL FOR ONCE-OFF ACCESS TO TYGERBERG CAMPUS
- The once off/access to the residence is granted in line with the ICBC decision taking into account what is possible under alert three (3) regulations.
- Residence Head prior allowing the students/residents to come and collect their belongings must adhere / or plan the following:
- Set up the online booking system for students to make arrangements, either an online form and or emails
- There must be a limited number of students who collect their belongings on a specific day and or date and or time.
- There must be maximum allocated time to the resident to ensure efficiency.
- COVID19 controls must be in place such as:
- Clear posters for the route where necessary.
- Waiting area outside of the residence where residents are either seated and or lined 1-2m apart from each other
- Every person entering the residence/campus must wear a mask.
- Hand sanitizes must be available at the arrival point.
Student must do a self-screening before leaving home using the self-screening tool at
www.healthcheck.higherhealth.ac.za / or WhatsApp 0600110000 or USSD *134*832*2# ) If the self-screening is not green, students must stay at home and make alternative arrangements.
No student shall visit the campus/residence without confirmation by the Residence Head.
Only a maximum of one person can accompany the resident to collect their belongings.
Residence Heads shall not issue any letter and or legal document (i.e. traveling permit) to students under no circumstances unless stated otherwise.
Only students within the boarder of City of Cape Town Metropolitan under alert 3 are able to come to campus.
Students outside of the boarder of City of Cape Town Metropolitan and province must indicate the use of courier services.
Residence Head may use their discretion on other arrangements such as students who are assisted by others to collect on their behalf.
The once-off collection period must not exceed 14 days from the ICBC decision.
- Possibility of storing the belongings not collected.
- Ensure that the USBD and or Security Manager is aware of residents approved to collect their belongings.
- Students who are currently in the residences must be made aware of this operation.
Rebates on tuition and residence fees
Stellenbosch University is currently considering the full impact of Covid-19 on tuition and residence fees and is aware of the financial strain experienced by our students and their families during this difficult period. As there are many uncertainties, an accurate assessment has not been made yet. We will communicate with students and parents as soon as decisions have been taken in this regard.
It is recommended that you make use of the various support services that we offer our students. All the related information is available on the