FAQs Lockdown Level 1

Learning facilitation and assessments to remain mostly online in 2020

  • Emergency remote learning and teaching will remain the dominant mode until the end of the academic year. Academic departments and other entities will continue providing various forms of additional support to students.
  • Face-to-face classes will only continue in instances where all students in that module are able to attend lectures, which would only be possible for very small class groups.
  • As students were notified earlier in the year, the majority of assessments will remain online for the rest of 2020.
  • Some end-of-year assessments, especially those that require mandatory invigilation, have been scheduled on some exam days and many venues have been fully booked to allow for physical distancing. Students who will be expected to complete assessments in exam venues have already been informed.

Under level 1 regulations international travel is permitted again (excluding the countries identified by DIRCO). International students who left the country before lockdown, but have been invited by faculties to return for academic reasons under level 3 regulations will receive a new invitation from the Registrar. In addition, international students who need to return due to barriers to learning from home, as well as those from neighbouring countries who may want to return for access to computer user areas or better connectivity need to apply to to be considered for an invitation to return.

FAQs Lockdown level 2

From 18 August, South Africa moved to lockdown level 2. Some students were invited back to campus under level 3. Please note that students should not return before they are informed by Stellenbosch University to do so.

Click here to read more about level 2 arrangements.

Click here to read moreabout the first cohort of students that were invited back to campus.

Click here to read more about residence students’ return under level 3.

Protocol for Isolation, Quarantine and Self-isolation in a residence

This protocol evolves as we learn from experience and recognize how the pandemic evolves.

This protocol applies to:
A. students returning to the residence for the first time after they left campus for the lockdown; and
B. students that left the residence and spent the night or the weekend outside the residence or returned home for a holiday or recess; and
C. students that are in residences and because of symptoms, or a positive test or is deemed to be infected or because of direct contact self-isolates.

Please be aware that a student in residence might be subject to more than one period of isolation, quarantine or self-isolation.

Students are encouraged to exercise co-responsibility and self-responsibility to prevent the spread of COVID 19 to keep themselves, the community they live in and the wider community safe. The focus shifts to regular self-screening on the Higher Health tool. ( or WhatsApp 0600110000 or phone *134*832*2# )
It is also recommended to use the Covid Alert SA app.

Students returning to the residence for the first time after they left campus for the lockdown can avoid a seven day period of quarantine when they arrive at the residence if they can prove that they completed the Higher Health Tool for the seven days prior to their return to campus. They have to present a record that prove their self-screening for the seven consecutive days before they arrived at the residence, including the day of their arrival. The self-screening should show seven consecutive days of green screens.

If a student fails to do the screening every day for the seven days prior to returning to the residence or fails to show proof thereof, the student will be required to quarantine for seven days on their return to the residence. (For quarantine arrangements see below.)

Students returning to the residence for the first time after they left campus for the lockdown can avoid a seven day period of quarantine when they arrive at the residence if they can prove that they completed the Higher Health Tool for the seven days prior to their return to campus. They have to present a record that prove their self-screening for the seven consecutive days before they arrived at the residence, including the day of their arrival. The self-screening should show seven consecutive days of green screens.

One is allowed to travel interprovincially under level 2 regulations, but the DHET direction requires a permit to return to campus. If you have a permit from SU, you can travel home and return after the recess. Upon your return, you will have to prove (in accordance with the updated self-isolation protocol of SU) that you have had a ‘green’ status on the Higher Health app for the past seven days, consecutively, leading up to your return. In this case, you will not be required to quarantine upon your return. However, if you cannot prove a seven-day ‘green’ status, you may be required to quarantine in your residence room for the next seven days.

  • 7 days (or the number of days as determined from time to time with CHS) for students returning to the residence for the first time after they left for the lockdown (see A above);
  • 7 days (or the number of days as determined from time to time with CHS) for students that left the residence and spent the night or- the weekend outside the residence or returned home before the semester and are required to self-isolate (see B above); and
  • 10 days (or the number of days as determined from time to time with CHS) for students that are currently in residences and because of symptoms, or a positive test (see C above).
  • Isolation A period during which someone who is suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 (or deemed infected as in B2 above) is separated from people who are healthy. The period stops if they test negative or, if they test positive, they remain in isolation until they are well. Isolation can be involuntary if demanded by the State.
  • Quarantine A period during which someone who has been exposed to someone who is confirmed to have COVID-19 (or deemed infected as in B2 above) is separated from healthy people and observed for development of symptoms of COVID-19. This is usually for a period of 10 days in the case of COVID-19, and can be involuntary if demanded by the State
  • Self-isolation A term used widely in the context of COVID-19 to imply that an individual who either has COVID-19 (or deemed infected as in B2 above) or has been exposed to someone with COVID-19 (or deemed infected as in B2 above) voluntarily selects to separate themselves from other healthy people. It thus covers both the terms of ‘isolation’ and ‘quarantine’ and is also used to refer to healthy unexposed individuals staying at home.
  • The student moves into an allocated room and stay there all of the time. There is no free movement in the residence. (The student will be permitted to go to the bathroom.) The allocated room may be in a residence other than the one you are placed in and may be a different room to the one allocated to them for 2020.
  • Make sure that others in the residence know that there are students in self-isolation and what aeras to best avoid. Make sure all students know the protocol for cleaning the bathroom before and after use.
  • Make sure the student in self-isolation understand what arrangements are being made to use of the bathroom, how food for the student will be delivered, how waste removal; and washing of clothes will be done.
  • The student can leave the room for the bathroom. If possible, make arrangements that the bathroom is only used by the student in self-isolation. If necessary, reserve a shower, a wash basin and a toilet for the person. The self-isolating student should clean all the surfaces they touched when leaving the bathroom. Make sure all the cleaning materials are available in the bathroom. Remind students that the virus can survive on hard surfaces for days, but that it very effectively killed by household cleaner containing bleach or ammoniac.
  • Form a group of students in electronic communication that is dedicated to support the student in self-isolation. Remember that when food or other goods needs to be delivered; it is possible to do so.
  • Avoid direct contact with the self-isolating student. When unintended contact occurs such as in a bathroom, wear a mask, keep a distance away 1,5 m away from the person and limit the time interacting to no more than a few minutes. Remember to wash your hands with soap or use hand sanitizer immediately after the contact and before you touch your face.
  • Prepare for the provision of food. Students in self-isolation (isolation and quarantine) must use the meal booking system and get their food delivered. Arrange with other students who will deliver the food to the door of the student’s room. Students in self-isolation are not permitted to use kitchens to prepare food.
  • Arrange for the removal of waste. If the student needs to put out waste, the waste needs to be in a plastic bag and tied up. The waste will be placed outside the door and there it can be collected put into another plastic bag and the bag tied. The waste can then be disposed of as all other waste. The person handling the waste can then wash their hands after collecting the waste before touching their face.
  • Arrange that there is someone that can receive the student’s clothes and wash it once a week.
  • Self-isolating students must daily monitor their symptoms (Self-screen, using or WhatsApp 0600110000 or phone *134*832*2# ) and log the data.
  • Encourage the student to provide the information daily to create the habit for self-screening and to record the length of the isolation period. This allows the residence head to follow the length of stay in the self-isolation and congratulate the student on completion.

Return to Campus

There are regulations and restrictions that must be taken into account, including the size of academic venues to offer lectures amidst compulsory social distancing and available accommodation in residences without exceeding the prescribed maximum. It therefore is extremely important to note that no student may return to campus without an invitation from SU.

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.

Please note that all students who want to access campus facilities will be required to do a daily health self-check before leaving their place of residence in the morning and may be requested to disclose the outcome of their self-check before entering a building. Students should only leave their place of residence if they receive the “clear” status. This is applicable to students who live in university residences and houses, as well as students who reside in private accommodation.
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. More information on this process is included in the Code of Conduct.

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

Students returning to 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.

If you are one of the students who have been invited back to university accommodation, please take note that the date of your actual return to your residence has an impact on your student account and mobile data bundles. Your student account will be activated on the day that you move back into your residence, and from that date you will no longer qualify for further data bundles.

If you would like to return to residence before the date indicated in your invitation to return, you have to contact your residence head to make the necessary arrangements. As we are currently operating under the level 3 risk assessment regulations mandatory protocols have to be followed prior to your arrival to ensure your safe return.

If you would like to move back to your residence on a later date than indicated in your invitation, you have to advise the Residence Placement Office via Failing to inform the Residence Placement Office of a later return date will result in the activation of your student account before your actual return, and you will also not receive a data bundle, because the system will reflect that you are a student living in a SU residence.

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.

Student services available on campus

All services offered by the IT HUB in the Admin A building – collection of equipment and all other types of support – are available by prior arrangement only. Students should make appointments by logging a call at the online service desk in advance. Appointments can no longer be logged at the entrance to the IT HUB.
Students and staff members who have lost their student/staff cards are the only unscheduled visitors allowed at the IT HUB, and only between 11:00 and 14:00 daily.

The Stellenbosch University Library and Information Service has announced new procedures and protocols for clients using the library services. The SU Library and three branch libraries, Medicine and Health Sciences, Music, and Engineering & Forestry are currently available for clients to use a limited number of computers and spaces for study and research by appointment only. Clients are more than welcome to bring their own devices to the libraries. Click here for all the latest information on SU’s library resources and services that are currently available.

Printing facilities are available at the copy shop in the Neelsie Student Centre.
Students who need access to the IT HUB, the Library or the Neelsie Student Centre for printing and shopping do not have to be residents in university accommodation and do not need permits to access these facilities. Please take note of the specific requirements to access the IT HUB and the SU Library.

Extension of the date for deregistration

The deadline for the deregistration of second-semester modules without a financial penalty on class fees, has been extended from the end of July to the end of August 2020. This implies that you will not receive a fail mark or incomplete result on your academic transcript for the specific module and will be able to register for the module next year. Please contact your faculty administrator if you wish to deregister.
Please note that all the other rules pertaining to the deregistration of first-semester and year modules, and programmes as published in the SU General Calendar still apply.

Arrear Accounts

Stellenbosch University announced a number of payment relief measures during the first semester to assist our students and their financial sponsors. One of these was the waiving of interest levied on arrear accounts for the four-month period from 1 April until 31 July 2020. Interest already levied for April at the time of the announcement was reversed. SU normally levies interest at prime rate on arrear accounts. This four-month interest holiday has been extended for another two months until 30 September 2020.

Mid-semester tests

URGENT! Please take note of the following regarding the starting times of the online assessments during the upcoming test period:

  • To avoid the situation of too many users having to login to SUNLearn simultaneously, the starting times of assessments will be amended and published on the official timetable shortly.
  • If NO starting time is indicated, the lecturer will communicate it via a different platform.
  • Please check the starting time of your assessments timeously and accurately, as it appears on your timetable on the web. Click here for your timetable.
  • If you experience difficulties with access to SUNLearn, please contact: 021 808 2222 or

Please note: The starting times of the November/December 2020 assessments will also be amended and published again at a later stage.