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Student FAQ's

Academic Year 2021

We will follow a hybrid approach of combining learning-and-teaching modes – with a mixture of both face-to-face and online components – in the coming academic year, which is set to commence on 15 March 2021. Most undergraduate programmes will begin on that day, although some postgraduate programmes have already kicked off and others will start in the coming weeks. Please click here for registration dates and related information.

(Updated 1 February 2021)

We will be inviting all students to campus for higher education in hybrid mode, taking the form of augmented emergency remote teaching and learning (ARTLA) in the first semester. There are two elements to this.

Firstly, unlike last year, when we switched to ARTLA online when contact tuition was suspended, we plan to have face-to-face sessions this year to the fullest extent possible within the constraints of COVID-19 (smaller classes in suitable venues).

Secondly, because it will not always be possible to accommodate all students in a specific venue at the same time, we intend utilising technology to augment classroom-based learning and teaching. This will include live streaming lectures from some venues.

Each academic programme will decide on the appropriate blend of face-to-face and online learning and teaching activities, depending on such factors as the size of the group and the outcomes that have to be achieved.

An extensive programme of installing the necessary equipment for hybrid learning in a large number of venues across campus will be rolled out over the next six weeks to enable lectures to be live streamed. We intend making the technology easy to use, and to provide extensive training and support to lecturers.

(Updated 1 February 2021)

Newcomer first-year students admitted to SU (after the release of matric results on 22 February) will be invited to arrive on campus between 2 and 4 March. Some components of the subsequent Welcoming Programme will be conducted online in order to avoid large gatherings, but we anticipate that elements in compliance with COVID-19 regulations will continue in person. We will do our utmost to make our new students’ introduction campus life very special and memorable, as always.

An exciting new Onboarding Programme will be rolled out online to provisionally accepted first-year students from the beginning of February. This will orient them to SU and help them prepare for their studies and the unique student experience awaiting them on our campuses, starting with our signature annual Welcoming Programme once they get here.

(Updated 1 February 2021)

Internet access and mobile data for academic year 2021

The University provides WiFi internet access to registered students on our campuses with no user charge. Computer User Areas (CUAs) will also be available to registered students via a booking mechanism, subject to limitations of space and the academic time table.

(Updated 4 March 2021)

As we did last year, we will be making loan laptops to students who need it to access the internet for online learning and assessments.

For laptops, students should email student@sun.ac.za.

(Updated 4 March 2021)

There will be no blanket provision of mobile data bundles to students. However, the University will consider the provision of mobile data for students who are unable to return to our campuses due to health considerations, such as co-morbidities. Students who apply for such bundles will be asked to confirm the reason for their application. Click here to apply.

To qualify for a data bundle, you have to confirm your mobile telephone number again on your personal details page (update your contact details here). To confirm, you must click on the “Update Information” button at the bottom of the page and check that the notice reflects the date on which you updated.

Please note that the provisioning of data will only be considered for registered students.

(Updated 4 March 2021)

Residences and private accommodation

Some of our student residences are currently being used to accommodate students who applied to stay there for the A4 examinations. Residence placements for 2021 were completed by the end of last year on the premise that we will invite all our students to campus for hybrid learning and teaching as explained above.

Students in senior living spaces will be taking up their places from 21 February (postgraduate students starting earlier should email ssgsupport@sun.ac.za with proof from their academic department to request an earlier entry date).

Newcomer first-year students will be moving in between 2 and 4 March, with some house committee members and mentors arriving a few days before.

All other senior students in undergraduate residences will start moving in from 9 March onwards. As we bring our students to our respective campuses and fill our residences to full capacity, we will be requiring strict adhere to all COVID-19 protocols.

(Updated 1 February 2021)

Students who need to arrange accommodation near campus for the 2021 academic year should not delay, as some form of contact sessions within a hybrid learning and teaching model is envisaged for most undergraduate modules.

(Updated 1 February 2021)

Staff of the University’s contracted cleaning companies are well trained in the cleaning protocols for communal areas such as restrooms, sitting areas and kitchens.

Students themselves may also wish to clean surfaces before and after use.

Where a student must self-isolate, the necessary arrangements will be made with fellow students in the person’s immediate area. Where possible, students who self-isolate will use separate showers and bathrooms.

All students are required to wear a mask while using any communal area in the residence. Only a designated maximum number of persons will be allowed in communal areas at any time. Students are encouraged to meet outdoors. For any indoor activity, adequate ventilation needs to be ensured.

Room dividers/screens do not prevent the transmission of COVID-19. Instead, those in double-occupancy rooms are encouraged to ensure adequate ventilation, practise social distancing and limit their number of visitors.

No, rooms reserved for quarantine and isolation are not meant to be shared. The issue will be dealt with in accordance with the advice received from the Campus Health Service.

All the necessary health and safety protocols will be adhered to in dining halls.

The specific manner in which students enter or exit a residence does not result in high-risk contact. Students should follow the necessary health and safety protocols at all times, such as practising social distancing and avoiding crowds.

Residence rules do not allow for outside visitors at this time.

Students returning to a residence must prove that they have completed Higher Health’s HealthCheck tool. Any symptoms or high-risk contact will also be taken into account in granting such students access upon their return.

Students who do not present a green screen on Higher Health’s HealthCheck tool will immediately be requested to isolate in one of the residence rooms reserved for this purpose.

Each student may be assisted by one individual, provided that there are no more than two persons in the room at the same time.

Where two roommates arrive at the same time, the move must be coordinated to ensure that no more than two persons will be in the room at the same time.

Each student may be assisted by only one individual. No more than two persons are allowed in a room at a time.

The residence head will inform students of any COVID-19-positive case. The Campus Health Service will also be informed, and will initiate a process of contact tracing. All necessary protocols will be followed.

For now, the University will adhere to the curfew hours of 23:00–05:00. This may be revised in the future.

The signing of the code of conduct is done centrally at registration. Please note that the conduct stipulated in the code is expected of students in any event. If you haven’t signed the code of conduct, it doesn’t mean you are not bound by it.

Students will be allowed to return home if they have to self-isolate or quarantine. When doing so, students will have to follow the necessary health protocols for leaving the residence.

The residence management will follow the guidelines provided by the Campus Health Service (CHS). If CHS indicates that a student should self-isolate, the student will be expected to do so. CHS might consider private test results, although a private COVID-19 test with a negative result is not in itself sufficient reason to shorten the self-isolation period.

Postgraduate students

Please click here to download the postgraduate guide for 2021. For more information, you can also visit the postgraduate welcome webpage. Click here to access it.

(Updated 1 February 2021)

COVID-19 Protocols

We look forward to our campuses buzzing again with students and staff engaged in learning and teaching as well as research activities soon, but the Department of Higher Education and Training has placed a “complete ban on all social gatherings at all institutions” in an attempt to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease. We will be complying with this measure, and will also require our students coming to campus and residences to agree to a code of conduct, including not participating in risky off-campus activities.

(Updated 1 February 2021)

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 HealthCheck MUST be accessed via the URL https://healthcheck.higherhealth.ac.za only, and not via SMS or WhatsApp.

(Updated 16 February 2021)

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.
It is also recommended to use the Covid Alert SA app.

Students moving into residence and returning to campus contribute to the effort to limit infections by completing the HigherHealth Tool for the seven days prior to their return to campus.

All students must present a record that proves that they are in the habit of self-screening for seven consecutive days before they arrived at the residence, including the day of their arrival. Students that are not able to show such a record are reminded of the importance to self-screen and must have a heightened awareness for symptoms during the following 10 days. (A heightened awareness is where a person checks for symptoms and gives daily feedback to a leader in the student community the student belongs to.

Students are required to complete the Higher Health tool and continue to do so whilst they are not in residence. They are expected to keep a student leader to which they are assigned informed of their HigherHealth Tool history whilst they were not in residence.

Asymptomatic · De-isolate 10 days after positive tested sample was taken

Mild disease · De-isolate 10 days after symptom onset

Severe disease · De-isolate 10 days after clinical stability achieved

  • Individuals with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection need to (self-)isolate for the duration of their infectiousness. Infectiousness peaks around the onset of symptoms. Patients are considered safe to discontinue (self-)isolation ("de-isolate") and return to campus once no longer infectious. The isolation period is 10 days, provided the patient’s fever has resolved without use of antipyretics (medicine to supress fever).
  • In cases of mild COVID-19, virus isolation as a marker of infectiousness is generally only possible for 8-9 days after symptom onset. The duration of infectiousness in cases of severe COVID-19 is longer and such patients must remain isolated for another 10 days after achieving clinical stability (e.g. no longer needing supplemental oxygen).
  • Asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2-infected patients, to err on the side of caution, should be isolated for 10 days following the date of their positive test. For individuals with severe immunodeficiency, expert advice should be sought before de-isolation.
  • 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 https://healthcheck.higherhealth.ac.za 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.

Student Support

The Centre for Student Counselling and Development (CSCD) is functioning virtually from 17 March – 30 April 2020. All sessions, however, will continue to be offered mainly virtually or telephonically.

The important contact details are:
Academic Support and Development – 021 808 4707 / studysuccess@sun.ac.za
Emotional Support and Emergencies – 021 808 4994 / supportus@sun.ac.za
ER24 line for emergencies (day and night) – 010 205 3032
Visit the CSCD website for more information

COVID-19 Information and Support

Staff and students who fear they may be infected with COVID-19 can contact Campus Health Services or your nearest health care professional. Please call your doctor first to let them know so they can prepare to safely receive you. For all the important emergency numbers click here.

Visit the Campus Health Services website for more information and additional resources on COVID-19 here.

International Students

Yes. If your refugee permit expired during the lockdown, it is still valid until 31 March 2021 and may be used for registration.

Yes, you may register on a VFS receipt. The outcome of your visa renewal application must be e-mailed to immigration@sun.ac.za as soon as it is available.

(Students are unable to apply for the necessary visa for registration; country in lockdown – student unable to travel; online teaching (student will be based in home country)

Yes. Note, however, that you will only be allowed to register on your passport if you will be residing outside South Africa for the duration of your studies, or until you have received your visa.

If you are not based in South Africa, no South African medical aid is required. If you will only be attending block sessions at Stellenbosch University, you will also be exempt from this requirement.

Regrettably, we cannot assist in expediting police clearances. Delays are in most instances due to the impact of COVID-19.

Stellenbosch University may not intervene in your application or outcome in any way. Only the Department of Home Affairs have a mandate to deal with the visa application process. Therefore, all enquiries and outcome appeals need to be addressed to them directly.

Students may return via a land port with the same documents required for air travel. A valid passport, study visa and negative COVID-19 PCR test not older than 72 hours will be required to enter the country.

Students should have South African medical aid cover for the full duration of their study visa/permit. Visas/permits will not be valid without active medical aid membership.

Yes. Students register on a valid visa. Yet we do recommended that you renew your visa at least 60 days before it expires. New visa information should be sent to immigration@sun.ac.za as soon as the renewal outcome is available.

Students can only register on a study visa/permit for Stellenbosch University, or a TRC receipt from VFS.

Graduation documents

A previous communication informed graduates that their graduation documents would be sent to them by registered mail via the Post Office on 11 January 2021.

Yet there was a slight delay in sending the documents, as the University first had to process a large number of self-collection requests. We apologise for this delay and wish to confirm that all graduation documents have now been posted. Graduates should have received their tracking numbers via SMS. If you have not received your tracking number, you may request it from info@sun.ac.za. Please use your SU e-mail address to make this enquiry.

(Updated 1 February 2020)

Graduates can track their documents by visiting either of the following two websites:

www.sapo.co.za
www.trackmyparcel.co.za

Alternatively, you may enquire about the status of your documents at your local post office – there is no need to wait for their notification slip. Please use your tracking number as a reference.

Also note that the University cannot track international mail once it has left South Africa.

  • All queries relating to Tygerberg campus December 2020 graduation documents should be addressed to Mrs Nobukho Njemla-Klaas at nnjemla@sun.ac.za.
  • For all queries relating to Bellville campus December 2020 graduation documents, please contact Mrs Sonja van Zyl at sonjavz@usb.ac.za.

(Updated 1 February 2020)

The documents of graduates with outstanding fees will be held back.

Please contact Mrs Rene Stockigt at rstockigt@sun.ac.za if you have settled your student fee account after the December graduation ceremony. Arrangements to come and collect graduation documents should be made in advance – no student will be allowed entry without prior arrangement with Mrs Stockigt. Further follow-ups may be referred to studentaccounts@sun.ac.za.

(Updated 1 February 2020)

*Previous communication*

The closing date to arrange for self-collection was 8 January 2021. No further requests are possible at this stage, as the documents have been packaged and sent for distribution.

(Updated 1 February 2020)

1. Admin A is currently closed to the public. Therefore, graduates are kindly requested to make prior arrangements with Mrs Kea Raikane (kraikane@sun.ac.za or +27 21 808 9272) for the collection of their graduation documents. No student will be allowed entry without prior arrangement.

2. Students who have already made prior arrangements for self-collection and received confirmation from Mrs Raikane (or Mrs Stockigt from Student Accounts) to collect their documents, must follow these steps:

  • Use the entrance next to the Client Service Centre, i.e. the entrance to the left of the main entrance.
  • Produce your confirmation e-mail as proof to gain entry.
  • Only one person per collection will be allowed inside the building. No friends or family will be allowed to enter with you.

3. You will be required to:

  • wear a mask covering your nose and mouth at all times;
  • maintain a distance of 1,5 m from others;
  • show your green Healthcheck passport upon entry (please visit www.healthcheck.higherhealth.ac.za;
  • sanitise your hands; and
  • sign the register for tracking purposes.

4. To self-collect, you will be asked for proof of identity with a clearly visible picture and your student number. If someone will be collecting on your behalf, this person should produce a confirmation letter in which permission is granted, including all relevant identification details, your contact number and the date of collection. Ensure that the letter is properly signed.

5. No-one will be allowed further access to Admin A for whatever reason.

(Updated 1 February 2020)

Courier collection is permitted by prior arrangement only. Courier collections must be arranged by graduates themselves, at their own cost. The same procedure as for self-collection applies. The courier must supply the student number and surname as proof.

(Updated 1 February 2020)