2 July 2021
Dear colleagues and students
Earlier this week, the Institutional Committee for Business Continuity (ICBC) announced that the A2 and A3 assessments will resume after the recess and will take place online. We would like to bring the following important dates and arrangements to your attention:
Assessments and semester dates
- The A2 assessment will take place from 12–27 July (no assessments will take place on 21 July). The A3 assessment will take place from 28 July–7 August. You are able to access the timetables here. The second semester will commence on 10 August 2021. Please note information on the A4 assessments will be communicated at a later stage.
- Students who wrote invigilated sit-down first semester assessments between 21–26 June 2021, will be eligible to also write the online A3 assessments according to the existing rules for granting access to A3. The marks will be determined as per the formula as specified for the specific module.
- The pre-requisites for second semester modules will remain as is, and students will be allowed to register. Please note that students will be deregistered if they do not meet the minimum requirements after the completion of the A3 and/or A4 assessments. However, they will not be penalised.
- To ensure the integrity of assessments and meet the requirements of professional bodies, deferral of online assessments to enable invigilated sit-down assessments will be allowed for some modules.
- Internal moderation for all papers and exam scripts will take place, as well as external moderation for exit level modules as required by professional bodies. Question papers will be made available in both Afrikaans and English as per the Language Policy.
- A 30-minute upload time will be allowed for assessments, and an emergency email address will again be available to upload assessments as in 2020.
During the 2020 academic year, Student Discipline experienced an unusual increase in academic misconduct matters involving collusion (where one or more students assist each other during online assessments). As a result, disciplinary proceedings involving collusion were instituted against 183 students. In comparison with this number, in the 2019 academic year, only two students were charged with collusion. This sharp increase can be attributed directly to the move to online assessments.
The consequences of such misconduct are grave. The majority of the students who were found guilty of collusion forfeited the marks for the module/s involved. The forfeiture of marks resulted in the loss of time, additional cost as well as the addition of an extra academic year to their studies.
Please note that SU views all forms of academic misconduct in a very serious light as it compromises the integrity of the qualifications issued by the University. This includes academic dishonesty during online assessments. With the move back to online assessments, the University is compelled to urge students to adhere to the online assessment rules and refrain from academic dishonesty, in particular aiding fellow students, or by asking for assistance.
Data and laptops
SU will again provide mobile data to all undergraduate and postgraduate students. Bundles will be purchased from MTN, Vodacom, Telkom and Cell C in South Africa, and will be valid for a month from being loaded. The current data bundles are due to expire, and the new bundles will be uploaded between 10 and 12 July. Students are urged to use the data bundles according to the guidelines provided on the student support site.
The University is also currently in the process of procuring additional laptops and hope to receive delivery within approximately three weeks. We urge students who require a laptop to request access to the loan laptop project via email@example.com .
As you are all aware, South Africa is currently experiencing a third wave of COVID-19 infections and therefore we must keep our guard up and comply with all safety protocols. Please wear a mask, avoid crowded and poorly ventilated spaces, maintain a safe physical distance from others and wash your hands regularly.
For updated information, please consult SU's COVID-19 web page regularly.
I understand that the decisions of the last week have been very disruptive for students and staff and I appreciate the resilience which you have demonstrated with the alternative arrangements. Please take care and stay safe.
Prof Stan du Plessis