colleagues and students
I would like
to give you feedback on the discussions and decisions of the Institutional
Committee for Business Continuity (ICBC) of Stellenbosch University (SU) at its
scheduled meeting on Wednesday 28 July 2021.
We noted the
decision announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday (25 July) to
move South Africa back to adjusted risk alert level 3 in response to signs that
the third wave of COVID-19 infections is declining. For the University, this
means the directions
issued by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) on 29 March
this year remain in force. These provide higher education institutions with
considerable leeway to manage their own activities, subject to COVID-19 protocols.
learning and teaching
consideration, we have decided to proceed with augmented remote teaching, learning
and assessment (ARTLA) when the second semester starts on 10 August
2021. This means that students will be returning to campus for a mix of
face-to-face and online sessions, as they did in the first semester. Faculties
will again publish the module-specific details on their respective websites. The
faculty pages can be accessed via dedicated
buttons on SU’s COVID-19
students will also be returning to campus.
with the ICBC’s commitment to data-informed decision making, we are monitoring
the coronavirus disease pandemic very closely to ensure that we can safely proceed
in this way. Should there be any developments that require a change to this
plan, we will inform you as soon as possible.
The pandemic continues
to pose a significant threat. In her presentation to the ICBC, Prof Juliet
Pulliam, director of SACEMA (the DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence in
Epidemiological Modelling and Analysis), pointed out that while the third wave
had peaked nationally, not all provinces were there yet.
the Western Cape continue to climb, albeit at a lower level. We are approaching
the peak of our third wave more slowly than previously anticipated. However,
the number of new infections is expected to start declining in the next week or
It remains vital
that we do our utmost to curb the spread of the pandemic. This can be done in
- We should not let our guard
down, but stick to COVID-19 protocols – wear a mask, sanitise, maintain
a safe distance from others, and avoid crowded and poorly ventilated spaces.
These protocols are not only applicable to those still awaiting their vaccinations, but also to those who have already been vaccinated.
- We should all get vaccinated as soon as possible, as this offers the best protection against serious COVID-19
symptoms and mortality. Vaccination is something we can all do to help end the
pandemic sooner so that our vibrant campus and town life can be restored.
been encouraging developments on the vaccination front recently.
35 years and older can now get vaccinated, and the higher education
sector is receiving priority attention. Earlier this week, we informed all our
staff (including full-time, part-time and contract staff, as well as
postgraduate students and fellows who teach at the University) of two Higher
Health vaccination initiatives starting this week (click
I want to
reiterate that dedicated slots at specific times have been allocated for SU
staff members to get their jabs at the Momentum mass vaccination facility at Parc
Du Cap, 5 Mispel Road, Bellville, between Friday 30 July and Monday 16 August
2021. To make use of this opportunity, please register on SU’s database by
entering your details
1 September, vaccinations in South Africa will be open to everyone over 18
years of age, which will then also cover our younger staff members and students.
We are working hard to be part of that roll-out and will communicate more details
step to get vaccinated is to register on the national EVDS (Electronic
Vaccination Data System). If you have not registered yet, please visit https://vaccine.enroll.health.gov.za.
The registration process is quick and easy.
vaccinated is the responsible thing to do – not only for your own sake and that
of your family, but to protect the broader University community and society at
information regarding COVID-19 vaccination, please consult our frequently asked questions
reminded to check their assessment
timetable, and specifically take note of the assessment starting times on Saturday
31 July and Saturday 7 August respectively, as some assessments have
been moved to 19:00.
that decisions about access to an A3 or A4 assessment will be available three
days (including weekend days) before the assessment opportunity. This three-day
period excludes the date of the announcement/notice and the date of the A3 or
A4 assessment itself.
a smaller number of students qualified for A4s due to their COVID status, the
timeline for A4 assessments was set for 13 August to 4 September, with
the release of marks being scheduled for 10 September.
arrangement (to grant access to A4s based on COVID status and previous test
results) has since been rescinded. As indicated in my e-mail
of 21 July, A4s are now available for all first-semester modules (with a
few exceptions, as communicated by specific faculties).
anticipation of the larger number of A4 assessments, and to keep to the agreed
timeline with minimal clashes, some of the online assessments will be scheduled
for evenings, and Saturdays will also be utilised.
respective faculties have notified students of their specific criteria for
access to the A4 assessments.
the previous arrangement that students will be allowed to register for
second-semester modules pending their A4 results – on the understanding that should
students fail to meet the prerequisites for a specific second-semester module, they
will be deregistered for that module.
placements and student funding for 2022:
placements of current students will only be done after the A4 results have been
made available – in other words after 10 September.
will have a knock-on effect on the placement of new first-year students, so the
placement timeline will be adjusted accordingly.
The same applies
to bursary allocations for 2022. Where first-semester results determine students’
eligibility for a bursary, funding decisions will be delayed until the A4
results become available.
The ICBC has extended
the 2020 annual leave expiry date by a month – from 31 December 2021 to 31 January
2022. This means staff will be able to utilise remaining leave from the 2020
cycle in the course of January 2022, particularly in the week of 3 to 7 January,
when meetings and other University functions will be limited as far as
extension does not apply to staff whose employment terminates on 31 December 2021
– naturally, their leave cannot be carried over to January 2022.
Learning Spaces (ELS):
Learning Spaces (ELS) project is making good progress. This initiative is aimed
at equipping a large number of lecture venues on our Stellenbosch campus with
the necessary technology so that in-person sessions can be streamed from venues
to allow some students to participate face-to-face and others online. We are
aiming to have 67 such venues completed by the end of September.
experiencing an extremely demanding time. Our thoughts are with all our
students, staff and other stakeholders who have suffered coronavirus-related illness
or death in their families, circle of friends or workplaces.
Thank you to
everyone for your hard work and sacrifice to keep the academic project at SU on
track. Ultimately, this is what will help us go forward despite the many challenges
webpage for regular updates, and contact us on 021 808 9111 or firstname.lastname@example.org for any enquiries. We assure
you of our commitment to relay any concerns reported to our Client Services
Centre to the relevant decision-making structures at our institution for their consideration.
safe and take good care of yourself and your loved ones.