COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS DISEASE)
Adjusted 2020 University Almanac
It became necessary to adjust the 2020 University Almanac 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 lock-down 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.
All undergraduate programmes at the FMHS (including clinical training, assessments and examinations) will be in obligatory recess from 18 March until 14 April 2020.
Details around the adaptations to be made to our undergraduate programmes, will be communicated by the relevant programme coordinators.
Herewith the May edition of the Postgraduate Times newsletter, as it 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.
Please click 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.
The University has imposed a temporary ban on all international travel for staff and students. This ban also extends to international guests visiting the University. The travel embargo will be in place until 30 June 2020. Staff and students who are abroad at the moment will have to self-quarantine for a period of 14 days when they return. While the University cannot prohibit staff and students from traveling in their private capacity, we urge individuals to please act responsibly in making plans that involve international travel. On your return you will also be expected to self-quarantine for a period of 14 days. To limit the risk of the spread of COVID-19, staff and students who do contract the virus due to private travel, will not be allowed to return to work, class or a residence until they are medically fit to do so."
The current protocol around international travel can be viewed here >
International students/visitors can view the National Institute of Communicable Diseases' advice for returning travellers here >
Please make sure to consult the government's travel advice.
Stellenbosch University students and staff currently abroad
Please follow the instructions and recommendations of the host university. If you have specific questions about your international assignment (e.g. exchange programme), you first need to consult your host university or institution because they are best acquainted with their local environment. Please follow their recommendations and advice.
- If you decide to return home due to a personal decision, request/recommendation from your host institution where you are abroad, or the South African government, it is important to note that you will need to observe the 14 days of self-isolation. Entering South Africa from High Risk countries could mean that more steps will be required of returning travelers by the South African government.
- If you are planning to return home, please send an email to email@example.com
- Students who are planning to return should carefully consult the travel information from the respective airlines and travel advisories of the South African government.
- This is a difficult and stressful time for everyone. The WHO recently brought out this guideline with suggestions and tips: https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/mental-health-considerations.pdf?sfvrsn=6d3578af_8
- Please note that you can always reach out to the Tygerberg International Office (TIO) for support and the TIO can schedule SKYPE sessions with you, if you have specific concerns you would like addressed or need any support. Your well-being is of importance to us. Please contact Ms Nicky Blows on
firstname.lastname@example.org or dial 021 938 9086 at the Tygerberg International Office for assistance with international traveling queries.
Leaving and returning at a later stage
Note that the above also applies to staff or students who leave South Africa, with intent to return at a later stage. Note that your visa may be revoked upon re-entry. Students and staff are advised to be aware that in cases where your home country is not currently identified as a high- risk country, this status could change, and you may not be allowed to re-enter. Please consider this as you make your travel plans.
Stellenbosch University students and staff who planned to depart from South Africa, but have not departed yet:
Please consider current travel bans should you consider travel go abroad during this general period. TIO therefore recommends that if you are still planning to travel (which we discourage you to do), please take note of the following Stellenbosch University announcement regarding private travel: http://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/notices/DispForm.aspx?ID=1502
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 email@example.com
Due to the latest developments regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and the necessity for social distancing to keep the infection curve down, a decision has been made to close all library buildings from Saturday, 21 March 2020 until further notice. Library staff will continue to provide services and resources to support students and staff.
More information >
They are fully available online. 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.
Phased return for some students to SU residences
Irrespective of the rate at which academic programmes return from online offerings to on-campus teaching and learning there may, in exceptional cases, be a necessity to allow limited groups of students to return to their SU residences after expiry of the national hard lock-down period. This could for instance include students who do not have the computer technology or internet connectivity to study online from home, or students who have to do essential clinical and practical work in hospitals and SU laboratories.
Much planning is in progress on how to accommodate residents safely while providing essential food and cleaning services. It is foreseen that returning students will still be subjected to COVID-19 testing, temporary quarantine regulations and may have restricted movement from and in their residences. Special arrangements will be made to care for our student communities under these unusual living conditions. SU's actions will be guided by the national COVID-19 response regulations and students will be informed in due course about who may return and by when.
It is important to note that students should not return to residences before receiving official communication in this regard – this invitation from SU to students may indeed follow several weeks after the end of the national hard lock-down period. During the current lockdown period until the end of April the national disaster regulations remain applicable and students will not be allowed back into residences to collect personal belongings or study materials.
If you are a student currently residing in a Tygerberg Campus residence, you may opt to vacate your residence or remain on the campus. Kindly note that in both cases, certain rules will be applied.
If you are vacating your Tygerberg Campus residence:
Please indicate your intention to leave your residence by responding on our online google form which can be accessed here:
It is your responsibility to ensure that all your future meal bookings are cancelled.
Please vacate your room entirely (including all your personal belongings) by Friday 20 March. You may request to store your goods on campus. Should you have any questions about vacating your room or storage facilities, please inform your Residence Head.
Once you have left your accommodation, you will only be allowed to return on 14 April 2020 unless stated otherwise.
If you are staying in your Tygerberg Campus residence:
Please complete our online google form, which can be accessed here:
Please note that you may be requested to move into another room and/or residence at any point.
From Friday, 20 March 2020 at 16:00 visitors will be restricted. Please liaise with your Residence Head for more information on visitors protocols.
For more information, please contact the Centre for Student Communities on 021 938 9148 or consult your Residence Head.
If you have any challenges that you cannot overcome personally or with the help of family and friends, please contact our Centre for Student Communities at firstname.lastname@example.org or (021) 808 3064 during office hours. Counselling services are available to students who feel the need to talk to someone. Please contact our Centre for Student Counselling and Development at (021) 808 4994 (office hours) or the 24-hour crisis service at (010) 205 3032 (after hours).
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 use the first two weeks of the second term to prepare yourselves for online learning, and to make use of the various support services that we offer our students. All the related information is available on the COVID-19 webpage