I know that it has not been easy for you to come to terms with the very unusual circumstances we face. No one expected the country and the whole world to be affected by this pandemic to such an extent. But, true to THE UP WAY, we are looking at using this to further leverage our teaching and learning model, which includes the online teaching and learning system we have developed over the past 20 years.
I want you to know that despite everything that is happening, your lecturers are working non-stop to make quality education available to you on clickUP. As previously communicated, all telecommunications providers have agreed to give students access to UP content through the UP Connect Portal without incurring data costs. This means that any data hosted on clickUP, other student portals, the Library’s website and staff portals are free. To access all the relevant sites, remember to log on to https://connect.up.ac.za.
As we start with the online process, there may initially be teething problems, but we will do everything possible to resolve them as quickly as possible. If there are any other unforeseen problems once we go live, please contact your lecturers and/or faculties so that we can find solutions. I also ask you to please be patient as we go about our work in these unusual times. We’re used to having over 50 000 of our students, who are now at home, with us on our campuses, so we’re trying to make your devices a campus to house everyone in the digital space.
The University is in the final stage of delivering Internet-enabled devices to students who genuinely cannot afford to buy for themselves. We have made every effort to ensure that you are able to continue your studies on line. If for whatever reason you are unable to do so, please contact your lecturers as soon as possible.
A good tip to ensure your academic success is to keep to your normal routine. Continue following your timetable. For example, if you have a module with a lecture from 8:30 to 9:20 on a Monday, then work on that module and engage with your lecturers during that time, using the relevant platforms to discuss difficult concepts and engage by participating in answering and asking questions. This will help you to keep up to date with work without becoming overwhelmed before assessments.
There is a hidden benefit for you in all of this as you now get the opportunity to practise what the future world of work could look like where most people work from home. While you are waiting to continue with your studies, we recommend you make the most of your time at home and upskill yourself with our free Professional Online Development courses that will get you Ready for Work or give you the entrepreneurial skills you need to succeed in the world beyond university.
During this difficult time, be kind to those around you and to yourself. Remember, it is a kindness to others to obey the lockdown restrictions, to stay at home and to practise social distancing. Thank you for staying at home and keeping everyone safe. This is THE UP WAY.
Please remember to keep up to date with all official channels of communication and to be aware of upcoming important messages. We will keep you up to date with any new developments.
We care about your success, and we want you to let us know if you are experiencing any difficulties, so stay in touch with your lecturers and class representatives so that we can all make the most of the situation. For your own health and emotional well-being, please reach out to the relevant support services. Visit the UP website for the contact details.
Work together with us to help you make a success of this academic year.
Prof Tawana Kupe
Vice-Chancellor and Principal
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