24 July 2020
As we finish the first semester, I would like to use the opportunity to thank you for your hard work and dedication. Completing the semester under these trying circumstances would not have been possible without your passion and commitment. I appreciate and commend you for your efforts and assure you that it is not going unnoticed.
In a recent survey conducted among UP students, the following comment grabbed my attention: “All the lecturers should be commended for their efforts and innovation; it is deeply appreciated in circumstances that are extremely difficult.”
I would like you to keep this in mind as we start the second semester on 3 August. With our province currently one of the most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and as we are still operating under level 3 of the lockdown measures for the foreseeable future, it is unlikely that in-class lectures will resume. For this reason, we have no other option but to continue with providing teaching and learning online until the situation is clear. We must continue to make all efforts to save the academic year.
While not ideal, I’m pleased to say that with your help, we have made significant strides with our online offering and have assisted a great number students who needed support. This includes providing those students in need with free data, Internet-enabled devices and telephone and online and telephonic tutoring.
We will continue to provide support and assistance to ensure that no student is disadvantaged as we start the second semester. It is important to ensure that we complete the 2020 academic year successfully and I kindly request that you continue with your support and valuable contributions to ensure the success of our students.
The level of gratitude that we feel for your role is captured by this quote from another student from the same survey mentioned above: “Being a student at the University of Pretoria is a privilege that we should be grateful for. In other institutions learning online is only a dream. COVID-19 has taught us that material things are far less of value as compared to our lives, save money in the good months and spend wisely. Let us utilise the resources that the university is putting at our disposal and work very hard to achieve the desired results in our studies.”
I want to wish you well with the start of the second semester and assure you that we are here to do everything we can to support you and our students to ensure your success and theirs.
Prof Tawana Kupe
Vice-Chancellor and Principal