Update on the move to level 2 of the COVID-19 risk adjustment

3 September 2020

Dear UP Community

Since the last communication to UP students covering the move to level 2 of the COVID-19 risk adjustment on 19 August, the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation has made a few announcements during a media briefing, including the return of first-year students to campus. In line with the guidelines approved by the Department, the University will continue to invite students to return to campus in a phased process as set out below.

As mentioned in the last communication, while the guidelines allow for an additional 33% of students and staff to return (up to a total of 66%), gatherings of more than 50 people are still prohibited, which unfortunately means that we remain unable to resume contact classes. Online classes will therefore remain the main mode of teaching and learning this semester, which ends on 13 November 2020.

The following students will be prioritised by their respective faculties to return to campus:

  • Final-year and post-graduate students who require access to laboratories, technical equipment, studios and other facilities on campus in order to complete their courses
  • First-year and other students who are experiencing ongoing difficulties with Internet connectivity and who do not have the necessary access to Internet-enabled devices
  • First-year and other students whose home environments are not conducive to studying

Students in these categories should make contact with their faculties as soon as possible to apply for permission and the necessary permits to return to their campuses. Once they have received approval from their faculties, students living in residences will be notified if they can also return to residence.

Returning to the University’s campuses does not mean contact classes will resume. It simply means that students will be able to use the Wi-Fi on our campuses and in residences to continue with their online studies.

Examinations

Once examinations start on 16 November and if the country is still on lockdown level 2, some faculties may invite students who are part of certain programmes to attend mandatory pre-examination sessions and invigilated examinations on campus. This will happen with due regard to the required health and safety regulations. For the remaining students, examinations will take place online. More information will be sent to students by their faculties closer to the time.

Take care and stay safe.
Kind regards,
 
Tawana Kupe
Vice-Chancellor and Principal
Published by Zama Mthembu

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