25 June 2021
Dear UP staff and students
Following an earlier decision to suspend all contact classes for the remainder of the current semester, and given the seriousness of the current COVID-19 situation, the Executive, in close consultation with the Deans, has decided to move the upcoming examinations online, wherever this is practically possible.
Only in exceptional cases, such as where it is required by professional bodies, where practicals are taking place in skills laboratories, or where deemed essential by faculties, will in-person assessments continue. In these instances, strict health and safety measures will be put in place to ensure the safety of students and staff, in line with the University’s COVID-19 protocols.
The details of the examinations will be communicated by the respective faculties over the next few days before the start of the examinations on 7 July 2021.
Students who have connectivity issues are reminded to apply for data on the student portal on the UP website and to contact their lecturers if they need any other assistance during examinations.
Your health and wellness are our priority
I know this is a difficult and challenging time for students, and I invite you to make use of our mental health services if you need emotional support. We understand that not everyone wants to contract for structured individual counselling, and thus have made counsellors available who will support and assist you via a telephone conversation, whenever it suits you.
Just call 0800 747 747 or, if you want someone to call you back, send an SMS to 31393.
You can also access information about and referral to the peer support groups by contacting the number above or by sending an SMS. Support groups are confidential and run by students, for students.
All our services are free to registered students and available on all our campuses. The UP Careline is available to students every day, even after hours and over weekends, when the Careline also serves as our crisis support line when our offices are closed.
Take the necessary precautions
Staff and students are again reminded to, as far as is possible, avoid participating in physical gatherings and going to crowded spaces, and to adhere strictly to all health protocols, including social distancing, the wearing of masks, and sanitising and washing hands.
Please do not come to campus if you feel ill or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Furthermore, if you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, you are required to quarantine – students in residence should preferably quarantine in their rooms in residences, and should not go home until they are certain that the danger that they may have contracted the virus has safely passed. This is to protect family and friends at home who may otherwise be exposed.
We will continue to monitor the situation on an ongoing basis and will keep you informed of any further measures.
Good luck with the examinations.
Take care and stay safe.
Prof Tawana Kupe
Vice-Chancellor and Principal