08 May 2020 (Letter to Parents and to Students)

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the national lockdown has disrupted the start of the 2020 academic year and the continuation of the academic programme. This communication serves to provide you with a brief update on how we continue to support our students remotely so that they may keep up to date with their studies at home and join the thousands of other students who are learning online with our support!

Introduction

These are unprecedented times in the history of our society and whilst the nationwide lockdown remains in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our primary focus is the safety of our staff and students and to ensure the successful completion of the 2020 academic year. We are not alone as all education institutions throughout South Africa, the region and globally have been obliged to take the same action. Our duty of care for the health and wellbeing for all our students and staff and our local communities is part of our responsibilities as citizens. We must work together to stop the progress of this virus and flatten the curve if we are to successfully defeat this global pandemic. The most important public health message is the containment of the disease, including avoiding social gatherings and minimising groups of people gathering in one space. The recent announcement from the Minister of Higher Education and Training has reaffirmed that physical campus spaces of education institutions remain closed at this time.

At this stage, it is not clear when lectures will resume on campus. We will be guided by national pronouncements in this regard. We wish to assure all stakeholders that we have spent much time reworking the academic calendars for the 2020 academic year for a range of different scenarios and we are ready to implement rescheduled calendars for contact classes on campus once we are permitted to do so. In the meantime, we continue to support our students with an enriched learning experience online via the student portal. A summary of this is outlined below.

Student Information Survey

The Student Portal is the place to receive all communication and notifications which are sent to
students via their institutional email. Where we have identified students who have not yet logged in or who require additional support to their queries, we have tried to call via their mobile number or contact them via their email address. Students are reminded to ensure that we have their latest contact details. We are also keen to get their feedback on online learning resources provided and ask that they complete this information survey by 15 May 2020. Here is the URL link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DWT2CJF. Contact details can also be updated on this survey.

Alternatively, students can contact their campus Academic Manager.