2 November 2016
Oversight and Working groups to address the demands of the undergraduate students
The process of responding to the issues that students have raised is underway. Staff in the faculty who were identified in the final response document to assist with responding to various demands with short term deadlines have been contacted and are busy addressing those issues. Read more
31 October 2016
A call for mutual respect and condemnation of victimisation and intimidation
The period of protest action initiated by students about six weeks ago, provided us with the impetus to re-focus on many of the issues that confront students.
As a faculty, we have committed to addressing these issues, and this work is currently underway. Read more
27 October 2016
Amendment of Interim Interdict
Dear staff and students
I wish to advise you that Judge Meer has amended the interim interdict as follows with immediate effect (attached) -
26 October 2016
25 October 2016
Faculty of Health Sciences staff and students permitted to join Parliament protests, Wednesday, 26 October 2016
Dear staff and students
Following the announcement of the Vice-Chancellor (see link), the Dean is supporting participation in the marches taking place tomorrow Wednesday 26 October 2016.
Students and staff are encouraged to participate in these important events.
Students who choose to attend the marches are assured that absence from academic activities tomorrow will not affect Duly Performed requirements. In addition, course conveners have been asked to reschedule academic activities wherever possible to ensure that students participating in the marches are not academically compromised.
20 October 2016
Faculty of Health Sciences' suspension of Classes in Years 1-3 of Undergraduate Programmes and Completion of Teaching and Examinations in a Mini-semester in January 2017
Suspension of Classes in Years 1-3 of Undergraduate Programmes and Completion of Teaching and Examinations in a Mini-semester in January 2017. Read the news article and official letter from Dean Bongani Mayosi.
18 October 2016
University and Faculty Funding Model and Fees – Presentation to FHS Students and Staff
Professor Sue Kidson and Dr Reno Morar will deliver presentations to students and staff in the Faculty to describe the ‘University and Faculty Funding Model and Fees’. See schedule of planned presentations and foundation slides.
17 October 2016
Message on Victimisation
Dear Staff and Students
Victimisation is an issue of great concern to our students in our Faculty. Please find my statement on this matter at the following link.
16 October 2016
Clarification on face-to-face classes and examination dates in the Faculty of Health Sciences
The dean provides clarification on the message from the Vice-Chancellor yesterday which stated that ‘All undergraduate face-to-face classes are suspended’ from 17 October 2016 and that all examinations will occur between 7 November 2016 to 25 November 2016 for all Faculties in the university. Read more
15 October 2016
Letter on the opening of UCT on Monday, 17 October 2016
The University of Cape Town’s Council agreed to complete the 2016 academic programme resuming academic activities on Monday, 17 October 2016. The Faculty remains committed to complete the 2016 academic programme for both undergraduate and postgraduate students. Read the Letter
Statement on the assault of the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Town on 14 October 2016
We, the undersigned members of the Faculty of Health Sciences Deanery and Dean’s Advisory Committee note, with dismay, the events that occurred on the afternoon of Friday 14 October when the Vice-Chancellor and other members of the Executive met with a group of protesters outside the Bremner building. Read more
13 October 2016
This is the fourth week since the student protests commenced on our campus.
I am aware of the emotional strain this difficult time of uncertainty has had on all our staff and students. I want to thank you for your patience and cooperation, and keeping the wheels of our organisation turning.
Disruption of the academic programme on our campus and beyond have been unsettling and challenging, but our campus has remained calm following successful engagement between staff and students on their list of demands. We are now in the process of working further on implementing the recommendations regarding the demands. The final report will be made available on Friday this week after the signing of the final recommendations together with our students.
However, as you know, as mentioned by the Vice-Chancellor Dr Max Price, this is a national student-led movement that requires a national response to address the key demand of fee-free higher education. Thus, even if FHS solutions are found, we are also subject to University-wide and national issues.
With uncertainty about the resumption of classes, within the Faculty, our programme and course convenors are working on various scenarios for completing the academic programme. I thank the convenors and our teaching staff for their dedication to the welfare and success of our students.
The Vice-Chancellor has indicated that in this period of suspended teaching activity, the core administrative functions and essential services of the university will be maintained. Faculty line managers and most staff responded well to this call. If members of staff have any concerns regarding their work in this period, they must discuss the matter with their line managers.
The Faculty takes the lead from decisions taken by the university, so please check regularly your emails and the UCT and Faculty website for updates. We will add Faculty of Health Sciences-related information as necessary. We plan to hold a Staff Update on Friday 14 October 2016 for members of our community who will be on campus.
In the meantime, please feel free to send me any feedback, suggestions and concerns that you may have to #AskTheDean.
9 October 2016
Invitation to Staff: Join the TEd Team
As you know, our students have not been able to participate in classes over the past 3 weeks.
It is important that we find practical ways to make teaching available to all our students in the weeks ahead. Many of you already offer exciting and innovative teaching via online resources, and this has enabled students in these disciplines to continue their learning program. For some years, we have debated implementing this across the Faculty and the moment has now come to take this step.
We have formed a Technology in Education (TEd) Team as an expert group under the leadership of Greg Doyle in the Department of Health Sciences Education and we are issuing an invitation to any member of staff who wishes to join the TEd Team and get involved to please contact Greg on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Most of us will simply need a voice-over PowerPoint which is very simple to do- recording a PowerPoint presentation with audio using any laptop or desktop computer with a built-in microphone (please contact Greg if you need a microphone). See the instructions here: https://vula.uct.ac.za/x/Hme7Pm
For those who are Mac users, you will need to update to the latest version of PowerPoint (no surprise there!), click Help | Check for updates. Otherwise follow the instructions in Vula at the link above.
The current crisis presents an opportunity to utilise technology in new and powerful ways to improve what we offer, and we appeal to all of you to help us do so.
6 October 2016
FHS staff and students march to Bremner building
Staff and students from UCT Faculty of Health Sciences marched to Bremner building today, Thursday 6 October 2016 to protest against recent events at the University of Cape Town and express their commitment to resolving the impasse through active engagement between staff and students. After the march, a statement, supported by FHS staff and students, was handed to VC Dr Max Price.
Letter to students from Dean on statement circulated erroneously in his name
Dear Staff and Students,
Please see letter to students from the Dean, regarding a statement sent out in his name without his knowledge and input, and erroneously published.
Staff for Social Justice in Education (S4SJE) staement in support for march today
As you may be aware, last night the Deanery, staff and students attended an open forum to discuss the protests of the past few days and to build unity among staff and students. The mood in the room was overwhelmingly positive, and staff and students alike spoke of the personal growth the process has inspired, commented on the value of open, honest and cathartic discussion, and expressed gratitude for the support they have received from individuals and collectives across the faculty.
A prominent theme of the discussion was value of the model the Faculty of Health Sciences is providing for other campuses and universities. The process that has occurred on the Health Sciences campus over the last few weeks – in which #occupyfhs, the Deanery, and members of the Task Teams have played a central role – is a demonstration that with consultation and open discussion, mutual respect, the creation of safe spaces for staff and students, and a commitment to non-violence, the disruption the university is currently experiencing can be a positive experience that builds unity throughout the faculty and will ultimately create a stronger, more just, and academically vibrant faculty.
However, members of the faculty, including the student body, also expressed dissatisfaction with the way the disruption has been addressed by university management as a whole, voiced concern about the treatment of protesting students on other campuses, and spoke of the discomfort and disunity caused by the forced opening of the University on Monday 3rd October. Students requested that the Deanery support their call for an apology from the VC for the psychological distress that was a result of opening the campus without the support of the student movement and in the shadow of private security.
In order to demonstrate that our faculty remains unified in support of our students, to express our commitment to free de-colonised education, and to demand that resources be made available for continued dialogue throughout the university, it was proposed that the faculty (including staff, students and management) should march together to Bremner at 11:00 today (6th October).
After the march, a statement, supported by all FHS staff and students, including the Deanery, will be handed to the VC or representatives of the University management. This statement is currently being finalised and will be shared widely before the march. However, as proposed in the meeting last night the statement will express:
In addition to these demands, Staff for Social Justice in Education calls for the immediate resumption of mediation to resolve the current impasse.
We encourage you to attend the march in the support of FHS students and the Deanery.
Staff for Social Justice in Education (S4SJE)
Invitation to Join March to Bremner on Thursday 6 October
The Faculty Open Forum attended by students and staff in the Faculty of Health Sciences held on 5 October 2016 resolved to march to Bremner to protest against recent events at the University of Cape Town, and thereafter join a mass meeting on Upper Campus at 13:00.
Staff and students in the Faculty of Health Sciences are invited to join the march to Bremner on Thursday, 6 October 2016 at 11:00. Participants in the march are invited to assemble in the Quad of the Faculty at 10:30 prior to departure.
5 October 2016
FHS Campus Announcement - Vice-Chancellor's announcement of Campus closures
Dear staff and students
The Deanery wishes to confirm that, in line with the announcement of the Vice Chancellor of the University of cape Town, the Health Sciences Campus will be closed from this afternoon Wednesday 5 October 2016 until and including Friday 7 October 2016. All operations are closed including teaching and learning activities.
While our campus is closed, essential services will continue. Attached is a list of essential services and high-risk research facilities that must be maintained. Staff are requested to be in contact with their direct line managers.
4 October 2016
First Hamilton Naki Suite Statement
Statement to staff and students
Today is my 34th day as Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences. During this time, the Faculty has experienced a transformational moment that is unprecedented in the 104 year history of our institution. This moment began on 20 September 2016 when health sciences students launched demonstrations to highlight longstanding and wide-ranging grievances on issues affecting student health, student safety, teaching and learning, assessment, transport and finance and fees. A number of factors including our failure to address the demands to the satisfaction of the students led to the occupation of the Dean’s Suite (now renamed Hamilton Naki Suite) on Friday, 23 September 2016.
What followed was a series of interactions between the Dean Team, staff and students that revealed the fundamental causes of the student demands. These demands are a symptom of an institution that has not embraced the culture, needs and voice of a diverse group of students, including black students who were historically excluded from UCT.
We need to seize this moment to have conversations about issues that matter for the future of our Faculty, and our country. These are issues of power, of privilege, of pain, of rejection, of alienation, of victimisation. It is through these open and faculty-wide dialogues that we will develop the values, behaviours, and practices that will unite the faculty community to address its mission.
As I mark my first and very eventful month as Dean, and as we return to the Hamilton Naki Dean’s Suite, I am committed to working with staff and students to create a safe environment in which all voices are heard, valued, and valorised – a Faculty of Health Sciences that is a home for all South Africans.
3 October 2016
Independent observers on campus
Health Science Faculty members from the Staff for Social Justice in Education (S4SJE) group volunteered to be independent observers during the protest period. Students are aware of their role in this regard and have requested that observers assist with documenting protest action on the Health Sciences and upper campus. As impartial observers and documenters, they will serve all parties interests in representing what is happening. Observers are identifiable through yellow and white bands on their wrists or arms. If you would like to join S4SJE or volunteer as an observer please click here for information.
Statement on rights and victimisation
To all staff
The University of Cape Town is open today. There are also protests by our students across the university. The protestors are calling for the re-instatement of expelled and interdicted UCT students following the Shackville incident in February 2016, and they are also calling for free decolonised education.
We as the university community are balancing the right to protest and the right to learn. It is essential that students who participate in protest should not be victimised. Students have complained that they have been subjected to threats from staff as a result of participation in protest.
The right to learn is equally important, and we know that all of our students want to learn. We are committed to ensure that all students have the opportunity to learn and complete their studies successfully this year. Programme convenors and Course convenors are working very hard to accommodate the needs of our students under the current circumstances. I applaud them for their tenacity, ingenuity and commitment to the welfare and success of our students.
Events over the last two weeks have contributed to distress and a divided campus community. It has also created opportunities for change and exploration of new ways of doing. These processes have come about directly as a result of the actions of the students who have revealed our collective flaws and errors and our capacities for solidarity and change.
Our recent Faculty report on conversations about Black Pain - White Privilege revealed that students, registrars in this instance, have an “intense fear of retribution for speaking out”. Our undergraduate students face similar fears as they return to academic activities.
One of our cherished values as a Faculty is respect for human rights and human dignity. The Faculty affirms that there is no place for harassment, bullying and/or victimisation, especially related to participation / non-participation in recent protests.
I implore students and staff members to interact respectfully and continue to engage in dialogues which promote deeper understanding and unity.
2 October 2016
Statement: Staff for Social Justice in Education (S4SJE)
Staff for Social Justice in Education (SJE) was formed as a spontaneous response amongst some staff members to the events unfolding on the Health Sciences Campus related to the student protests and demands. Some of us were disquieted with the dominant narrative about what was taking place and were concerned with how best to handle the conflictual situation.
This statement reflects the rationale for forming the group and invites others to join.
We do not claim to speak on behalf of all staff but only for staff who have chosen to join this group.
We put the following on record:
· We recognise the pain experienced by students and the challenges they have faced in trying to challenge unjust systems and situations on our campus and in the wider educational system;
· We acknowledge, as staff members, our failures to address these gaps and challenges in the institution up to now;
· We commend the leadership and grasp of democratic processes that our students have shown in the processes of seeking change.
We unequivocally state that:
· We support the 34 demands put forward by the students and see no obstacle to seeing resolution of these 34 demands, whether in the short, medium- or long-term;
· We support the demand that the university not make use of private security to resolve conflict between students and the institution. There should be total commitment to processes of resolution of conflict without resort to violence.
We stand for:
· Equity in Access to Education
· Democratisation and decolonisation of our institution
· Greater understanding of the intersections of race, gender, class, sexual orientation, sexuality and ableism in shaping our academic project
We commit to promoting these principles, enhancing our understanding as well as a wider understanding of these concepts and how to operationalise them in our Faculty and across the wider Higher Education field.
We invite others to join the group and find a democratic space to engage in these issues and to find ways to support a process to re-build trust and strengthen our institution as a place of inclusion. You can do so by joining the Vula Site
Alex Muller, Alison September, Alison Swartz, Carla Tsampiras, Collet Dandara, David Sanders, Dehran Swart, Derek Hellenberg, Eleanor Whyle, Elelwani Ramugondo, Feroza Amien, Gail Cook, Harsha Kathard, Ishaaq Datay, James Irlam, Jaquelyne Kwenda, Jawaya Shea, Jenny Durandt, Jill Fortuin Abrahams, Lavinia Browne, Leslie London, Louis Reynolds, Lorna Olckers, Lunelle Pienaar, Lydia Cairncross, Melanie Alperstein, Mohamed Jeebhay, Mpiko Ntsekhe, Muazzam Jacobs, Nadia Hartman, Nicola Foster, Pam Hoffman, Rachel Weiss, Richard Naidoo, Roshan Galvaan, Ruwayhida Thebus, Sarah Crawford-Browne, Shajila Singh, Sharon Groenmeyer, Sharon Prince, Sipho Dlamini, Siwe Toto, Steve Reid, Sue Fawcus, Susheela Bhagwan, Talia Meer, Tasleem Ras, Virginia Zweigenthal, Wendy Burgers, Zara Trafford, Zenda Woodman and Zuleiga Jaffer.
30 September 2016
29 September 2016
27 September 2016
Date: 28 September 2016
Time: 1400 - 1600
Venue: Frances Ames Room
Dear all Staff and Students
You are invited to join an Open Forum meeting at 1pm in the Francis Ames Room.
The purpose of the meeting is for the Deanery to engage with students on their list of demands.
Should we require a larger venue, the meeting will be moved to the New Learning Centre.
Date: 28 September 2016
Time: 1400 - 1600
Venue: Frances Ames Room
Invitation to Open Panel Discussion: Free education for all!
Let’s have the debate!
All staff and students of Faculty of Health Sciences are invited to an open panel discussion about free education and decolonising education.
There will be a few panel inputs of 5 to 10 minutes each, followed by open discussion and debate. We encourage an open sharing of all viewpoints and robust discussion.
Issued on behalf of Staff for Social Justice in Education, Faculty of Health Sciences.
26 September 2016
Daily Faculty Updates
All staff are invited to attend daily Faculty updates and discussion between 13h00-14h00 in the New Learning Centre Lecture Theatre for the rest of this week.
25 September 2016
Campus update for the week of 26 to 30 September 2016
Dear all Staff and Students
I wish to update you on plans for the coming week. Before I do so, I wish to express my appreciation to all staff and students for their patience and support. I want to assure you that the management and I will do everything possible to engage with our students and student leaders on their concerns.
No teaching activities from 26-30 September
The UCT Senior Leadership Group (SLG) has announced that teaching will be suspended for a further week, Monday, 26 September, to Friday, 30 September. UCT Libraries will be closed. Undergraduate and postgraduate lectures, classes and tests are suspended for this period.
All staff are to continue operations during this time. The Deanery and the Dean’s Advisory Committee will be working with Heads of Divisions, Directors of Research Units and Heads of PASS Units to ensure that Faculty operations continue.
Occupation of Dean’s Suite by students
Our students continue to occupy the Dean’s Suite with their proposed new name of the ‘Hamilton Naki Suite’. The students have vowed to remain in the Hamilton Naki Suite until the following demands are met:
a. “A written commitment is made that private security will not be brought onto campus again to counter peaceful student protest.
b. The student demands, relevant to the whole health sciences student population, have been made numerous times in past years through both official and unofficial channels. Promises have been made in the past by members of the Deanery to address student concerns but they remain unanswered. For this reason, we insist on meaningful and concrete responses to our demands including specific mechanisms to ensure fruition, names of personnel to hold responsible and acceptable deadlines.
c. An official enquiry into the Deputy Dean for Undergraduate Education and Operations”.
We plan to continue engagement with these students on these matters.
Communication and engagement with staff and students
A series of engagements are planned between the Deanery and students and staff during the coming week to address student and staff concerns, and plan the academic activities for the rest of the year.
Our student leaders have requested that their statement be shared with all students and staff in the interests of transparency and building mutual trust. I have agreed to this request.
I thank you for all your efforts in ensuring that the day to day operations of the Faculty continue.
We will continue to communicate with staff on a regular basis.
23 September 2016
To all students and staff
The Deanery has been in negotiation with the HSSC and student leaders in the Faculty of Health Sciences since Friday, 16 September 2016. During all the discussions with the students, the Deanery emphasised the essential health services that take place on our campus that cannot be disrupted.
On Tuesday 20 September 2016 the students presented the Faculty with a set of demands. We had agreement with the students that we would provide responses to the demands by the end of Thursday, 22 September. At a meeting with the students on Wednesday, 21 September, the deanery requested that the date be extended to Friday, 23 September to allow us to gather all the information required. We had no formal response to this request.
This morning on our arrival at the Faculty we found that the students were preventing access to the campus. Prof Mayosi immediately went to the barricades to speak to the students. Despite our pleas to remove the barricades because of the essential services running on the campus, the students insisted that they would not remove the barricades. We informed them that the action they were taking is unacceptable in preventing essential services from taking place. Campus security was called in to secure access and guarantee delivery of essential services.
We have agreed with the students that we would meet with the HSSC and student representatives at 10.30 this morning. We have also agreed that students in the faculty can observe the negotiations without any disruptions to the discussions.
Prof Bongani Mayosi
24 September 2016
Faculty of Health Sciences Update
This is to inform all staff and students that the Deans Suite Offices was occupied by our students at about 19h30 yesterday evening.
The students have released a statement indicating that the reason for their occupation of the Deans Suite is that we have failed to respond to their list demands.
The students have listed their demands which fall under the following themes: Institutional/Faculty Climate, Funding support of Health Sciences students, Fees and related financial and non-financial arrangements, Education and Training challenges, Transport, and Worker related issues.
The Deanery will in due course publish the full list of the student’s demands together with a consolidated list of responses.
In response to concerns of both students and staff, we wish to assure our Faculty community that we will make every effort to bring matters to a speedy resolution.
We assure staff and students that the Deanery continues to function, and will remain in close communication with the Faculty community.
22 September 2016
Consultation process for statement on higher education crisis released by VC
This is to update you on developments with respect to the Vice-Chancellor’s statement which was published on the UCT website. This is the statement that Prof Mayosi will be handing over to the Chief Director of the Regional Office of the National Department of Higher Education and Training, on behalf of members of the University of Cape Town.
The final statement was developed following inputs from the Health Sciences Students Council (HSSC), Post Graduate Students Council (PGSC), the Dean’s Advisory Committee (DAC) and the Senior Leadership Group of the University (SLG), including the Deans of the Faculties.
We wish to point out that the student representatives in the Faculty of Health Sciences have clearly indicated that they do not endorse this statement. The Deans Advisory Committee respects the decision of the student representatives.
The student representatives will be publishing a statement on the picket protest.
19 September 2016
Update: student protests on campus today
To all staff and students
A group of about 80 protesting students entered our premises and worked their way through campus, exhorting Health Sciences students and workers in our buildings to join the protest and attend the mass meeting on upper campus.
They have left the premises, and proceeded to upper campus to the meeting.
We wish to thank the staff for handling the situation in a calm and respectful manner.
We will keep you updated on any developments.
21 September 2016
PICKET PROTEST AT PARLIAMENT
‘END THE CRISIS IN HIGHER EDUCATION’
1-3PM THURSDAY 22 SEPTEMBER 2016
The Faculty/UCT has received official permission to hold a PICKET PROTEST outside the gates of Parliament on Thursday, 22 September 2016 from 1-3pm.
We will call on government to end the crisis in higher education.
For Faculty of Health Sciences staff and students who wish to participate:
Departs from campus (in front of Anatomy building) from 12:00
Departs from city at 14:30
A limited number of placards will be made available. Please feel free to make your own.
Safety and Security is a priority
60 marshals will be on duty
Volunteer marshals to meet at 3pm, 21 September, Frances Ames
Picket protest tips to be provided on print
Bring water and light snacks
Enquiries: Reece Brooks 021 406 6638 cell no. 083 643 2328
20 September 2016
Update: Suspension of student activity for 20 and 21 September 2016
Dear staff and students
Further to our communication earlier today, the Vice-Chancellor has declared that all student activity be suspended for 20 and 21st September.
The deanery reiterates the rights of all students, including students in clinical years, to participate in peaceful protest. The deanery also recognises the rights of students who do not wish to participate in protests. We urge staff and students to respect each other’s rights, particularly the rights of patients to care.
All other functions of the Faculty will continue.
We will keep you posted on developments.
18 September 2016
Suspension of Classes, Lectures and Tests on Monday 19 September 2016
Dear staff and students
I am writing to inform you that the University of Cape Town executive has made the difficult decision to suspend classes, lectures and tests on Monday, 19 September. The Faculty of Health Sciences Library and other UCT Libraries will also be closed. Please note that Health Science Faculty students based in hospitals and clinical service outside the university premises should still attend to their responsibilities.
The Minister of Higher Education and Training is scheduled to announce the government decision on the level of fees for 2017 at 11AM on Monday 19 September. There has been a call by a number of student organisations for demonstrations to shut down universities to coincide with the announcement. Although we do have campus security in place, it is not possible to protect every class and every venue on university premises. The university has therefore taken this precautionary measure to guarantee the safety of the students and prevent possible damage to property.
As the university remains open, staff are expected to come to work.
As the dean of the faculty of health sciences, I request that we work together to find solutions to the funding of higher education. I expect that we will all continue, even when exercising our rights to protest, respect the rights of all who work and learn in our university. We will at all times uphold the rights of patients to a high level of care.
An update on the status of lectures for the rest of the week will be announced during the course of Monday 19 September 2016.
Bongani M Mayosi
16 September 2016
All lectures suspended for today
Dear staff and students
Please be advised that all lectures are suspended for today. Clinical training will continue.
Professor Bongani Mayosi