Universities Await Instructions For 2021 Academic Year

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Universities are now waiting for final instructions from the Department of Higher Education on how exactly the 2021 academic year will run. Due to the pandemic, many Universities had to switch to an online learning programme with some Universities indicating that this will continue for 2021. 

Universities are now waiting for final instructions from the Department of Higher Education on how exactly the 2021 academic year will run. Due to the pandemic, many Universities had to switch to an online learning programme with some Universities indicating that this will continue for 2021. 

Professor Ahmed Bawa, CEO of Universities South Africa, said:

Universities are geared to reopen between round about the 8th of March and the first week in April and it's staggered in that way for two reason. One is that the Matric results will only be published on the 23rd of February and secondly because the completion of the academic year 2020 has been staggered. Some universities are still to complete the academic year.

This year's reopening is said to be a different one with some students returning to campuses while engaging with blended learning. Students will use a mix of technology and face to face learning in small group settings. Some students will also continue studying from home, depending on whether they have resources available.

2021 for sure shed a lot of light on some of the difficulties within learning strategies but some, Bawa says, have been resolved. 

As for subsidy, full details on higher education subsidies are yet to be issued but cuts are expected as we head into the future. 

At the University of Kwazulu-Natal, campuses are set to remain closed until 18 January with all academic activities will remain online, and data will continue to be provided as before. UKZN said in a statement, "All College DVC’s and Deans will advise their students about catch-up programmes and make appropriate arrangements for support."

Mangosuthu University has also announced that at home learning will continue and that the University will reopen on Monday, 4 January 2021, for administrative and academic staff members only. The University has postponed the resumption of lectures on 4 January 2021 until further notice.

 University of Cape Town will continue to operate as a low-density campus that relies on physically distanced learning (PDL) in the first semester of 2021, which will start on 15 March 2021. Undergraduate teaching and learning, as well some postgraduate teaching, will use both asynchronous and synchronous online activities as well as face-to-face teaching of small groups in COVID-compliant venues under PDL conditions.

As for the University of Witwatersrand, they will offer many forms of support to help staff and students transition from Emergency Remote Teaching and Learning (ERT&L) to online learning and teaching.

 

 


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