thinking beyond

Communiqué to the CUT Community: Update on CUT's readiness to complete the 2020 academic year

Dear CUT Community

I trust that you are well under these ongoing challenging circumstances.

You may have noted that CUT has recently been classified in an address by the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology (HEST), as at high-risk in completing the 2020 academic year successfully. I am aware that this announcement may have caused anxiety and concern amongst staff, students, alumni and the CUT Council. The purpose of this communiqué is to address this matter.

Since Level 4 of the lockdown, universities have been submitting fortnightly monitoring reports to the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), which are used by the DHET to conduct a risk analysis of each university in completing the 2020 academic year successfully. CUT was identified as a medium risk from the onset, due to the various challenges that our students are experiencing related to connectivity.

The information provided by the Minister of HEST was based on data received from universities, which reflected the status as at 6 August 2020. Unfortunately, the CUT report that was submitted to the DHET at the beginning of August 2020, contained incorrect information, which caused the change in our risk rating. CUT Management met with the DHET on 19 August 2020 to discuss this matter, and further strategies and interventions were implemented to ensure reliable reporting by the university.

The DHET indicated on 28 August 2020, that based on the updated report of CUT submitted to the DHET on 25 August 2020, “it is clear that the risk rating for the Central University of Technology should be adjusted to a medium risk rating”, and that the Department recognises the good work done by CUT towards successful completion of the academic year, and looks forward to the continued positive collaboration with the university in this endeavour”.

The CUT Management Team, in collaboration with the SRCs and organised labour, are attending to the areas that require further attention, of which the main challenge remains the connectivity of a smaller percentage of our students. Renewed strategies were implemented to ensure that these students are supported in their studies. We remain committed to complete the 2020 academic year, and Management remains grateful to each student and staff member for your commitment to walk the extra mile, despite many challenges and stresses along the way. Remember to reach out if you need support, and be assured that you are not alone. Together, we can help each other to survive this pandemic, and acquire valuable academic and mental skills. Take care of yourself.

Kind regards / Ditumediso tse mofuthu / Vriendelike groete

Prof. Henk de Jager
Vice-Chancellor and Principal

Download the VC communique, 29 August 2020 (PDF)

Uploaded: 30 August 2020
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