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UCT degree, “a ticket to employment”

Careers service findings reveal that UCT degree provides greater employment opportunities for graduates

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UCT vice-chancellor Mamokgethi Phakeng. Image: Esa Alexander (Sowetan LIVE)

This is according to careers service survey findings, which revealed that more than half of the recent University of Cape Town (UCT) graduates have found jobs in the private sector, and one in five are earning more than R20,000 a month.

According to the results of the Quacquarelli Symonds graduate employability rankings, UCT sits top in Africa and in 18th position globally.

Results reveal that around 53% of graduates were working in the private sector, 20% in the public sector and 6% at non-government organisations.

23 % of the institutions’ students were recorded to be earning between R20,000 and R30,000, 16.14% between R15,001 and R20,000, and 5.21% between R5,001 and R7 000.

According to UCT, around 80% of the institutions’ class of 2018 was “meaningfully occupied”, with 44% employed, 31% studying further and nearly 4% self-employed.

A large percentage of students who employed are from the Faculty of Health Sciences, making up 70% and these are medical students. Faculty of Law follows with (63%) of its students employed and with just 11% of 2018 graduates were still seeking work.

Careers service acting director Nawaal Boolay said, “We continue to support these graduates through our online job portal, [one-on-one] career consultations, job expos, and career development workshops,” she said. “Graduates have access to our service for up to three years after graduating.”

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Minister Blade Nzimande on NSFAS Covid-19 contingency plan and disbursements

National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) Covid-19 contingency plan and disbursements

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Full statement : https://bit.ly/2wIJWNz

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Preliminary work on coronavirus vaccine underway in SA

The University of Cape Town together with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research as well as the Biological and Vaccines Institute of Southern Africa started work on the development of a vaccine for the Covid-19 virus

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With the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus which has had a global impact, disrupting not only economies but proving to be one of the grave challenges the health sector has been faced with.

Taking that there is still no cure or vaccine for the Covid-19 virus, scientists as well as researchers from various parts of the world have started preliminary work on a coronavirus vaccine.

South Africa has started work on the development of a vaccine for the Covid-19 virus, Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande has said.

This project is being taken on by the University of Cape Town together with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research as well as the Biological and Vaccines Institute of Southern Africa.

In a response following President Cyril Ramaphosa‘s announcement of a 21-day lockdown to curb the spread of the virus, Nzimande said a number of existing drugs was currently being re-purposed and tested for efficacy, adding current international trials under the co-ordination of the World Health Organisation were being monitored.

Nzimande further added that “Progress is expected in about 18 months” 

“The South African Centre for Epidemiological Modelling and Analysis has been engaging with other data and modelling groups to refine its assumptions to produce an updated model of the spread of the virus.

This is expected to be completed by friday, Nzimande said.

In terms of diagnostic tools, he added it had become urgent to locally manufacture reagents for testing kits.

“These are currently being imported and the lockdown may threaten access to supplies.”

“The Department of Science and Innovation has negotiated the re-purposing of various facilities and labs to respond to the outbreak. The entities in line to assist include Biovac, Centres of Excellence in TB Research, Centre of Proteomic and Genomic Research and Afrigen Bio.”

“Discussions are underway to facilitate accreditation for some of the facilities to produce reagents. The team will be discussing budget requirements this afternoon.”

“For the above projects, the Department of Science and Innovation has already availed R12-million and will redirect an additional R30-million.”

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Moving academic programmes online following rise in Covid-19 cases

Tertiary institutions looking to continue with academic programmes online to ensure students keep up with learning programmes

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IMAGE: By@yomzansi

To ensure that academic activities continue, schools have come up with an initiative to continue with academic activities online to ensure that teaching and learning continue remotely.

Tertiary institutions are looking to follow in the steps of the University of South Africa in terms of offering learning programmes online to ensure that students are not left behind.

We saw the University of Johannesburg, Wits University as well as the University of Cape Town be the first to shutdown academic activities following the president’s announcement to shutdown schools until further notice.

Elijah Moholola, the University of Cape Town (UCT) spokesperson, said they looking to develop a different approach to teaching and learning to keep up with the academic year.

Taking that there are those students who may not afford or have access to data, this also aims to take that into account. Online teaching would have low-tech options so that students with low bandwidth connections could participate fully.

“Arrangements are being made by UCT, Universities SA and service providers for zero-rated mobile data to specific UCT online resources, so that students do not have to carry the costs of remote learning,” Moholola said.

Other universities looking to implement these measures have said:

University of Western Cape spokesperson Gasant Abarder said the university had a well-established institutional learning management system, which enabled students to continue studying remotely.

  • University of Western Cape spokesperson Gasant Abarder said “the university had a well-established institutional learning management system, which enabled students to continue studying remotely.”
  • University of Pretoria (UP) vice-chancellor and principal Professor Tawana Kupe said UP had activated its learning continuity plan through the online teaching and learning channels.

Other: Third case confirmed at UCT

The University of Cape Town has reported its third case of the coronavirus.

“In all three instances, the provincial Department of Health confirmed the cases through the prescribed protocol. The three colleagues involved are in quarantine.

“The Department of Health has also immediately begun contact tracing in the respective cases and those identified as close contacts have been informed and asked to quarantine themselves for two weeks,” Phakeng added.

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