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Confirmed students permitted to return to UKZN campuses under level three lockdown

Since the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology's announcement on the return of a maximum of one-third of the student population, UKZN leadership has been carefully planning for the event.

The logistics and planning for the return of the students and staff are complex and have to be undertaken both carefully and systematically, especially in light of the rapidly increasing confirmed daily cases of COVID-19 nationally over the last two weeks.

We do not want to jeopardise the health and safety of our students and staff, and therefore a carefully mitigated approach that minimises risk was sought.

The following categories have now been confirmed for a return to campus under level three lockdown:

a. Final year undergraduate students in laboratory-based programmes, who are on track to complete their degrees in this academic year;b. Students in programmes that are clinically based (lists determined by the College of Health Sciences);c. Students with disabilities;d. SRC executive;e. Student Residence Assistants, Student Life Officers and Residence Assistant Officers;f. Undergraduate students that have not been able to access Moodle and who are not already included in (a) and (b). Those to be included are determined by analysis of data on access to Moodle by ICS and Institutional Intelligence;g. Post-graduate students who require access to laboratory equipment. Each college has compiled lists;h. Honours' and post-graduate diploma students whose work is laboratory-based; andi. Students appointed as laboratory demonstrators for the students in the programmes that will be eligible to return to campus.

The plan is that the first cohort of students under level three lockdown will return to campus on Monday, 29 June 2020. Colleges will be contacting individual students during the course of the next week to inform them of their eligibility to return to campus. If the student has not been contacted, the student must not return to campus. There will be stringent regulations with regard to the access of campuses and residences, and therefore students who are not in possession of a permit will be denied access.

Students who are at high risk of infection due to health issues, including co-morbidities, are encouraged not to return to campus and to continue with online teaching and learning. There will be no contact teaching and learning (ie, physical lectures), except in laboratories. We encourage all students who can study online to continue to do so and not return to campus.

The colleges will be staggering the return of students to campus. Students must take note of the dates stipulated to them for their return to campus. Due to health and safety measures, and ensuring compliance with regulations, students may not necessarily be accommodated in the residence that they were allocated to in pre-lockdown. Eligible students will be informed of their assigned residences. Students returning to university-owned and leased residences will be expected to self-isolate for a period of 14 days on returning to the residence. Further details on health screening and training of students on health and safety etiquette will be provided shortly.

Students who have been contacted by the colleges and have been informed that they are eligible to return to the campuses from Monday, 29 June 2020, will have to apply for permits.

We look forward to welcoming our students back to campus. However, we must emphasise that the return to campus will come with the expectation of a strong sense of personal and community responsibility, particularly with respect to compliance with regulations and adherence to all health and safety protocols. Every student returning to campus will have to consent and adhere to a strict code of conduct. Further details in this regard will be shared in the coming days.

Issued by: Normah Zondo, Acting Executive Director : Corporate Relations

For further information, please contact:Indu Moodley, Media Liaison Officer on (031) 260 7213 / 083 555 9508 or at [email protected]