Theme: Vulnerabilities, Disruptions and Possibilities for the Future Beyond Covid-19

Call for Abstracts

Every art and every inquiry, and similarly every action and pursuit, is thought to aim at some good; and for this reason the good has rightly been declared to be that at which all things aim – Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Book I.

Never before, in the post-colonial era, in South Africa (and globally), has the current generation of lecturers, administrators, students, managers and non-academic staff members been challenged at a personal, intellectual, emotional, psychological and social level. The outbreak of coronavirus (“Covid-19”) has put a tremendous pressure on higher education institutions to shift from traditional F2F teaching and learning to predominantly online pedagogies. Many of us were caught by surprise, as we were not adequately prepared for the exigencies associated with the abrupt change to remote teaching and learning (RTL).

The pandemic presents the world with a clear picture of the inherent blind spots of mass education and the complications associated with the principle of universal education upon which it is constructed (Soudien 2020). In other words, the historical disadvantages and disparities/realities were magnified during Covid-19 (Ngogi 2020; Parker, Morris & Hofmeyer 2020; Sayed & Singh 2020). This is a double tragedy to countries that are already deeply challenged by issues of access to education, economic discrepancies, infrastructure development, poverty reduction, management of natural resources, and health services (Ayega 2020). Notwithstanding their mundane structural inequalities and socio-political realities, lecturers and students at CPUT, were rendered vulnerable, anxious and uncertain.

Brantmeier (2013) describes pedagogy of vulnerability as an approach to education that invites vulnerability and deepened learning through process of self and mutual disclosure on the part of co-learners in the classroom. To apprehend the situations of vulnerability we need to build resilience into our educational systems. Resilience as persistence, adaptability, and transformability of complex adaptive social-ecological systems is the focus, clarifying the dynamic and forward-looking nature of the concept (Folke 2016). This view is captured well by Ngogi (2020) who argue that beyond Covid-19 we must “never set ourselves back to the normal frame of reference”.

Online and remote engagement afforded lecturers and students with technological skills and resources (audio-video presentations, online assessment, internet connectivity and devices) that would be instrumental to the achievement of CPUT’s goal of an “one smart CPUT” (From the Vice-Chancellor, Chris Nhlapo’s Inaugural Address, April 2019). CPUT professed that no student should be left behind, in line with the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Blade Nzimande’s pronouncement: “We are doing this to make assurances to South Africa today that no single student or institution will be left behind in our strategy.” Nevertheless, two questions, come to mind: “did we really live up to the notion of leaving no student behind?” and “what were our experiences?”

We need to pursue an inquiry that will examine the social reality of our lived experience and strategically sponsor deliberations on the course of action beyond the Covid-19 pandemic. Therefore, the Student Learning Unit calls for the exigencies of Covid-19 RTL to be explored. Its 3rd Academic Support Symposium is aimed at giving both lecturers and students an opportunity to discuss their lived experiences of RTL and to determine how the accumulated knowledge and wisdom will facilitate future innovative pedagogies. The symposium is

organised around the theme: Vulnerabilities, Disruptions and Possibilities for the Future Beyond Covid-19.


  • Vulnerabilities and Disruptions – the lived student and staff experience during Lockdown 
  • Innovative Pedagogies – Staff and student responsiveness to remote teaching and learning; developing pedagogic relationships
  • Possibilities for the Future beyond Covid-19 – think beyond tomorrow – what does tomorrow look


Aristotle. (1999). Nicomachean Ethics. Translated by Kitchener: Batoche Books.

Ayega, D., 2020. Pandemics and Education in Sub-Saharan Africa: Invest in Education Technology. American Journal of Educational Research, 8(8), pp.581-586.

Brantmeier, E.J. (2013). Pedagogy of vulnerability: Definitions, assumptions, and applications. In Lin, J., Oxford, R.,Ƭ Brantmeier, E.J., Re-Envisioning Higher Education: Embodied Pathways to Wisdom and Transformation Information Age Publishing.pp.95-106.

Folke, C., 2016. Resilience (republished). Ecology and Society, 21(4):44. https://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol21/iss4/art44/. (Accessed: 09 October 2020).

Ngogi, E.M., 2020. The Impact of Covid-19 Pandemic on Education: Navigating forward the pedagogy of blended learning. University of Pretoria, South Africa, 5, pp.4-9.

Parker, R., Morris, K. and Hofmeyr, J. (2020). Education, inequality and innovation in the time of COVID-19. Johannesburg: Jet Education.

Sayed, Y & Singh, M. (2020) Evidence and education policy making in South Africa during Covid-19: Promises, researchers and policymakers in an age of unpredictability. Southern African Review of Education, 26(1): 20–39.

Soudien, C., 2020. Complexities of difference and their significance for managing inequality in learning: Lessons from the COVID-19 crisis. Prospects, pp.1-9.

Presentation formats could be as follows:

  • Poster presentation
  • Paper presentations (15 presentation and 5 minute Q&A)
  • Terrace Talks – Themes conversations

Register to attend Here


Registration Opens – 23 October

Deadline for Abstracts – 2 November

Feedback – 6 November 

For more information contact: Dr Xena Cupido email: cupidox@cput.ac.za

Your support is as always highly appreciated. 

Learn more about Student VPN for Blackboard

CPUT will be introducing a new VPN solution (Global Protect VPN) which will replace the current student data allocations, provided by the university. The new VPN solution will allow students to securely access CPUT network resources, at no cost, when off campus. This solution has been successfully implemented within universities both locally and internationally with great success. 

How to Prepare

The GlobalProtect VPN client can be downloaded via the following links:

Iphone Installation

Android Installation

Installation on Laptop/PC

Instructions to download and install the VPN client can be found via the video and VPN installation guide below: 

  • Video to be embedded here <attached>
  • Global Protect Installation Guide (link to installation guide) <attached>

Connecting from Off-Campus 

Once you’ve installed the VPN client, you navigate to the VPN Portal (https://sop.cput.ac.za)  with your device to connect to CPUT online resources.

Which device platforms are supported? 

The GlobalProtect VPN can be installed on the following device platforms: 

  • Android 
  • Windows 
  • Mac OS 
  • iOS (iPhone and iPad) 
  • Linux 

Important Dates 

  • September 2020 – Global Protect VPN available to CPUT students 


If you experience issues using the GlobalProtect VPN, please contact the CTS Service Desk at ctsservicedesk@cput.ac.za or alternatively at 021 959 6407 

Student Learning Unit goes ONLINE…

As the countdown begins to the 1 June 2020 start, the Student Learning Unit has been preparing for an online roll-out. We have developed a few guidelines to help you access our services, hopefully this will help you navigate your way through this new territory. If you wish to access information a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) has been set up which addresses questions that you may have. While this is not an exhaustive list of questions, please feel free to send any further questions you may have and we will add this to the list.

As a lecturer if you would like to appoint a tutor, you may find useful information here: Online Tutor Training .We have developed a similar sheet for Teaching Assistant Training and appointment, you will find important information with regards to the training and appointment of TAs in this document. Tutor Training and Teaching Assistant training will take place online. Once lecturers have submitted the enrolment forms, a link will be sent to all students registered into the training programme

If your students would like a consultation with a lecture in Academic Literacy or Mathematics, a consultation form needs to be completed. Should you require more information please visit anyone of our information portals Student Learning Blackboard page or the Student Learning Blog

UK Space Agency International Partnership Programme (IPP) Scholarships

UK Space Agency International Partnership Programme (IPP) Scholarships for Doctoral studies at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland


The IPP is a programme run by the UK Space Agency that focuses strongly on using the UK space sector’s research and innovation strengths to deliver a sustainable economic or societal benefit to emerging and developing economies around the world. The IPP seeks to use space solutions to make a positive and practical impact on the lives of those living in emerging and developing economies through partnerships with end users in the target countries to increase their capacity to respond to specific challenges. “FireSat” is a joint project funded under the IPP. The project lead is Clyde Space, and the academic partnering institutions are Strathclyde University (Glasgow), Cape Peninsula University (Cape Town), Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST), and the Technical University of Kenya (TUK).

Under the FireSat IPP Project, scholarship are available to eligible candidates for full-time studies at the University of Strathclyde in the field of aerospace engineering.


Candidates must:

  • have a Master’s degree in Engineering, preferably in the disciplines of Electrical, Mechanical, Mechatronics or Aerospace engineering
  • be available for full-time studies in Glasgow, Scotland, for the full duration of the scholarship of 3 years
  • be available to commence studies no later than January 2019


The call for applications and application form are linked below:

FireSat Doctoral Scholarships Call November 2018

FireSat Doctoral Scholarships Application Form





Uplifting our communities

The TSCT has been planting the seeds for job creation across South Africa through the Extending the Footprint (EGF) Project . The programme has shown that it is possible to train learners to manufacture their own school dress in one week. The training focuses on the basic clothing production methods used in an industrial environment.

Subsidised services offered on the EGF project:

  • Human capital development- one day workshops , one week and two week training sessions.
  • Product Development- Technical Drawings, pattern-making and grading services.
  • Product testing and analysis – Various fabric testing services.
  • Manufacturing advice – Audits and process improvements (productivity and quality).

For more info:

T: 021 959 6826
E: techstation@cput.ac.za


Pics are of Botrivier and Vyeboom training respectively.


H&M Foundation visit

Erik Bank of the H&M foundation visited the Clothing and Textile Technology Department at Cape Peninsula University of Technology to present the Global Change Award (worth 1million Euros) to students and staff. He was accompanied by 2016 winner Valentina Logobardo.


Mothers unite

Small business participants under the banner of “Mothers Unite” an NPO based in Lavender Hill on the Cape Flats joined the Technology Station Clothing and Textiles on a 2 day programme “INTRODUCTION TO INDUSTRIAL SEWING MACHINE PRACTICE” presented by facilitator Norma Waggenaar.

The participants were able to complete a skirt containing darts, a zip and a waistband to a high quality standard within the 2day period.
For any enquiries or more information
T: 021 959 6826
E: techstation@cput.ac.za 


Paradigm Edition 20

Paradigm Edition 20 Journal for Research and Innovation in Teaching and Learning at CPUT

Now available online


The edition covers a wide range of topics relating to the various RIFTAL research
projects conducted by the writers that contributed to the current issue of Paradigms.
Dippenaar et al., Bangui et al. and Waghid report on the use of ICT in education. Dippenaar et al. are focusing on computer assisted language learning in Chemistry and Education. This is an important project for first year students, as they may struggle with the particular norms of writing at university, and in particular fields of study. Bangui et al. explore the use of instant messaging platforms in supporting tutorials in Engineering.