First Year Students, we want to hear from you

Have your say by completing the BUSSE survey. Make your voice count. Take the Survey here

Posted in News | Leave a comment


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. (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:

Your support is as always highly appreciated. 

Posted in News | Leave a comment

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 (  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 or alternatively at 021 959 6407 

Posted in News | Leave a comment


Student Learning Brochure

Blackboard Student Guide

Student Learning Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Academic Survival Kit – ASK

Posted in News | Leave a comment

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 … Continue reading

More Galleries | Leave a comment

Student partnerships are the future

ENGAGING: Dr Thulani Mkhize (green dress), a Senior Lecturer in English Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, as well as staff members and students of Fundani’s Student Learning Unit who organised the Student Learning/Student Feedback Symposium.

In order for student partnerships to be successful, South African universities have to embark on listening campaigns, opening up dialogue with students on curriculum reform to reflect linguistic diversity.

This view was shared by an English Studies expert during this week’s Student Learning/Student Feedback Symposium hosted by Fundani’s Student Learning Unit on the Bellville Campus.

Dr Thulani Mkhize, a Senior Lecturer in English Studies from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, who delivered the keynote address under the title, The role of a university in creating and promoting student partnerships.

Mkhize said that due to the increased number of African students who entered universities after 1994, the South African higher education landscape is characterised by unprecedented linguistic and cultural diversity. In contrast, English and Afrikaans were the dominant languages and cultures in the country’s tertiary institutions to the negation of the indigenous language.

“Yet, when one looks at the demographics of the South African university student population, these linguistic and cultural practices can be quite alienating for the majority of students,” she argued. “Thus, it becomes clear to black students entering universities previously designed for white students, that they are entering a space not made with them in mind, even well after democracy.”

She observed that although the nation had been politically decolonised, many of its institutions remain systematically unchanged to reflect a multicultural and multilingual society that “honours the linguistic and cultural rights of all its people; hence the 2015 #FeesMustFall and #RhodesMustFall movements”.

She concluded that student partnerships with African students at the forefront was a prerequisite for “teaching and learning to take place from an African context as a point of departure”.

Fundani’s Director, Prof Monwabisi Ralarala, said that while student feedback was important to consider during the symposium, lecturers’ feedback was equally important too.

Written by Kwanele Butana


Provides coverage for the Business and Management Sciences and Education Faculties, Student Affairs Department and Cape Town and Mowbray Campuses.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

The 2nd Annual FUNDANI CHED Student Learning/Student Feedback Symposium, 2 October 2019 SARETEC Bellville

Co-creating decolonised learning and teaching spaces: toward student partnerships.


Dear Colleagues

Increasingly, higher education institutions are exploring new approaches to engage students in the learning and teaching process. Working with students as partners has shown potential for strengthening student-staff engagements and partnerships, as well as opening up spaces for co-creation. (Bovill, Cook-Sather, Felten, Millard & Moore-Cherry (2016).  In instances where course content and development, structure, and pedagogy have been viewed mostly as the responsibility of the lecturer, co-creating learning and teaching becomes layered and complex (Brooman, Darwent, & Pimor, 2015). This often leaves the student voice as under-represented, under-researched and under-theorised. Against this background, we welcome abstract submissions that explore students becoming partners in learning and teaching and would like to invite academic staff, support units and students to jointly present at this symposium.


Bovill, Catherine & Cook-Sather, Alison & Felten, Peter & Millard, Luke & Moore-Cherry, Niamh. (2016). Addressing potential challenges in co-creating learning and teaching: overcoming resistance, navigating institutional norms and ensuring inclusivity in student–staff partnerships. Higher Education. 71. 195-208. 10.1007/s10734-015-9896-4.

Brooman, Simon & Darwent, S & Pimor, Alexandra. (2014). The student voice in higher education curriculum design: is there value in listening?. Innovations in Education and Teaching International. 52. 1-12. 10.1080/14703297.2014.910128.

Please find attached the announcement and call for abstracts for the 2ND ANNUAL FUNDANI CHED STUDENT LEARNING UNIT SYMPOSIUM to be held on the 02 OCTOBER 2019 at SARETEC BELLVILLE.   Abstracts are welcomed from academic staff and support units who work in partnership with students. This announcement may be shared amongst CPUT colleagues, students and interested parties.  The closing date for abstract submission is 13 September 2019. The Symposium Theme :  Co-creating decolonised learning and teaching spaces: toward student partnerships.


§  Dialogical Engagements: student partnerships and feedback practices

§  (Dis)Entangled Spaces in learning and teaching partnerships

§  Literacies for co-creating knowledge sharing

Presentation formats could be as follows:

§  Poster presentation

§  Paper presentations (15 presentation and 5 minute Q&A)

§  Freestyle Reflections: poetry/spoken word/artistic expression (10 minute and 5 minute Q&A)

§  Panel (20 minute panel presentation & 10 minute Q&A)

§  Workshops (50 minutes & 10 minutes discussion)

Register and Submit an Abstract HERE(200-250 words) or sent to Dr Xena Cupido at

Abstract Worksheet

How to write an abstract

For more information contact: Dr Xena Cupido

Your support is as always highly appreciated. 

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Celebrating Woman’s Month

At the Student Learning Unit we take this opportunity to commemorate Women’s Month in August as a tribute to the more than 20 000 woman who paved the way to freedom by marching to the Union Buildings on 9 August 1956 in protest against the extension of Pass Laws to women. This month we wish to celebrate the young women peer tutors, teaching assistants, mentors, lab and research assistants who give of their time to support and facilitate the learning of others. To you we say wenze kakuhle.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Mathematics group consultation

First year mathematics students at Bellville campus meeting with a mathematics consultant

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Mathematics group consultation

Posted in News | Leave a comment