What a year! From happily traveling to campus to work in our academic environment to being stuck at home with limited contact with the outside world in the wake of COVID-19. As things slowly begin to adjust to a “new normal”, we want to assure you, the Science Postgraduate Students of UCT, that the council of representatives for your academic experience are still active and keen to help you achieve your best, even in these unusual times.
The Science Postgraduate Students’ Council (SPSC) is an annually elected body of postgraduate students. The SPSC council is made of five executive members and Departmental Representatives from each of the twelve departments under the Faculty of Science. The Deputy Dean charged with postgraduate matters is an ex officio member.
Our responsibility is to represent and communicate, the interests of the science postgraduate students in various committees within the Faculty of Science such as the Dean's Advisory Committee (DAC), Transformation Committee, Science Faculty Teaching & Learning Committee (SFT&LC), etc., where the students' voices need representation. In addition to this, the council meets regularly, sometimes with the Dean and Senior Management across the university to discuss matters related to postgraduate studies, and to bring to their notice any academic and socio-economic challenges the postgraduate students may be experiencing.
The SPSC also organizes various events such as the Postgraduate Orientation, the Welcome Function, Science Postgraduate Showcase, the Annual Science Symposium, and Annual General Meeting (AGM). The symposium provides an atmosphere where science postgraduates students' studying at Masters and PhD level showcase their work through oral and poster presentations. We also do this in collaboration with other universities, e.g. Stellenbosch University. The AGM is where a new council is elected annually by fellow postgraduate students in the Science Faculty for the following academic year.
In summary, we are a community and always strive to create opportunities for science postgraduate students to interact through academic and social events. Our mission, as the SPSC, is to assist you in achieving your professional and academic goal by providing much-needed support and organizing a variety of events & engagement throughout the year as mentioned earlier. Our events are usually advertised via Posters, VULA (MYUCT email), and departmental representatives. We are also active on social media (links are below). We encourage you to follow us on social media and to be on the lookout for emails with dates and times of our events for 2020.
We hope that you will also take the opportunity to make use of other resources that are offered outside the Faculty of Science; such as writing workshops organized by the Office for Postgraduate Studies, career advice through the Careers Service Office, funding opportunities through the Postgraduate Funding Office and Research Common Space provided by the University Library (this space is specially dedicated to postgraduate masters and PhD students). We also urge you to participate in various societies within your respective departments and the university at large, to ensure that your postgraduate journey is as meaningful and memorable as possible.
However, for this model to work, postgraduate students themselves have to participate and engage with us and their departmental representatives. We are still hopeful about this year, we believe we can all work together to make the Science faculty a home that represents us all.
We wish you all the best with your courses, research, publications, conferences, and submissions. We would also like to congratulate those of you who will be graduating this year.
Should you have any queries, personal concerns and/or suggestions on how the council can enhance our visibility on campus do not hesitate to email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
To enable you to know the entire team that represents the SPSC, here is the list of executives. The executive of the SPSC for 2020/21 consists of the following people. They commenced their work in November 2020 and their term of office will run until end of October 2020 when the newly elected council takes over for 2020/21 term.
Unfortunately, owing to COVID-19, we are unable to arrange group meetings and we will be unable to host events where we meet in person. However, online platforms can be used in a versatile way for quizzes, seminars, etc. Stay in touch with us on social media for news and events.