USB News

How USB aims to #FlattenTheCurve on the spread of Corona

  • MAR 19
  • Tags COVID-19; Coronavirus; flatten the curve; online education; webinars; lockdown; blended learning

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What does the outbreak of COVID-19 mean for USB?

Please read the official communication about the national lockdown from our Deputy Registrar regarding students and faculty.

Official announcement

Students and classes

Since the announcement of the lockdown, various challenges have made it unreasonable to proceed with online lectures and assessments. Such challenges are access to bandwidth, loadshedding, connectivity, movement constraints and personal spaces which may prevent uninterrupted participation in remote learning environments.

Therefore, USB has decided to suspend all academic programmes and all forms of assessment. All remote teaching and assessment will be suspended from 20h00 on 26 March 2020 for the duration of the lockdown, which ends at midnight on 16 April. We will then reevaluate the situation. We remain committed to the completion of the academic programme for this year, and a revised schedule will be established and communicated in due course.

We continue to make future provisions for online facilities, such as remote learning through our Blended Learning format. Programme-specific arrangements regarding classes will be communicated via our Learning Hub platform.

Events

It is an unfortunate reality that we have had to postpone each of our events involving physical interaction until further notice. These events include USB Leader’s Angle events, Alumni Masterclasses and Networking events, as well as other in-person talks, workshops and seminars. This decision from USB and Stellenbosch University (SU) has not been made lightly. We have invested much time and finance into creating these experiences, and understand the disappointment of those who were looking forward to each occasion, making time in their busy schedules to attend. We also understand the importance of these events within the USB community, and the loss incurred from these cancellations.

Staff 

With the latest legislation from government, staff will be working from home. This requires that they are fully connected and available to respond to e-mails and phone calls during work hours, ensuring that the operational needs of each USB department can still be met.

With our business school’s commitment to responsible leadership and creating value for a better world in mind, we believe we have taken the best course of action at this point in time. Taking into account the fluidity of the situation, we are constantly reevaluating our strategies to ensure we will exercise best practices in our decisions going forward.

For now, we encourage you to prioritise your health and to do your bit to help us #flattenthecurve.

ABOUT THE VIRUS

What is Coronavirus (COVID-19)? 

According the World Health Organisation (WHO), corona viruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. They are known to cause respiratory infections in humans, ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. 

#FlattenTheCurve 

When there is an outbreak of a disease, there is an inevitable increase in number of people infected over time, and an equally inevitable decrease as the disease is eventually controlled. What matters is how rapidly this process or “curve” takes place.  

Flattening the curve is another way of saying slowing the spread. The epidemic is lengthened, but we reduce the number of severe cases, causing less burden on public health systems. The Conversation/CC BY ND

If there is a sudden spike in the number of people infected, there are more casualties – even if it means the disease will be eradicated more quickly. We should therefore aim to “flatten” the curve in order to reduce the overall harm it causes to our population. The more gradual the increase, the safer everyone will be in the long run. This means we should put every measure in place to prevent the spread and contraction of COVID-19 and prolong these measures for as long as is needed.

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