University of Cape Town: MSDF funding enables expansion of student success services

The MSDF grant, COVID‑19 Response: Virtual Student Support Services, was awarded to UCT to support additional student success‑related requirements that have emerged with remote teaching and learning.

In the case of the CS, this support enabled the department to extend its reach, as well as meet the growing need and demand for career services. Most recently, this funding has enabled CS to run a focused “Humanities Week”, as well as produce the “UCT Careers Service Presents: Options with my Humanities Degree” video. Both initiatives are aimed at supporting Humanities students as they prepare to enter the working world.

It also enabled CS to employ two additional full‑time careers advisors to support the growing demand for one‑on‑one student support, enabled the development of online resources for students whom the department was unable to reach directly. This, combined with targeted social media campaigns, ensured that additional services and resources could be publicised widely, allowing the department to reach more students than usual.

In the case of the SWS, the funding has enabled the service to render additional support and clinical hours for students during the pandemic. An additional peer counsellor joined the team to strengthen marketing and communication capacity and two additional counsellors were appointed to assist with one‑on‑one counselling and to develop and present a series of webinars and dialogues focusing on mental health and wellness.

“Career services … are essential for upcoming graduates to become qualified candidates for employment.”

“Completing the coursework to graduate is only part of the equation when it comes to university students securing a successful future. Career services, such as preparation for interviews and research around job opportunities, are essential for upcoming graduates to become qualified candidates for employment,” said Dr Thashlin Govender, the programme director at MSDF.

“The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation values the partnership with UCT to provide these services and help better prepare graduates for the world of work.”