South Africa: Update On UCT Inclusivity Survey

Dear colleagues

I write to share briefly on the findings of the InclusionIndex Inclusivity Survey that was developed by Aephoria, an external service provider, and conducted in May this year. The report is available as well as an executive summary.

The executive wishes to once again thank all staff members who participated in the anonymous survey. We also thank, in particular, the survey working group members for their support.

Initial findings from the survey indicate that there is an average level of inclusivity and sense of institutional belonging, while staff generally feel that they fit in at the University of Cape Town (UCT). Staff also largely have a good relationship with their individual line managers and acknowledge that leadership within the university prioritises inclusion and emphasises the importance of transformation at UCT.

As reported earlier this year, there are also some areas that need work. The data show that many staff feel bullied at UCT, some feel discriminated against, while others are still dealing with the trauma experienced during the tumultuous years of 2015-2017 and are suffering from depression and anxiety as a result. This decrease in emotional well-being resonates with the alarming trend of mental health concerns worldwide. (We remind you that the UCT Employee Health and Wellness Programme is a confidential work/life resource/benefit that is available at no cost to staff members who would like to receive counselling.) Transparency in recruitment, development and advancement processes was also highlighted as a concern.

Concrete strategies to address the areas of concern will be released by February 2020. At that time we will also commence further leadership engagements, as well as one-on-one faculty and departmental feedback opportunities.

Sincerely

Professor Loretta Feris

Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Transformation

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