He added that Aspen would also like to commend TUT for their efforts in ensuring that the disruption of the academic year is kept to a minimum, through their remote learning programs during this unprecedented pandemic.”
Professor Lourens van Staden, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of TUT said, “The generous donation by Aspen Pharmacare will enable our top-achieving, but financially-needy students in Pharmaceutical Sciences to connect, collaborate and enrich their learning experiences, particularly during this time where teaching and learning has to take place remotely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.” Prof van Staden added that, “Through this donation Aspen Pharmacare is becoming an important part of the people’s university that makes knowledge work.”
The laptops were handed over under strictly controlled hygiene and safety protocols. As TUT is a contact university, the focus has been on developing institutional ICT infrastructure for on-campus learning, teaching and assessment. Therefore, there has been no mechanism for providing laptops and/or tablets for students. The devices donated by Aspen have been earmarked for previously disadvantaged students who are excelling in Pharmaceutical Sciences in the Faculty of Science.
Online teaching and learning commenced on 30 June 2020 as part of the University’s emergency Remote Multimodal Teaching, Learning and Assessment Plan approved by the Department of Higher Education & Training (DHET). Unfortunately, based on recent survey results, the majority of TUT students do not have devices, such as laptops or tablets to participate in the online teaching and learning phase.