Effective date of the policy:

2 February 2007

Last updated:

28 February 2012

Policy owner:


Policy approved by:


Table of contents

This policy applies to UCT student computing labs and to other UCT computer facilities. Additional rules may be laid down by the Dean of the faculty that is responsible for that specific student computing lab. These additional rules must be displayed in the applicable student computing lab. The General Rules and Policies (handbook) contains an exhaustive list and is the authoritative source for all UCT student computing labs and computer facilities.


Student Computing Services

Applicable to

All UCT staff and students who need or have access to student computing labs at UCT.

Policy summary

This policy outlines the roles, responsibilities, rules and regulations which apply when making use of student computing labs at UCT.

Policy details
  1. Access to student computing labs


Access to specific student labs is established according to the courses for which a student is registered.


Access is granted on registration via encoding of the student/staff ID card.


Users are not allowed to open lab doors for any other person to enter, or to lend their student/staff ID card to any other person in order for that person to gain access to the computer labs. Disciplinary action will be taken against anyone infringing upon this rule.


Stolen or lost cards must be reported to Security Systems Administration who will provide a temporary access card. Access will not be allowed without the student/staff ID card or the temporary access card. Access in the case of a lost or stolen card is at the discretion of the Lab Administrator, and requires the student or staff member to produce positive identification.


  1. Accounts


Lab accounts are only valid for one academic year. At the end of this period the lab accounts will be closed and all data cleared. No exceptions will be accepted during this period.


The Lab Administrator will not be able to create student accounts. Staff and students are, therefore, required to enable their user accounts well in advance of their lab session.


A network user directory of 50MB on the G: drive will be allocated per student, per lab. The MB allocation in one lab is not the same as all other labs.


It is recommended that student and staff create backups of their work and that old files are deleted. Network directories are checked periodically, and users may be warned if their user directory is becoming full. ICTS is not responsible for loss of data.


Student accounts:



A student is responsible for his or her account and its password, which must be kept secure.



A student is responsible for any actions that take place from a computer logged in with his or her account.



A student must log off prior to leaving the lab.



A student shall not give other people access to his or her account.



No student may make use of any user account other than those they have been issued with by UCT.



Student accounts are not transferable.


  1. Booking the lab for teaching purposes


To check the lab status and/or make a booking at the lab of your choice, click here.


Academic staff wishing to use a student computing lab for teaching purposes should book it at the beginning of the year or semester as availability is limited. Booking details that change must be forwarded to the Lab Administrator immediately, so that cancelled sessions can be rescheduled. Request a SCS lab booking


Booking conflicts will be referred to the Faculty concerned, who will then prioritise the booking(s) accordingly.


Check the following lab information before making a booking:

  • Opening and closing times
  • Location
  • Software available
  • Internet access needed
  • Whether a data projector is installed or available
  • How many workstations are needed to accommodate your class
  • Printing facilities available
  • Any other resources required

NOTE: If you are not a registered UCT student, you will need to complete a BAS03a form for each participant that needs to use the venue. If the venue is to be used outside the normal working hours, the Faculty or its representative needs to give approval.


The course convenor must check that all students who will be attending their lab sessions are correctly registered on PeopleSoft and have valid UCT user accounts.


  1. Printing


Students must purchase print credits before they can make use of printing facilities in the student computing labs. Xerox print/photocopy credit machines are located in the following areas:

  • Knowledge Commons
  • Medical Library
  • Built Environment Library


The printing facilities in student computing labs are outsourced to Altron. Report any printing problems to the Bytes Document Solutions MPS Call Centre Tel: (021) 650 4815 Email: uctmps@altron.com


  1. Software


Users may not copy any unlicensed software, games or chat software onto the lab computer which they may be using. If licensed software is copied onto the user's network area, ICTS will not provide support for problems experienced with such software.  See the rules on student conduct for more information.


Users may not play computer games or participate in online chat rooms in the lab.


There is no support for non-UCT software such as Yahoo mail, Hotmail, etc.


Standard UCT Software



A standard UCT-defined suite of software is installed in all ICTS-managed computing labs. Users wishing to have non-standard specialist software installed in a lab must contact the Lab Administrator who will forward the request to the lab owner. A request for non-standard software is also subject to the space available on the lab servers.



ICTS does not support non-standard software.



Some software available on the network has a limited number of concurrent user licences. This means that access to a required package may not be available if all licences are in use at a particular time.


  1. Viruses


Users should scan home directories and disks regularly for viruses.


Lab computers are configured to run the latest virus scanners and users may not interrupt this process.


  1. General rules


Neither food nor drink may be brought into a student computing lab.


Animals, with the exception of guide dogs, are not allowed in student computing labs.


A student shall not make a noise, cause a disturbance, use a cellular phone, hold meetings or demonstrations within a student computing lab, or behave in such a manner that would interfere with or impact negatively on study and research activities of student computing lab users.


Access to a student computing lab is granted by the Dean or nominee, in terms of the stated usage policy for that student computing lab.


UCT's student computing labs exist for teaching and learning activities and these activities always enjoy priority over other activities.


A student shall not send a broadcast message.


A student shall not send an unsolicited bulk email. The definition of unsolicited bulk email (also referred to as "Unsolicited Commercial Email (UCB)" or "Spam") is to mass-mail un-requested identical or nearly identical email messages. This shall exclude all messages sent for the purposes of legitimate research, teaching and learning activities.


Tampering with the lab facilities is not permitted and specifically:



A student may not install or run any computer virus, worm or program on a student computing lab computer.



A student may not tamper with student computing lab hardware, CMOS settings, software, the network, data or any UCT server.



A student may not attempt to open computers, access their components, or remove any part of a computer from a student computing lab.



Tampering with or circumventing access control and security systems is strictly forbidden.


Use of the computer facilities by a student for financial gain, whether directly or indirectly is prohibited.


Playing computer games is not permitted.


  1. Rules on student conduct


No student shall make, distribute, reproduce, copy or make use of any copyright material, without the permission of the author or owner thereof. Included in this definition of copyright material are teaching materials, computer software, printed materials and audio or video recordings.


A student shall comply with any reasonable instruction by a lab assistant, or any other authorised member of UCT staff. Failure to comply, or aggressive or confrontational behaviour toward Lab Assistants, other staff or fellow students will result in disciplinary action.


A student shall, at all times, have in his/her possession the student ID card issued by UCT in his/her name and shall produce it upon request by any authorised member of the UCT staff.


No student shall make unauthorised entry into or use of UCT facilities.


No student shall make use of any UCT facilities for illegal purposes or for purposes detrimental to UCT.


No student shall commit acts of theft or damage in respect of UCT property or the property of any person on the UCT campus. For the purposes of this rule, the possession of known stolen property shall be deemed to constitute an act of theft.


A student shall not act or threaten to act in a manner which interferes with the work or study of any member of staff or student in general, and specifically in relation to the person's race, gender, beliefs or sexual orientation.


A student shall not abuse or otherwise interfere with any member of UCT's community in a manner which contributes to the creation of an intimidating, hostile or demeaning environment for staff or students in general, and specifically in relation to the person's race, gender, beliefs or sexual orientation.


No student shall obstruct, disrupt, or interfere with the teaching, research, administrative, custodial or other functions of UCT.


A student shall make use of waste bins provided.


A student shall comply with the rules laid down for the use of any student computing lab.

Policy violations 

Should a student contravene the rules in this policy, the Lab Administrator or his/her nominee may at his/her discretion apply the penalties listed below.


A student may appeal in writing against the decision of a Lab Administrator to the Dean of the Faculty or the Head of the Section responsible for the student computing lab.


The Dean or his/her nominee may revoke a student's authorisation to use a student computing lab.

Penalties applicable to transgression of student computing lab rules


1st offence

2nd offence

3rd offence



Account disabled for 3 days*

Account disabled for 14 days*

Account disabled and offence escalated to the Dean**

2.1; 2.2; 2.3; 3.2;
4.1; 4.5


Account disabled for 7 days*

Account disabled and offence escalated to the Dean**

3.3; 3.4


Account disabled 1 day for every 5 mails to a maximum of 7 days*

Account disabled and offence escalated to the Dean**



Account disabled and offence escalated to the Dean**

4.4; 4.3.2; 4.3.4


Account disabled and escalated to the University Student Discipline Tribunal

4.3.1; 4.3.3


* The period for which accounts are disabled is measured in elapsed days.
** Offences are escalated to the Dean or his/her designate and the student is required to state their case in writing.
A full list of University rules is available in Handbook 3, "General Rules and Policies"