Amathuba New Banner 2024




  • Is Amathuba UCT's name for Brightspace?  

    In  May 2022, we put out a call asking staff and students to submit suggestions to name UCT’s new digital learning platform. UCT's local name for Brightspace is Amathuba.

  • Why is UCT migrating from Vula to Amathuba?

    As part of the Learning Platforms Update Project (LPUP), UCT is building an ecosystem for teaching and learning to enable Vision 2030 in which digital tools and technologies have an enabling role to support teaching on campus in classrooms to blended and online courses and programmes.

    • The management of current risks
      • It is a move from on-campus hosting to cloud hosting (in terms of availability and business continuity)
      • And from local development and upgrades (by a UCT team) to vendor-managed, Software-as-a-Service
      • Long-term sustainability of Sakai and its shrinking market share, therefore needing to evaluate direction and alternatives
    • The future needs of UCT
      • There is an increased focus on blended and online learning, as well as supporting face-to-face teaching
      • There are more demanding requirements for fully online courses, but we don’t want to run multiple platforms (a single solution to meet most requirements well)
      • Higher ed, technology, products and the market are evolving rapidly, therefore a periodic review is essential
  • Where can I ask questions about Amathuba? 

    Join the UCT T&L Team on MS Teams where you can find community engagement and ask questions We will be responding to questions in the Amathuba channel. Contact Helpdesk – for support.

  • How do I know when my courses are migrating from Vula to Amathuba?

    Currently all first-year courses will be migrated during the second half of 2022 to be taught in Amathuba from Semester 1 2023. CILT will communicate information regarding this process in due course. CILT is also in discussion with each faculty to confirm the migration plan for their remaining courses. 

  • Is there a mobile app for Amathuba? 

    Yes, there's a mobile app for students called Brightspace Pulse with notifications. 

  • In Vula, I could assign different people different roles. Can I do this in Amathuba? 

    Yes, you will be able to assign people in the Lecturer, Support Staff, Tutor or Student role on a particular course. There are also special roles such as the Administrator role which will be automatically enrolled in all courses in the department. You may need to request approval for this. 

    From 1 January 2023, all registered students enrolled in a specific course will automatically be allocated the Student role in their respective courses.

  • As an instructor, can I view my site as a student? 

    Yes, Amathuba has a setting to see the student view. 

    View resources.

  • I really like tool X in Vula. Is there an equivalent in Amathuba? 

    Most Vula tools have reasonable equivalents in Amathuba.  Please see Tools Comparison for Vula tools and their Amathuba equivalents. There are likely to be some functionality changes within the tools themselves. 

  • Is it possible to transfer question pools from Vula to Amathuba? 

    Yes, that will be part of the conversion process when the course site is migrated. 

  • Will I be able to import quizzes that we already set up in Vula, as XML files into Amathuba? 

    Quizzes will be converted as part of the Vula > Amathuba conversion process. 

    View resources.

  • Is there a Gradebook in Amathuba? 

    Yes, there is a gradebook type tool.  It is called Grades and works very similarly to Gradebook in Vula. 

    View resources.

  • Can you control when students see material? 

    Yes!  Amathuba allows material to be released both by date (i.e. everyone sees it on a specified date) and by release conditions (i.e. different students gain access to the material at different times depending on conditions set by the lecturer). 

  • What tools integrate with Amathuba? 

    We are working on migrating all the current tools that integrate with Vula, and also new tool integrations such as MS Teams. 

  • Is there any current (or planned) integration with lecture venue camera recordings/live-streams in Amathuba, as with the current Opencast Video tool in Vula?

    Yes, Opencast will work in Amathuba in a similar way to how it works in Vula. 

  • Will there be short DIY videos or screencasts on how to use Amathuba? 

    Yes, there will be.  Initially we are using Brightspace recordings and screencasts for the pilot phase. But after the pilot phase, we will develop some screencasts based on UCT's version of Brightspace, Amathuba. 

  • Will there be guest training on Amathuba? 

    Information for training for guests will be made available

  • Will there be training for administrative staff on Amathuba? 

    Yes. Relevant training will be made available and communicated in due course. Administrative staff for first-year courses will be made available and communicated in due course.  

    View webinars.

  • Can I use LaTex in Amathuba? 

    Yes, LaTeX is supported. There is also a graphical equation editor as an alternative. 

  • What is the plan for short courses? Will we be able to host them in Amathuba? 

    We are pleased to inform you that over the next few months UCT will be implementing Course Merchant, a front-end short course catalogue coupled with a robust and efficient payments and enrolments system, fully integrated with Amathuba.

    Short courses will be publicly viewable on a course catalogue website for prospective students to browse, select and pay their course fees via a payment gateway, and they will then be automatically enrolled in their selected course on Amathuba. Course Merchant will be available to units managing short courses on a cost-recovery basis.

    Short course units were invited to participate in the pilot for when we launch Course Merchant early in 2024. Early pilot participation is now closed.

    Please contact us at for (1) further details about listing your course in the Course Merchant catalogue, (2) migrating your course from Vula to Amathuba or (3) if you require us to create a new short course site for you on Amathuba.

  • What access will I have to my previous courses in Vula after 2025?

    There will be continued access to Vula either in a read-only mode, or an export available after 2025. We have some time to consider the appropriate mechanism for long-term access to Vula course archives. We're aware of the needs around this. 

  • What is going to happen to my project site on Vula that I use for research collaboration?

    Nothing for now. The first focus is on migrating teaching course sites. You can carry on using Vula for all other purposes until there is further communication. The best solution for non-course sites (i.e. project sites) is being investigated. 

  • Will Amathuba be zero-rated? 

    No, Amathuba will not be zero-rated as it is cloud hosted. Zero-rating was only in agreement with the network providers during the national state of disaster and can be changed at any point. All UCT students should have access to campus, which has Wi-Fi access through eduroam. 

  • What will happen to the non-course academic student facing sites on Vula?

    All the non-course academic student facing sites relevant to 1st year students will be migrated to Amathuba by the beginning of Semester 1 2023.

Contact the CILT Helpdesk at CILT Helpdesk or call 021-650-5500 (Monday - Friday 9h00 - 17h00) for any further questions regarding Amathuba, UCT's new digital learning platform.