The oldest university in South Africa, the University of Cape Town was founded in 1829 as the South African College. UCT’s vision is to be a world-class African university, and the university’s policy is that members will enjoy freedom to explore ideas, to express these and to assemble peacefully. Part of the university’s mission is to address the challenges facing our society. UCT’s website>>
The University of Cape Town issues an annual report detailing the institution’s social responsiveness, including profiles and analyses of faculty and student civic engagement activities. The Social Responsiveness information hub also summarizes the university’s wide variety of programs and research. Learn more>>
Inkanyezi is a student-founded and -run organization that provides career and higher education mentoring to high school learners from predominantly previously black and coloured disadvantaged peri-urban communities in Cape Town. University students not only provide information and resources, but also offer critical support and encouragement to young people who do not traditionally have access to higher education. Inkanyezi organizers have developed their own curriculum, which they have made open source in order to allow other organizations to use and build upon it. Program participants have gone on to enrolling in universities and some are even attending UCT and working with Inkanyezi as volunteers. It is a member of Ubunye, an umbrella organization at UCT consisting of several student-run community engagement groups. Learn more>>
The Green Campus Initiative (GCI) was started by students and staff from the Botany department in an effort to address climate change. The vision of the GCI is to shift UCT towards a carbon neutral, environmentally conscious institution through the volunteer efforts of staff and students. The Green Campus Initiative acts as a vehicle to create, support and implement green projects driven by the university community that will reduce UCT’s carbon footprint and increase our use of sustainable practices. Learn more>>
The Media School is a student organization that teaches journalism, English language and ‘life-skills’ to roughly 150 learners in grade 9 in four Philippi high schools. The final ‘product’ of the MS program is a semesterly student-produced newspaper at each school, although to get to this level learners are required to complete two curricula, one introductory and one advanced, in which visual literacy as well as writing and photographic skills are introduced and developed. Through this learners gain confidence in their ability to write and pleasure of seeing their work in print. Their English abilities often show marked improvement which improves their academic and employment prospects. Learn more>>
HAICU, or HIV/AIDS Coordination at University of Cape Town, is a prevention, education and support unit on campus set up to address the complex issues arising from the increase in HIV prevalence in South Africa. Read more>>
Township Debating League
Launched in 2003, the overall aim of the TDL is to provide opportunities for the youth of South Africa to develop critical thinking and debating skills through regular training and tournaments, which encourage the youth to become confident, independent-thinking, young leaders who are socially aware. UCT students with backgrounds in debating work with students from under-resourced high schools in the townships who would not otherwise have any extra-curricular enrichment opportunities.