The University of the Western Cape is a national university in the Bellville suburb of Cape Town. Established in 1960, the university is alert to its African and international context as it strives to be a place of quality, a place to grow. It is committed to excellence in teaching, learning and research, to nurturing the cultural diversity of South Africa, and to responding in critical and creative ways to the needs of a society in transition. UWC’s website>>
South Africa’s first center for the promotion of multi-lingualism, where Afrikaans, Xhosa and English speakers are encouraged to learn each other’s languages, opened at UWC in 1999. The University’s long history of promoting multiculturalism in South Africa has presented the Department of Afrikaans-Nederlands with the ideal context to play an extraordinary role: the social upliftment of the disadvantaged through the promotion of their languages.
Initially based only on campus, this project subsequently acquired a mobile bus with 25 computers and a server, running sophisticated math, biology and science programs which expose local students to modern teaching and learning methods. Called the Mocsec (mobile computer support educational center), the bus remains for as long as necessary at schools where results in these subjects are poor.
UWC’s HIV and AIDS Program was established in 2001 in recognition of the significant impact that the HIV and AIDS epidemic has on the university’s student and staff population. The program is involved in a range of different activities. These include capacity building and information workshops for staff and students, acting as a resource centre, free distribution of condoms, provision of free voluntary counseling and testing services, nutritional, medical, psycho-social and spiritual support for students and staff infected and affected by HIV, peer education programs, and an interactive theatre group. The program is also involved in a number of innovative curriculum integration projects on campus, has established a volunteer programs that links students to community organizations working in the field of HIV and AIDS as well as exciting and innovative research projects. Learn more>>
Drawing on its proud experience in the struggle to end apartheid, UWC has been lauded for its role in preparing for sustained change in South Africa. It continues to actively pursue community-oriented projects and programmes which make change happen. Firmly rooted in community, the university places increasing emphasis on exposing students and staff to the needs and demands of the community it serves through a variety of outreach projects and programs. Two of the longest-running and most successful of these are in the fields of primary health care and sciences and mathematics education.