The University of Cape Town

About the University of Cape Town

UCT’s Role

To provide world-class excellence in teaching and research, and superbly trained graduates to support South Africa’s growing economy.  By independent measures, it is the premier research institution in South Africa and throughout Africa *.  Sited in the friendly, advanced infrastructure of the Cape, UCT offers the best “crucible” for learning in a rigorous and yet liberal environment, and makes a significant impact on Africa's training and cultural needs.

An Afropolitan University

Dr Max Price, UCT’s Vice Chancellor, writes in World University News about his mission to position UCT as a significant global player - the place to come to learn about Africa and African issues. More....

The University of Cape Town

Now over 180 years old, UCT numbers five Nobel Laureates amongst its renowned graduates. It is home to 36% of South Africa’s A-rated researchers – regarded as world leaders in their fields by the National Research Foundation - and heads the league table in receipt of research grants funded by statutory funders e.g. FRD and MRC.  72% of its students are studying in the ‘hard’ subjects of Engineering, Sciences, Medicine, Law and Commerce.  It has strong research relations with the major UK Russell League universities at both postgraduate and research levels.

Funding UCT

UCT receives 35% of its budget from the state, the balance being made up from student fees (25%), research contracts, investment income, and donations from supporters in South Africa and around the world. Few grants are made by the state for the student-bridging programmes or capital building projects, thus UCT draws on its operating budget and the help of benefactors to complete its major innovative projects.


UCT has 24,000 students : 30% are postgraduate, 55% black, and over 50% female. 20‰ are international students, the majority hailing from other African countries.  Notably, 40% of Mandela-Rhodes Scholars are at UCT, and 54% of South African Rhodes Scholars at Oxford, came from UCT.

UCT has 5,500 staff, 44% are academic in 6 faculties: Commerce, Engineering & Built Environment, Health Sciences, Humanities, Law, Sciences


Since the 1980’s, UCT pioneered and led in providing well-designed access programmes to talented people who have been disadvantaged by poor schooling.  These farsighted interventions:

  •   Identify talent, ability to succeed, and extra needs of under-prepared school-leavers with specialised tests held throughout South Africa;
  •   Help these students bridge the gap with the academic support;
  •   Provide financial aid to help them live and learn at UCT

* UCT is highest ranked African university in the global world university rankings

SHAWCO graduates
Medical Students in SHAWCO clinic


Jameson Hall
Jameson Hall

Campus Gardens
Campus gardens