The University of Cape Town (UCT) is South Africa's oldest university, and is one of Africa's leading teaching and research institutions.
We are committed to academic freedom, critical scholarship, rational and creative thought, and free enquiry. It is part of our mission to ensure that these ideals live; this necessarily requires a dynamic process of finding the balance between freedom and responsibility, rights and obligations, autonomy and accountability, transparency and efficiency, and permanence and transience; and of doing this through consultation and debate.
UCT's success can be can be measured by the scope of study it offers and the calibre of its graduates.The university has six faculties - Commerce, Engineering & the Built Environment, Law, Health Sciences, Humanities and Science - which are supported by UCT's Centre for Higher Education Development, which addresses students' teaching and learning needs.
Among its more than 100 000 alumni are the late Professor Christiaan Barnard, the world-renowned heart surgeon, and three Nobel laureates, Sir Aaron Klug, the late Professor Alan MacLeod Cormack and JM Coetzee.
UCT also has more than 60 specialist research units that provide supervision for postgraduate work and is home to more than a quarter of South Africa's A-rated researchers - academics who are considered world leaders in their fields.
UCT continues to work towards its goal to be Africa's leading research university.
Faculty staff and students (by QS)
|Number of academic faculty staff||Number of students||Number of international students|
|In total||1733||In total||19593||In total||3325|
The University of Cape Town was founded in 1829 as the South African College, a high school for boys.
The College had a small tertiary-education facility that grew substantially after 1880, when the discovery of gold and diamonds in the north - and the resulting demand for skills in mining - gave it the financial boost it needed to grow.
The College developed into a fully fledged university during the period 1880 to 1900, thanks to increased funding from private sources and the government.
During these years, the College built its first dedicated science laboratories, and started the departments of mineralogy and geology to meet the need for skilled personnel in the country's emerging diamond and gold-mining industries.
Another key development during this period was the admission of women. In 1886 the Professor of Chemistry, Paul Daniel Hahn, convinced the Council to admit four women into his chemistry class on a trial basis. Owing to the exceptional standard of work by the women students, the College decided to admit women students permanently in honour of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in 1887.
The years 1902 to 1918 saw the establishment of the Medical School, the introduction of engineering courses and a Department of Education.
UCT was formally established as a university in 1918, on the basis of the Alfred Beit bequest and additional substantial gifts from mining magnates Julius Wernher and Otto Beit. The new university also attracted substantial support from well-wishers in the Cape Town area and, for the first time, a significant state grant.