THE LEARNING Cape Festival, scheduled to take place from August 8 to September 9, was officially launched to the media last week, and is an initiative fully supported by UCT.
"The Learning Cape Festival is aimed at promoting a culture of learning in the Western Cape and the fostering of viable partnerships between the higher educational sector, government and other key stakeholders," said UCT's Dean Of Commerce, Professor Doug Pitt, who is also Convenor of UCT's Project Group on Engagement with the Local Communities.
"We are pleased to have the opportunity of working with our educational neighbours in crafting a series of events which will hopefully serve as the precursor to future collaborative activities aimed at raising the profile of the Western Cape as the site of a dynamic regional learning society," Pitt continued.
Pitt said that while all higher educational institutions in the Western Cape recognised the key role that education played in the economy of the southern tip of Africa, they also realised that much more needed to be done to tackle the region's socio-economic problems on a "co-ordinated and determined basis". "Co-operation between our institutions is consistent with national ambitions for concerted approaches to regional economic and educational need," he explained.
"The Cape is a unique socio-economic 'laboratory' with vast natural physical resources which are paralleled by worrying disparities in wealth and health care. As the provincial and national governments recognise, education is the key to unlocking the human potential of the region and fostering a society based on equity and compassion.
"Working with its sister institutions, UCT is committed to the Festival which showcases important research and teaching activities which are already contributing to general social, cultural and economic betterment and improvement in the Western Cape and nationally," he added.
UCT will be running various projects during the Learning Cape Festival, including the UCT Expo for Young Scientists which takes place in the Jameson Hall from August 13 – 15. The Expo encourages high school learners to display their creativity in the field of science and technology, and the public is welcome to view the projects on August 14 between 16h00 and 18h00.
Grade 11 learners who are interested in the areas of engineering and the built environment and keen to investigate their study options, are invited to attend a Built Environment or Engineering Open afternoon on August 14 or 21.
Another innovative project at UCT is a "live" art exhibition staged by SHARP (Students HIV and AIDS Resistance Programme) where students express their thoughts, dreams, fears and opinions about HIV and AIDS in South Africa. Their expression will be through a number of different art forms, including sculpture, painting, graffiti, drama, dance and music.
There are many more UCT events outlined in the festival's programme. For more information, please contact Mary Hilton on 650-5817.