Help is at hand

18 January 2016

The campus services are there to help you.

Student Orientation and Advocacy Service


021 650 5082

This one-stop shop offers general information on all aspects of campus life, from helping you to find buildings, people or venues, to advice and referrals to other UCT services. Make it your first port of call as you find your way around.

Where? Room 201, Level 2, Computer Science Building (Cissie Gool Plaza), upper campus


Student Wellness Service (SWS)


To make an appointment call 021 650 1017

See more on: Student Wellness Service

This service is there to take care of your health, and offers a comprehensive outpatient service:

Need to see a doctor? Make an appointment to see one of their doctors or nurses.

What about medication? They sell it at cost price on a cash basis, as part of the outcome of a consultation.

How much? You pay R25 up front to see a nurse, unless you are on financial aid (in which case it’s free). A consultation with a doctor will cost medical-aid rates. HIV testing and counselling, medication for sexually transmitted infections and basic contraceptives are also free. Psychological services are charged on a sliding scale from R20 to R120.

Where? In the Ivan Toms Building at 28 Rhodes Ave, Mowbray. There is also a clinic on upper campus, on Level 6 of the Steve Biko Student Building, where you can see a nurse on a walk-in basis for minor complaints (8.30am to 4.30pm).


Disability Service


021 650 2427

Disability Service

Their job is to make the university as a whole as accessible as possible on all levels, including access to venues and lectures, as well as to study material for those with sensory impairments.

Where? Level 4, Steve Biko Students’ Union building (one floor above the Food Court, in the building next to the main Upper Campus Library, and one floor down from SHAWCO and the Student Societies offices). Access is via the lift or stairs.




021 650 1006 (HAICU)

021 650 3530 (DISCHO) or
072 393 7824 (24/7 emergency)

Their job is to make the university as a whole as accessible as possible on all levels, including access to venues and lectures, as well as to study material for those with sensory impairments.

Students living with HIV/AIDS or experiencing harassment and discrimination (of any kind) don’t have to deal with it alone. Both HAICU (HIV/AIDS, Inclusivity and Change Unit) and DISCHO (Discrimination and Harassment Office) offer a range of support services.

Where? HAICU is in the Ivan Toms building, with Student Wellness Services. DISCHO is at The Cottage on lower campus


Careers Service

If you’re not sure about the academic path you’ve chosen, or haven’t been admitted to the course you applied for, then Careers Service is the place for you. They can advise on career choice and planning, give you practical tips on how to write a CV or covering letter, advise you on gap years and work abroad, and help you to access part-time work opportunities, graduate jobs and internships.

Where? Level 1, Hoerikwaggo Building North Lane, upper campus


UCT Writing Centre

Here you will get help to improve the quality of your academic writing. Consultants are on hand to help you guide your thinking and sort out how you go about the tricky business of referencing. (NB this is not an editing service. You still have to do the hard work yourself.) You can contact them at any stage of your writing assignment.

Where? Level 6, Steve Biko Building, North Lane, upper campus


Sports Injuries Centre


021 686 7777

Have your sports complaints and any other injuries treated by trained physios and biokineticists. Staff here will teach you how to prevent further injury, help you with training schedules, and give advice on corrective equipment (such as shoes). The clinic is open from 9.15am to 5.30pm, and treats UCT students and staff as well as members of the public. It charges medical-aid rates.

Where? Sports Centre on upper campus


Students’ Representative Council (SRC)


021 650 3925

You choose the 17 members of UCT’s SRC, whose role is to represent the student body on campus.

Where? Level 7, Steve Biko Students’ Union, North Lane, upper campus


Department of Student Affairs


021 650 2128


This department oversees all student services and activities, including:

  • Student Orientation and Advocacy Services
  • Sports & Recreation
  • Financial Aid and Administration
  • Student Housing & Residence Life
  • Student Wellness Services

Where? For general information about financial aid, scholarships and student housing, visit the Masingene Building on middle campus, where student administration is located.


Information and Communication Technology Services (ICTS)


021 650 4500

ICTS Helpdesk

This department is there to help you with all your IT needs, from connecting to the Internet to uploading the latest anti-virus software.

The helpdesk handles around 4 000 calls a month, so it’s always a good idea to check their self-help advice to see if you can solve the problem yourself.


Safety tips

  • Have emergency numbers saved on your phone
  • Never carry too much cash on you
  • Never put your wallet in the back pocket of your trousers
  • Walk in a group, especially at night
  • Keep your mobile phone out of sight
  • Take care when taking public transport

The First-Year Experience

The First-Year Experience (FYE) is your introduction to UCT. It is not a service or a centre, but a collective effort to help you adapt to university life and develop a strong sense of belonging. Aspects of FYE include:

An early-warning system (early assessments) which check whether you are coping with the academic load, based on the results of your first round of class tests;

An academic mentor in the form of a senior student, whose sole purpose is to help you get to grips with academic life;

An online portal, Vula, where you can discuss areas of difficulty in your course with classmates, or contact your lecturer or tutor via email.


Campus Life 2016

Read more from the
2016 Orientation edition.

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