25 November 2016
Dear parents, guardians, sponsors and applicants
We are delighted that you are considering UCT as a study destination in 2017, and equally encouraged by the promise of support from bursary sponsors of applicants.
I realise that there is much anxiety about the events of the latter part of 2016 at many higher education institutions and, in your case, particular concern about the events at UCT that have required us to make unusual arrangements to conclude the 2016 academic year. I also appreciate that you will have concerns about 2017. Be assured that we will make every effort to ensure that we fully meet our commitment to teaching, learning and research in 2017 and beyond (as we have done in response to the unprecedented circumstances of 2016) and ensure that the 2017 academic year is completed successfully.
Given the knock-on effect of having to start the 2017 academic year later than would normally be the case, I wish to assure you that this will not dilute the integrity of our academic programme which has even more teaching days than in previous years. The academic year has been extended to accommodate the changed timeline and all of our admissions, orientation and registration processes will be accommodated. You will find out whether you have been given a final study offer in the week beginning 9 January 2017, as soon as we receive and process the NSC results. The first day of lectures is on 13 March 2017.
We recognise that tertiary education is unaffordable for many, so we undertake to provide financial assistance to ensure that any student who is accepted academically will be able to afford to come to UCT.
Please be reminded that as from this year all applications for funding support from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) must be submitted directly to NSFAS and by 30 November 2016. UCT will continue to co-fund NSFAS-eligible students and will make every effort to assist those who find themselves in the “missing middle” – students whose family income is too high to make them eligible for NSFAS funding, but too low to enable them to afford university fees.
The many good reasons you considered in choosing to come to UCT remain unchanged. As the highest-ranked university on the continent, UCT remains world-renowned for the quality of its teaching and learning. Our undergraduate programmes have been carefully designed to ensure that appropriate skills and knowledge are imparted; that students are challenged intellectually to reach their maximum potential; and that our graduates are well prepared for the world of work.
The quality of a university education is directly related to the quality of the teaching staff and UCT is fortunate to have some of the best teachers and researchers in the world. UCT remains a leader among universities because our academic staff are encouraged to undertake both teaching and research. This means that the latest scholarly findings are incorporated into curricula, and students – in all disciplines – benefit from teaching and learning that is at the forefront of knowledge generation. They are also given many opportunities to gain practical experience, whatever their field of interest.
UCT has always focused on preparing future leaders and there are numerous leadership opportunities available – whether administering one of the dozens of extramural societies and sporting clubs or serving on one of UCT's 30 residence committees or six student faculty councils. Of course, students could also run for the Student Representative Council (SRC) or take part in the UCT Student Parliament.
At UCT we understand that a student's emotional and physical wellbeing is of utmost importance. Aside from the holistic First-Year Experience Programme for all new students, UCT offers a range of student services. These include the Disability Service, the Student Counselling and Wellness Service, an HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment management programme, and the Careers Service. We also offer several nationally acclaimed academic support programmes which benefit all students in making the transition from school to university.
The following links are available for further dates and information:
As an institution we take great pride in attracting the most talented and motivated students. We offer an environment which not only advances students' academic potential but also equips them with the experience and confidence to cope in a challenging social and political world, developing skills of leadership, resilience and transformation that will ensure their effectiveness in a complex environment.
We look forward to welcoming you onto our campus in the new year.
Dr Max Price
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