Summer School 2018 has its finger placed firmly on the pulse.
The annual public education programme (which offers short courses for non-degree purposes) includes a session each with investigative journalist Jacques Pauw, founding member of Umkhonto weSizwe Ronnie Kasrils and former top-ranking government official in Nelson Mandela Bay Crispian Olver. Each will speak to their recently released books, which present damning indictments of the political status quo.
These three events form part of a diverse programme, which includes lectures in the arts, humanities, science, history, philosophy and contemporary studies.
Putting together a schedule that is over 70 lectures strong is no mean feat. The Summer School team keeps a sharp eye on the cutting-edge research and pivotal publications that come out of the university throughout the year, and works hard to ensure that all disciplines are equally represented in the programme.
As the only one of its kind in Africa, UCT’s Summer School endeavours to open the wealth of knowledge within the university to as wide an audience as possible. The platform also provides an opportunity for both established and upcoming UCT researchers to showcase their work to an engaged adult audience.
While Summer School is attended regularly by alumni and staff, the team hopes that the programme will draw in an increasingly diverse audience from its student body and the community at large.
Summer School is an excellent opportunity for UCT students to sample the many disciplines available at the university, which may inform further study, said Medee Rall, the director of the Centre for Extra-Mural Studies (EMS). Moreover, students pay just one quarter of the registration fees.
For artists and thinkers
As always, Summer School includes first-rate musical performances at the Baxter Theatre (The magic of Mozart), as well as a number of practical art and writing courses. These include artist Jill Trappler’s Abstracting from figure drawing and Writing for children: a child’s point of view with Lesley Beakes.
Other highlights include More excellent, little-known books (for devoted readers) and Water sensitive cities: prospects for Cape Town (for everyone).
Attendees looking to learn a new language will not be disappointed. The 2018 Summer School programme includes four language courses, including Mandarin and isiXhosa for beginners. In so doing, EMS hopes its work will fit within the university’s push to embrace its African identity, alongside a recognition of the value of multilingualism.
Engaged and engrossed
Ensuring that Summer School speaks to critical debates occurring within institutions of higher learning, and the country at large, the programme features courses such as The problem with decolonisation with Professor Jonathan Jansen, A hundred years of thinking against race by former deputy vice-chancellor Professor Crain Soudien, and an overview of South African land reform by UCT’s Professor Lungisile Ntsebeza: The land question in South Africa: where are we today?
“We have also found our audience very responsive to these kinds of courses, which is just wonderful as this gives them an opportunity to hear about and engage with these issues,” commented Rall.
In addition to a wealth of sessions dealing with current affairs, the 2018 Summer School programme includes an increased selection of stand-alone lectures. This means that the January programme has even more for attendees to choose from.
These courses, which take place between 15 and 26 January, are open to all, regardless of educational qualifications.
Summer School offers concessions for UCT staff and students. Individuals whose annual income is less than R96 000, or with a monthly household income of less than R12 000, qualify for reduced fees.
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