24 January 2019 Read time 3 min.

As Vice-Chancellor, I want to welcome you to our beautiful institution!

UCT is a vibrant community of multicultural staff and students from across South Africa, Africa and the world. Each of you has something special to contribute to this university, and I want to make sure that you all feel at home on our campuses. The First-Year Experience is just one of many things we have in place to make that happen.

As a university we are committed to transformation, and we work tirelessly to guarantee the sustainability of our institution, and to ensure excellence in all we do. We want to change our university, our country, our world for the better – and I want you to be part of this vision.

With a proud tradition of academic excellence, UCT is currently the top-rated university in Africa and one of the top-rated universities in the world. Many of our researchers are world leaders in their research fields, so studying here means that you will be exposed to the latest scholarly work and research discoveries.

In addition to your studies, I want you to take advantage of all that UCT, and Cape Town, has to offer. Join one of our 100 plus societies, sign up to one of over 40 sports clubs, or give something back by getting involved with one of the many volunteer projects in the local communities.

While your academic success should take centre stage, you must always remember to take care of your physical health and mental well-being. If at any point you feel overwhelmed, please speak to someone. You are not alone – there are many people here to support you.

The Student Wellness Service has trained multilingual counsellors who are there to help, the UCT Student Careline is available 24/7 (0800 24 25 26 or SMS 31393 for a callback), and you have the support of your fellow students, tutors, lecturers and all of us in the UCT community.

I care about each and every one of you, and I want to ensure that you have the best support at all times.

Despite the challenges we face as a university and a country, I believe this is a great time to be at UCT. It’s a time that offers the opportunity of making real change happen, so grab it with both hands and make the best of your years here.

I expect you to achieve great things!

Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng

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