Welcome to our beautiful institution!

20 January 2020

At the University of Cape Town (UCT), you are joining a vibrant community of multicultural staff and students from across South Africa, Africa and the world. I want you to feel that this is your home. Getting started can be overwhelming, so the First-Year Experience is designed to help you settle in and find your way around. Whatever programme you’ve chosen to study, you are about to discover exciting new things about your world and how you can help build the future.

Our university is fully committed to transformation — not just in terms of the people who come here, but how we think, teach, learn and do research. We are developing African solutions to local and global problems and graduating tomorrow’s leaders. We want to change our world for the better — and you are an important part of that change.

UCT remains 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 fields, so you will have opportunities to be exposed to the latest scholarly work and research discoveries. Find a role model and learn from them!

Your safety is important to us. Please read the safety and security suggestions and take note of wherethe Campus Protection Services offices are.

Just as important is your physical health and mental well-being. University life can be overwhelming, but there are many people here to support you: in addition to trained counsellors at the Student Wellness Service, your faculty has counselling staff available.

The UCT Student Careline (0800 24 25 26 or SMS 31393 for a callback) is available 24/7. Your fellow students, your tutors, your lecturers and wardens all understand the kind of stress university can bring, and we want to help.

I expect you to work hard at your studies, but it is also important for you to grow in other ways. Join one of UCT’s 100+ societies, try one of our almost 40 sports clubs, or give something back by getting involved with one of the many volunteer projects in the local communities. And be sure to explore beautiful Cape Town!

UCT is here to address the challenges we face as a university and a country. I believe you are going to help make real change happen — so be ready to grow with us!

Yours for a bright future!

Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng

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