Around the world, higher education is grappling with questions of sustainability. The University of Cape Town (UCT) took a series of decisions in 2019 to address these questions. We believe higher education must steer the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) to improve society in Africa and to help address difficult global problems, such as poverty and inequality, joblessness, climate change and resource management.
We established the Environmental Sustainability Directorate in 2019 to reduce our carbon footprint, transform into a green campus and help South Africa to use resources more wisely. We have already started building in our students the leadership skills they will need in 4IR professions. Our cross-disciplinary programmes in the School of Information Technology and the Hasso Plattner School of Design Thinking (d-school) are designed to develop leadership, critical thinking, complex problem-solving and other essential attributes in students across all our faculties. This will help to keep UCT teaching, learning and research relevant in a changing society.
UCT’s Graduate Exit Survey, released in May 2019, revealed that more than half of our 2018/19 graduate cohort were employed in South Africa’s private sector, with over 20% earning more than R20 000 a month. Serving the professional sectors with future leaders and innovators is the strongest evidence of UCT’s sustainability in a changing world.
Sipho M Pityana
Chair of Council
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