Launch of the UCT Conversation Series

19 October 2022 | Professor Elelwani Ramugondo

Dear colleagues and students

The University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Vision 2030, which is our institutional strategy for building new leadership for a changing and increasingly complex world, recognises transformation, excellence and sustainability as intricately linked. The interconnectedness of these three pillars of our vision is best appreciated when we recognise that inclusivity is critical for sustainability, and that diversity drives excellence.

Together, transformation, inclusivity and diversity are key terms that can help institutions, including universities, to address inequality and oppression. These three terms also help us to imagine what a more fair, just and equal education environment might look like. Given the legacy of colonisation and apartheid for our particular context in South Africa and the continent, it is critical that systemic racism and how it translates into institutional racism is acknowledged and addressed.

In recognition of ongoing systemic and institutional racism, UCT released its new anti-racism policy and related procedures in June 2022. This is an intentional shift towards an anti-racist approach, which acknowledges that as an institution, we operate within a system with structures in society that perpetuate inequality and injustice.

Economic disparities result from this, leading to many forms of exclusion which affect the academy. Addressing this – through staff recruitment, organisational ethos, research, as well as teaching and learning – is the work of a university that has a vision which embraces social justice and is capable of unleashing human potential to create a fair and just society.

Such efforts fit well with the work of the UCT Dismantling Racism Strategy, which forms part of UCT’s Inclusivity Strategy. The work is also aligned with our new overall strategy for transformation, which involves clarity of strategic intent and impact, and the goal to build a scholarship on transformation.

Building a scholarship on transformation for us is both diagnostic and practice-oriented, and intentionally draws from our own internal resources, both academic and professional administrative and academic support staff with passion for transformation, and who are thought leaders on social justice in the higher education sector. It is through scholarly debate and intellectual engagements that UCT, as a leading academic institution, can advance social justice.

To amplify this work, we are launching the UCT Conversation Series: Towards Building a Scholarship on Transformation, with the first theme focused on anti-racism.

Please join the launch of the conversation series on 24 October 2022 from 10:00 to 12:00.


Professor Elelwani Ramugondo
Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Transformation, Student Affairs and Social Responsiveness

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