Summer School 2024 – Celebrating 100 years of learning

04 January 2024

Dear colleagues and students

The annual University of Cape Town (UCT) Summer School is back from Saturday, 13 January until Saturday, 27 January 2024, and it will be a celebratory moment for the university. Through the UCT Summer School, we will celebrate 100 years of continuous lifelong learning.

Before the UCT Summer School was established in 1950, an Extension Lectures Committee of the University Senate was formed in 1924 to formalise ad hoc lectures. This committee organised fortnightly lectures by members of staff and other prominent experts. In 1949, a decision was made to expand the extra-mural work of the Extension Lectures Committee, and the Centre for Extra-Mural Studies was founded.

It is a proud achievement that for 100 years, we have been arranging lectures on various topics to the general public – with these lectures offered specifically through the Summer School for 74 years. It is also remarkable that our institution has made knowledge available to the public for so long.

The UCT Summer School offers a broad range of lectures and courses that appeal to the young and old. It has grown and evolved over time.

The only Summer School on the African continent, our programmes are open to everyone regardless of educational qualifications or age. The lectures are for non-degree purposes and do not involve examinations. Several of the courses on offer do however qualify for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points.

At the 2024 UCT Summer School, attendees can tour the university’s Rondebosch campuses with Emeritus Registrar Hugh Amoore. There will be a one-hour excursion to the Human Biology Department. It will provide an opportunity to see the teaching laboratories and exhibits demonstrating the contributions of a body donor to teaching, learning and research.

All courses will take place in person on the UCT campus, except for the language courses which will be offered on MS Teams.

We are looking forward to continuing our practice of presenting world-class lectures and courses in literature, art, music, politics, current affairs, history, medicine, science, conservation and nature, information technology, architecture, and the built environment.

Some of the topics that will be covered are:

  • Will robots take my job?
  • Is it still safe to drink tap water or to swim in our waterways?
  • Eskom: power, politics and the (post) apartheid state
  • Antisemitism in South Africa: a history
  • Body donation: why and how?
  • Asteroid collisions: planetary curse or blessing?

For further enquiries please contact Dr Medee Rall.

I encourage you to register for the programmes and join us as we celebrate this significant milestone of our institution. I look forward to meeting you at the 2024 UCT Summer School.


Emer Prof Daya Reddy
Vice-Chancellor interim

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