When asked about the impact of the French Revolution, former Chinese premier Zhou Enlai quipped, “It’s too early to say” – a comment that has come to stand for taking the long view of history.
Looking back at the events of 2015 at UCT, and at university campuses nationwide, many feel similarly unresolved. This lack of resolution poses a problem in reflecting on 2015: how do you write about the events of 2015 if their effects are still rippling through higher education? Four months into 2016, views are still tentative.
There is no one view of the university. UCT and experiences of it are as diverse as its people and setting.
The publication you hold in your hands is the product of an attempt to capture the life of UCT in a year – it’s part snapshot, part living archive of people’s reflections. Think of it as a cross-section of the many conversations and events on campus over 12 months.
It’s not meant to be comprehensive. Nor is it meant to take you on an easy journey with a beginning, middle and end.
If this publication in any way resembles a story, then it’s one told by the people who study and work at UCT themselves.
We hope what is printed on these pages leaves you with a mix of interest, insight and a whole new set of questions.
All three will be useful tools as we go forward.
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The Newsroom and Publications unit releases an annual report, which is a review of activities on campus during the previous year. It spans nearly all aspects of UCT life, and includes reports from senior executives on issues such as governance, teaching and learning, research, social responsiveness, transformation and employment equity. Each year the report clearly illustrates clearly why UCT is held in such high regard in South Africa, Africa and across the globe.