Making a difference

20 January 2020

At UCT, we believe that ploughing back into the community is an essential part of campus life. Whether it’s engaging with climate change, social outreach programmes, research activities or providing opportunities for learning, social responsiveness is about making an impact on people that lasts a lifetime, and an impact on society that lasts for generations.

The Future Water Institute

In a water-stressed South Africa, UCT’s Future Water Institute is doing essential work to ensure the future sustainability of water resources. The institute draws on the skills and expertise of researchers from across the university to tie together the technical and socioeconomic aspects of water management for the country. Working together, it hopes to transform our many human settlements into liveable and sustainable ecologies.

021 650 5317 |

The Global Citizenship Programme

The UCT Global Citizenship: Leading for Social Justice Programme provides students with an opportunity to engage with global debates and reflect on issues of citizenship, social justice and community engagement. The programme consists of three short courses and one credit-bearing course.

021 650 3431 |

The Knowledge Co-op

Established in 2010, the Knowledge Co-op allows external communities to access knowledge, skills, resources and professional expertise within the university. It facilitates collaboration with community partners to address the development challenges they define. Participating students and academics gain work experience, advance the quality of their research and contribute to local communities.

021 650 4415 |

Summer School

UCT’s flagship public education programme makes the academic and knowledge resources of the university accessible to the wider community of Cape Town. Facilitated each year by the Centre for Extra-Mural Studies, Summer School offers a range of short courses to all, regardless of educational qualifications, in the first few weeks of January.

021 650 2888 |

UCT Cycling Club

In 2019 the UCT Cycling Club was involved in a number of social responsiveness projects, including a scholarship programme for deserving learners, taking learners from high-risk communities and teaching them life skills through sport, and a Breast Cancer Awareness Club Ride. In lieu of entrance fees to its events, the club collected donations of feminine hygiene products to be distributed in local communities.


“I wish I had known just how much I would learn about life and myself by having friends in different programmes and faculties.” — TWALA

We’ve put together a list of seven non-profit organisations close to campus that welcome volunteers. So give them a call, hit them up on social media and get involved – any which way you can.

1. The Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) is a leader in the fight against cancer and offers a support service to all those affected by the disease while educating the public on symptoms, screening and risk education.

Main Road, Mowbray
021 689 5381

2. Performing more than 500 lifechanging orthopaedic procedures a year, the Maitland Cottage Hospital is a renowned paediatric orthopaedic hospital that also offers post-operative care and rehabilitation.

Kildare Road, Newlands
021 674 2090

3. Ons Plek is a child and youth care centre whose work is focused on the girl child who has lived, worked and begged on the streets of Cape Town. The organisation specialises in development projects and therapy.

Malleson Road, Mowbray
021 685 4052/49

4. South Africa’s most experienced non-profit organisation working in the area of adult rape and sexual violence, Rape Crisis encourages survivors to report the crime to authorities and works to address legislation in the country.

Trill Road, Observatory
021 447 1467

5. Reclaim the City is a movement of tenants and workers campaigning to stop their displacement from well-located areas and secure access to decent affordable housing.

Cissie Gool House, Woodstock; Ahmed Kathrada House, Greenpoint; Irene Grootboom House, city centre

6. A voluntary support group of Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, the Friends of the Children’s Hospital Trust never says no to enthusiastic volunteers. If you love children, get involved. Note: you’ll need to undergo special screening and an orientation session before you start work.

Klipfontein Road, Rondebosch
021 658 5243

7. The Underdog Project works with vulnerable children and dogs, teaching empathy and various life skills to underprivileged youth while bringing joy to troubled dogs.

Main Road, Hout Bay
076 166 7350

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Campus Life

Campus Life Orientation 2020

20 Jan 2020

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