University of Cape Town

Located on the slopes of Devil’s Peak in Cape Town, the University of Cape Town is a leading, research-intensive university in South Africa and on the continent, known for its academic excellence and pioneering scholarship. The university is home to a third of South Africa’s A-rated researchers (acknowledged by the Department of Science and Technology as international leaders in their field) and a fifth of the country’s national research chairs. UCT encourages students and staff to use their expertise to speed up social change and economic development across the country and continent, while pursuing the highest standards of excellence in academic knowledge and research: developing African solutions to African challenges that are also shared by developing nations around the world.

UCT, like the city of Cape Town, has a vibrant, cosmopolitan community drawn from all corners of South Africa. It also attracts students and staff from more than 100 countries in Africa and the rest of the world. The university has strong partnerships and networks with leading African and other international institutions - helping to enrich the academic, social and cultural diversity of the campus as well as to extend the reach of UCT’s academic work.

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South African President Jacob Zuma, right, listens to Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng ahead of Zuma’s second inauguration in Pretoria. Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

Are judges in South Africa under threat or do they complain too much?

Tensions are probably inevitable in any constitutional democracy that empowers the courts to overrule the executive and legislature. But, judges are worried cabinet undermines the rule of law.
Legislation in South Africa needs to be updated to accommodate the development in stem cell research and therapies. Reuters

Why South Africa needs better laws for stem cell research and therapy

South Africa may have legislation broadly guiding stem cell research and treatment, but these laws must be updated and clarified for it to be effective.
Nigerian author Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart is hailed as one of the greatest novels ever set in Africa. Akintunde Akinleye/Reuters

What a less Eurocentric reading list would look like

There's a fierce debate underway about changing university curricula in Africa and the UK to be less Eurocentric. Three academics offer their suggestions for a decolonised reading list.
South Africa needs to ensure that it is equipped to deal with bioterrorism attacks and possible laboratory outbreaks. Mariana Bazo/Reuters

Explainer: biosafety and biosecurity in South Africa

In the science world, laboratories are essential but safety precautions should be taken to prevent any incidents like the Ebola outbreak or biochemical attacks.
Many of South Africa’s primary and secondary schools are dysfunctional. But should universities use this as an excuse to turn all applicants from these schools away? REUTERS/Ryan Gray

Moving beyond the educational blame game in South Africa

Data from the National Benchmark Test can be used by universities to support students who lag behind in academic literacy.
There is an abundance of baby fur seals on the west coast of South Africa, but true seals, which inhabited the area five million years ago, no longer do so. Supplied

Unlocking the mystery of how true seals disappeared from the Cape

Climate and sea level changes over time have led to the disappearance of the true seals, although these mammals still exist in the Antarctic.
A student protests against colonial-era statues at the University of Cape Town. Changing the curriculum structure is another way to decolonise South Africa’s universities. Mike Hutchings/Reuters

Decolonise more than just curriculum content – change the structure, too

It's not just the content of South Africa's university curricula that needs to be re-examined. The country's degree structure should be reconsidered, too.
What’s in a name? Plenty, if it is a dinosaur such as the Changyuraptor, a genus of the ‘four-winged’ predatory dinosaur. S. Abramowicz, Dinosaur Institute

Unraveling the mystery of how dinosaurs get their names

A dinosaur's name says something about the dinosaur itself. They are grouped together according to similarities they share, which also indicates their ancestral relationships to one another.
Bats have adapted new hunting techniques in their pursuit of moths who in turn have developed defensive strategies. Sarun T/Shutterstock

Explainer: the evolutionary arms race between bats and moths

Bats have developed special attack mechanisms for hunting moths, and moths have responded by developing defence mechanisms to avoid being eaten.
Thenjiwe Madzinga sits with her grandson Thina Gxotelwa in the small room they share in a shack in Cape Town’s Khayelitsha township. Madzinga cares for her five grandchildren, including four who were orphaned when her daughter died from AIDS in 2002. Finbarr O'Reilly/Reuters

South Africa is failing to address malnutrition in its older people

The health care needs of older people tend to be marginalised because South Africa's health policy is focused on children, youth and maternal care.
Oscar Pistorius’ early release was a virtual certainty from the day he was sentenced. EPA/Herman Verwey

Why parole for Oscar Pistorius is perfectly legitimate

Oscar Pistorius was convicted of culpable homicide for what was deemed a tragic accident. In light of that verdict, he has not been subject to any special treatment in terms of his sentence.
Only a small portion of Porto Novo, Benin, is built-up. The city is taking steps to combat climate change. Anton Ivanov/Shutterstock

Porto Novo: an African city taking action against climate change

Porto Novo in Benin, Rouen in France and Da Nang in Vietnam are taking steps to mitigate the harsh effects of climate change, which will hit them hard if they don't.
The dogmas of ruling and rebel groups in Africa conflate political conflict and spirituality. Reuters/Alain Amontchi

What lies behind the rise of jihadist movements in Africa

The failure of African states to adequately address their racial, ethnic, cultural, religious and economic differences provided the fertile ground on which rebel groups now prosper.
Leonardo DiCaprio plays Jay Gatsby in the The Great Gatsby. Jay’s story has been used by economists to explain the combination of unequal distribution of income and less economic mobility. Reuters/Andrew Kelly

Apartheid continues to cast shadow on equality of opportunity

Evidence on the ability, or lack thereof, of children to rise above the economic status of their parents shines light on the continued persistence of inequality, including in South Africa.

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