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Centre for Open Learning (COL)

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About the Centre for Open Learning (COL)

The mission of the Centre for Open Learning (COL) is to contribute to the University's social responsiveness through the support of student success and by acting to make the academic and knowledge resources of the University accessible to a wider range of participants. The COL provides a range of courses and learning opportunities for local and overseas university students as well as participants from commerce and industry, government departments, NGOs and the general public.

COL coordinates several different initiatives including the annual Summer School, short courses for the general public, continuing education courses for working people, Third Term credit-bearing courses for current UCT students and specialised programmes for visiting international student groups.

COL also produces theContinuing Education Handbookwhich consolidates information about the various opportunities for learning at UCT while continuing to work.

Summer School

The annual Summer School runs for two weeks in January each year and is the largest public education programme of its kind in South Africa, regularly attracting around 3 000 people. This public education programme offers courses on a range of topics from arts, humanities and current issues to the physical and environmental sciences and aims to make specialised knowledge accessible to a wide audience, regardless of educational qualifications. These courses are for non-degree purposes and do not involve examinations or certification, though written or practical projects and reading may be required. The programme is available from October each year on the Summer School website. The 64th annual Summer School will take place from Monday 20 January to Friday 31 January 2014.

LSE-UCT July School

LSE-UCT July School

The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and the University of Cape Town (UCT) offered its first inaugural LSE-UCT July School in July 2013. The LSE-UCT July School is an exciting intensive academic programme taught in English by world-leading faculty from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and the University of Cape Town (UCT). It attracts students and professionals from leading institutions and organisations around the world.

In July 2014 this two-week summer school-style programme will offer a range of exciting university-level courses considering the academic and policy responses to the major social science issues of the 21st century, all with relevance to Africa and its relations with the world today. Participants take one intensive course for the duration of the two-week July School, typically comprising four hours of lectures each morning and a 90 minute class each afternoon – a total of 48 contact hours. The courses are assessed, including a final examination, and successful students are awarded a certificate and transcript.

If you are interested in gaining a global perspective on the study of Africa, at the continent’s top university, in a beautiful, cosmopolitan city, we hope that you will consider applying to the LSE-UCT July School, and look forward to meeting you in Cape Town in July 2014.

LSE-UCT July School participants are not required to stay in UCT residences, and may make their own accommodation reservations to suit their requirements and their budget. A number of secure, reasonable hotels are situated in the Gardens suburb close to central Cape Town, which is connected to the main UCT campus by the free Jammie Shuttle bus from the nearby Hiddingh Campus. June-July Shuttle details will be available here. Hotels in this area include the Saasveld Lodge, Lady Hamilton Hotel and Ashanti Guest Houses. Participants wishing to book at one of these options are advised to check the full details and information on the websites, and to contact their preferred hotel to make a reservation.

Full course and programme information is available on the LSE website. You can also download this brochure.'Like' the LSE-UCT July School Facebook page for updates and to see highlights from 2013.

Global Citizenship Programme

The UCT Global Citizenship: Leading for Social Justice Programme is an extra-curricular programme that provides students with an opportunity to engage critically with contemporary global debates and to reflect on issues of citizenship and social justice. While voluntary and not credit-bearing, the programme is recognised on students' academic transcripts as a UCT Short Course.

Public and Continuing Education (PACE)

In addition to the annual Summer School, short courses are offered for professional development, organisational capacity development and public interest. A variety of courses have been offered over the years and can be customised for particular organisations. Each year a selection of courses are run as public open programmes and are advertised on this website and in the media. For details see Current Public Courses.

International Programmes

COL offers customised short programmes by special arrangement to international student groups which combines high quality learning with an unusual travel experience.

Confucius Institute

The Confucius Institute at the University of Cape Town promotes the learning of Chinese language and culture as well as a broader and more informed understanding of China in Cape Town and across South Africa. We seek to attract more interest in the Chinese language and understanding of Chinese culture among students and faculties at UCT, as well as the broader community in Cape Town. For details visit the Confucius Institute website.

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Contact us

Physical address
Level 3, Kramer Bldg, Middle Campus

Postal address
Centre for Open Learning, UCT, Private Bag, Rondebosch, 7701

Tel: 021 650 2888
Fax: 021 650 2893


Continuing Education Handbook 2013


Summer School

Public and Continuing Education (PACE)