The University of Cape Town remains the highest ranked university in Africa, and continues to climb in the world rankings. Contributions from alumni, friends and staff of the University over the years have helped us to achieve this and remain critical to our ongoing success as an institution.
Our goal to be globally competitive stands alongside our transformation goals: to improve access to the outstanding education UCT can provide, and to increase success amongst our students, particularly for those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Access has indeed improved in many ways over the last decade, not least through the expansion of UCT from 18,000 to 25,000 students, and the provision of bursaries from donors. However, residence capacity has scarcely grown, resulting in many students from the Western Cape who wish to have the “residence experience” choosing to go elsewhere, and top students from the rest of the country not accepting offers of places at UCT because they cannot get in to residence. This deprives UCT of some of the best students in the country and internationally.
A further urgent reason to expand our residence capacity is the impact that living in residence has on academic success. Students from disadvantaged backgrounds, if not in residence, can usually not afford local private accommodation, so they live in the townships, generally have to leave campus before dark due to limited public transport and safety issues, and thus miss out on free internet access and extended library study time. The conditions in their homes are generally not conducive to study and concentration. In residence they also participate in study groups, are allocated tutors and mentors, and have a whole academic scaffolding to support their academic success and social integration.
In short, for reasons of both access and success, we are in dire need of more student accommodation. This is why we recently undertook our most ambitious residential project to date, “Obz Square.” Located in the heart of the buzzing suburb of Observatory, Obz Square is a new residence that provides 880 beds in an environmentally friendly design. The construction of this building has made it possible for more students to stay on campus, thus supporting transformation while improving the overall varsity experience for more students.
We now appeal to you to help us raise the capital to expand our residence capacity by another 700 beds through the refurbishment of existing residences. Gifts of any size are welcome and appreciated, and we are once more offering you the option of allocating 10% of your donation amount directly to the specific residence of your choice. In addition, by donating R100,000 (or US$15,000 or GBP10,000) over a five year period, you gain the opportunity to have your contribution recognised on a plaque that will be installed in the recently completed “Obz Square” residence, and in your own residence, if appropriate.
We are also raising funds for other strategic projects, including funding postgraduate student scholarships, supporting the Faculty of Health Sciences Centenary fundraising goals, and expanding our schools development initiatives. For more information regarding these and other key projects please click here.
Donating is easy. You can either download a pledge form and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org, or donate to the project of your choice online. All donations will receive the appropriate tax certification depending on your country of residence. And remember that every donation counts, no matter what size.
Thank you for helping us to build a better future.
Dr Max Price