Addressing transformation at UCT takes place on various levels, from increasing accessing to learners from poorly resourced communities, to enhancing student support on campus, to strengthening diverse academic leadership. These projects express what we value about being an inclusive and representative university community.
(Fundraising needs: staff and operational costs)
Many learners who attend schools in disadvantaged communities perform poorly in the matric examinations, with relatively few of them qualifying for tertiary studies at institutions such as the University of Cape Town. 100-Up is a project that aims to address the problem of under-representation by targeting school learners from disadvantaged backgrounds and coaching them for access to university. The University of Cape Town launched 100-Up in 2010, with five Grade 10 learners selected from each of the twenty schools in Khayelithsa. Apart from the 100 learners who benefitted from the program over three years (Grades 10-12), an extended intervention (known as the Gill Net) was initiated. The intention was to make contact with all other Grade 12 learners in the township who could be eligible for study at UCT. All 184 learners in the extended group passed Matric, with 93 of the 100-UP and 80 of the 84 Gill Net learners obtaining B-degree (university acceptance level) passes; the remaining 11 learners obtained Diploma level passes. These results reflect that enrolment rates of students from Khayelitsha have now doubled since the 100-Up Project reached maturity.
(Fundraising needs: scholarships)
Being a research-led university means that we must constantly produce graduates with advanced degrees: a formidable force of young specialists who directly contribute to the growth and development of the country. In addition, it is crucial that we provide assistance to candidates from African countries outside of South Africa, as well as refugee students. However, due to financial stress, many graduates seek employment as only a few are able to pursue advanced studies. The potential contribution that these innovative minds can bring to renewing social, political, scientific and economic systems is therefore lost. UCT distinguishes itself with a long tradition of policies and programmes which ensure that talented undergraduate students in need are given an opportunity to enter the university and succeed here. These interventions include financial assistance and a range of psycho-social programmes to ensure that UCT's graduates are globally competitive, locally relevant and socially responsive individuals, who are fully representative of South Africa's diverse population. Although UCT and the government commit considerable resources to funding postgraduates, the need is greater than we can currently meet. Your contribution will enable the University to create additional bursary support to fund meritorious students in areas of strategic importance.
(Fundraising needs: staff and operational costs)
UCT's Centre for Higher Education Development (CHED) was established as an academic organisational unit in 1999 to develop and provide enabling pathways for students, extending from school right through to the world of work. The importance of providing students with supportive pathways, transitioning between school and university, is highly topical in higher education discourse as institutions around the globe wrestle with the challenges of high drop-out rates. CHED undertakes to resource students through a holistic programme of services. Many of these services are faculty-located, based on the requirements of each academic discipline, while the overall management and coordination takes place within CHED. Services include academic support and curricular development, connecting students with 'knowledge through technology', building a critical consciousness among students as global citizens, and career pathing. Donor support would enable CHED to reach more students and also ensure the development of innovative and technologically advanced approaches in navigating the higher education curriculum.
Student Wellness Service
(Fundraising needs: staff)
Holistic student development is a key concern at UCT as the achievement of academic goals and a healthy lifestyle are integrally linked. The Student Wellness Service works to promote this goal through a health and wellness facility that consists of both medical practitioners and nurses. Our aim is to develop this service into a more proactive programme of nutritional, physical, and mental health initiatives that promote a well-balanced approach to a demanding university schedule. Because of reduced government subsidies, the Student Wellness Service has had to cut staff and services in the face of ever-growing demands. Our hope is that donor partners will support us to grow the service into a larger and more accessible student facility, ensuring access for students across the wide geographical spread of the university campuses and residences.