Media releases

Media releases


First quarter


Common injectable contraceptives could increase risk of TB
16 April 2019
A breakthrough study conducted by Professor Keertan Dheda and Dr Michele Tomasicchio, at the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Centre for Lung Infection and Immunity, has revealed that one of South Africa’s most commonly-used injectable contraceptives could increase women’s chances of contracting tuberculosis (TB).


UCT’s eResearch Africa conference on data science for development
16 April 2019
In a research-intensive environment, data scientists contribute to real-world problems in public health, education, sustainable energy, climate change, economic development, and many other areas. The University of Cape Town’s (UCT) eResearch is hosting its bi-annual conference at UCT from the 15 to 18 April 2019. The theme of this year’s conference is data science for development and focuses on the work of data scientists in solving the world’s so-called wicked problems.


UCT student rises above dire poverty to graduate with academic excellence
15 April 2019
When Ntebogang Segone graduates on the Dean’s Merit List - in recognition of constant academic excellence - with a Bachelor of Science on 17 April he will dedicate his graduation to the woman who made his dream a reality.


New online platform to save cash-strapped students money
12 April 2019
A novel start-up that aims to save cash-strapped students money by connecting them to cheaper and suitable products and services is set to take the campus community by storm for its nifty and innovativeness.


UCT student aims to use graduation to highlight discrimination against queer people
11 April 2019
University of Cape Town (UCT) student Nigel Patel, who is well known for their activism across the city, will graduate with a Bachelor of Laws degree on Friday, 12 April 2019 where they will also receive UCT’s Blumberg Prize for service to the student community as well as working hard academically.


Female students come out tops in civil engineering at UCT
11 April 2019
University of Cape Town (UCT) women are making significant strides in civil engineering, where they account for six of the department’s 11 first-class honours students. The students are part of the class of 2018 that will graduate on Friday, 12 April.


Creative arts programme presented by internationally acclaimed artists at UCT
10 April 2019
The University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Institute for Creative Arts (ICA), in association with Pro Helvetia, will present a diverse and provocative programme of talks, films and performances by acclaimed artists and educators from Switzerland, Brazil, Germany, Palestine, Egypt and China. The programme runs until Thursday, 11 April at UCT’s Hiddingh Campus.


UCT to confer more than 5000 degrees at its autumn graduation
9 April 2019
The University of Cape Town (UCT) will honour approximately 5124 students in 14 graduation ceremonies taking place from Wednesday, 10 April until Thursday, 18 April 2019. During the 14 ceremonies – expected to be attended by about 14 000 people – 70 doctoral degrees and 383 master’s degrees will be conferred.


Shark survivor graduates with drama degree at UCT
5 April 2019
When a great white shark attacked bodysurfer Caleb Swanepoel at Buffelsbaai near Knysna in June 2015, he thought he was going to die. But a new script was being written for the drama and performance student who graduates on 16 April.


South Africa’s first deaf student to graduate with a Bachelor of Laws degree at UCT
4 April 2019
Qobo Ningiza will be South Africa’s first deaf Bachelor of Laws degree graduate when he is capped at a University of Cape Town (UCT) graduation ceremony next Friday, 12 April 2019.


UCT leading scientists selected to be part of £25M FLAIR scheme
4 April 2019
Six University of Cape Town (UCT) scientists have been selected as FLAIR research fellows. The FLAIR (Future Leaders – African Independent Research) is a programme of The African Academy of Science (AAS) and Royal Society, with support from the UK’s Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), designed to help talented early-career researchers, whose science is focused on the needs of the continent, establish independent careers in African institutions and ultimately, their own research groups. Up to 30 FLAIR fellowships will be awarded in 2019.


Applications for admission to UCT in 2020 now open with new undergraduate closing date
2 April 2019
The University of Cape Town (UCT) has opened applications for admission to study at the institution for various programmes for the 2020 academic year. Prospective students may apply online.


Health Minister to deliver the Steve Lawn Memorial Lecture at UCT
1 April 2019
National Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi will deliver the annual Steve Memorial Lecture which was postponed from 20 March 2019 to 2 April 2019.


Calls for specific laws to protect South Africa’s water source areas
28 March 2019
While South Africa’s National Water Act recognises the protection of water resources, such as rivers, it makes no mention of strategic water source areas in particular. According to Amanda Mkhonza, an environmental law lecturer at the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Institute of Marine & Environmental Law, this leaves the vast majority of our water source areas highly vulnerable to inappropriate development.


Transition to renewable energy could result in cheaper, cleaner and more reliable electricity supply for SA
28 March 2019
Phasing out coal in the power sector by 2040 would allow SA to fulfil its commitment to the Paris Agreement goal of limiting warming to well below 2° C without significant impact on the economy.


Khayelitsha learners experience varsity life through UCT summer school
27 March 2019
A hundred grade 12 learners from various schools in Khayelitsha had a taste of the first year University of Cape Town (UCT) experience when they attended three special lectures as part of the extended annual UCT Summer School.


Strategies for countries to decarbonise based on national development objectives
26 March 2019
Every country must have a long-term strategy for climate change, otherwise the Paris pledges will not be well aligned with national development objectives — the Deep Decarbonization Pathways (DDP) network proposes a handbook to build their strategies.


The Cape Town drought - lessons for other municipalities in South Africa
25 March 2019
The University of Cape Town’s (UCT) African Centre for Cities (ACC) released a new paper which warns that the Cape Town drought has powerful climate-change adaptation lessons for other South African municipalities.


UCT research identifies wildlife crime hot spots in the United Kingdom
19 March 2019
University of Cape Town (UCT) academics have led an international study that has found that the young hen harriers (a bird of prey) in the United Kingdom (UK) suffer abnormally high mortality compared to other populations across their range.


Lifetime Achievement Award for Dizu Plaatjies of Amampondo fame
19 March 2019
Neo-traditional African musician Dizu Plaatjies and head of African Music: Practical Studies at the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) South African College of Music, has been awarded a ministerial Lifetime Achievement Award by the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS).


Health Minister to deliver the Steve Lawn Memorial Lecture at UCT
15 March 2019
National Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi will deliver the annual Steve Lawn Memorial Lecture at the University of Cape Town.


UCT student using 3D printers to address education crisis in South Africa
14 March 2019
University of Cape Town (UCT) third-year Bachelor of Science student Denislav Marinov plans on using 3D printers in South Africa’s schools to level the education playing fields.


New evidence shows that the work of United Nations agencies is effective
14 March 2019
Collaborative research involving University of Cape Town (UCT) researchers shows how key services in lower- and middle-income countries can contribute to reaching multiple United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), even among high-risk children and adolescents.


UNESCO Chair in Open Education and Social Justice bestowed on UCT professor
13 March 2019
University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Associate Professor Cheryl Hodgkinson-Williams has been awarded the title of UNESCO Chair in Open Education and Social Justice for her contribution to ground-breaking research and implementing initiatives focused on open education in the global south.


How DNA technology can provide immediate benefits for healthcare in Africa
12 March 2019
Although there is increasing evidence of participation of African scientists in genomics research, there is little evidence of its major impact in practice.


UCT alumnus urges Commonwealth leaders to protect at least a third of the world’s oceans
12 March 2019
University of Cape Town (UCT) alumnus Lewis Pugh has urged Commonwealth leaders to fully protect at least 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030. Currently, less than 7% is protected.


UCT feeding scheme addresses student hunger
11 March 2019
A University of Cape Town (UCT) feeding scheme that was started last year to alleviate the problem of hunger among students on campus is growing in leaps and bounds. The scheme is now serving a total of 600 lunches on UCT’s upper campus, the College of Music, Hiddingh campus and the Child Guidance Clinic.


UCT students selected to meet Nobel laureates in Germany
8 March 2019
Four University of Cape Town (UCT) students are among 20 top young South African scientists successfully nominated by the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) to attend the 69th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting dedicated to physics in Germany in June 2019.


Debates ongoing at UCT over the Curriculum Change discussion document
8 March 2019
Following the conclusion of the work of the Curriculum Change Working Group (CCWG), the Teaching and Learning Committee at the University of Cape Town (UCT) is continuing to receive comments and feedback in respect of the Curriculum Change Framework document. The framework is a discussion document, not a policy, and will not be enforced.


Maths and physics genius tackles shortage of engineers by coaching underprivileged matric learners
7 March 2019
University of Cape Town (UCT) final-year mechanical engineering student Thabang Sebetoane has formed a non-profit organisation, Tshehetso, that mentors and tutors matric learners to cope with the gruelling demands of university-level mathematics and physics.


Heavy droughts can now be expected every 15 years, UCT study finds
6 March 2019
The recent drought which left dams like the Theewaterskloof Dam empty and saw the City of Cape Town’s taps almost run dry, can now be expected once every 15 years, rather than every 50 years as previously assumed, University of Cape Town (UCT) researchers have warned.


UCT launches R10 million cutting-edge TB research facility in Masiphumelele
6 March 2019
By the age of five, 20% of children in Masiphumelele township, south of Cape Town, are already infected with tuberculosis (TB). When these children enter high school, about half are infected with TB. By the time they become young adults, the infection rate has increased to roughly 80%.


UCT student selected for prestigious Knight-Hennessy Scholars program
6 March 2019
University of Cape Town (UCT) PhD candidate Gloria Chikaonda will be pursuing a second master’s degree at Stanford Law School in International Legal Studies in September after being selected for the 2019 Knight-Hennessy Scholars program. Knight-Hennessy scholars receive full funding for graduate study at Stanford.


UCT academic who pioneered urine bio-brick wins global chemical engineers award
5 March 2019
University of Cape Town (UCT) academic Dr Dyllon Randall has become the first African recipient of the prestigious global Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) Warner Prize. The prize is awarded biennially to people who show “exceptional promise” in sustainable chemical proce2ss technology, nuclear technology or in making chemical engineering more accessible to a wider scientific community.


New low-cost technology to reduce risk of shark attacks
5 March 2019
After 15 years of using trained observers (spotters) to successfully reduce the risk of shark bites in Cape Town, a new project has been launched to develop a low-cost, computer vision-based, automatic, shark detection algorithm to be used on fixed cameras above Cape Town’s beaches.


UCT reclaims its top 10 position in world rankings
5 March 2019
The University of Cape Town (UCT) has moved up two places to reclaim its position in the top 10 in the 2019 QS World University Rankings by Subject – placing among the top 100 universities in a total nine disciplines.


UCT’s Mandela School introduces Professor Ismail as Director Designate
14 February 2019
The Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance prepares to enter a new and exciting phase of its development in 2019 following the appointment of Professor Faizel Ismael as Director. There will be a few months transition between current Director Professor Alan Hirsch and Professor Ismail, before handover in July 2019.


UCT’s Institute for Creative Arts launches first book on live art in the country
13 February 2019
The Institute for Creative Arts (ICA), an interdisciplinary institute at the University of Cape Town's (UCT) Faculty of Humanities, kickstarts its rich programme for 2019 with the launch of its highly anticipated new book, Acts of Transgression: Contemporary Live Art in South Africa – the first book on live art in the country – on Saturday, 16 February at UCT’s Hiddingh Campus.


UCT executive committed to addressing legitimate student issues
13 February 2019
The University of Cape Town executive recognises the importance of issues that have been raised by the Student Representative Council (SRC).


African women carry a high burden of cancer – early detection and treatment critical
7 February 2019
In South Africa, cervical cancer is the leading cause of cancer related deaths among women while breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer. One in 26 women are at risk of developing breast cancer in their lifetime, mostly presenting with late stage disease, which is associated with a poor prognosis. A unique feature of cancer cases in Africa are the high burden of cancers in women (56%), and late stage at which cancer is diagnosed (46% of breast cancer in South Africa is diagnosed at an advanced stage).


UCT gears up for the 2019 academic year
6 February 2019
Preparations for the 2019 academic year are underway at the University of Cape Town (UCT) ahead of classes set to officially resume on 11 February. For first years, registration and orientation started on 21 January and is continuing until 8 February. Parents orientation took place on 26 and 28 January.


UCT signs agreement with leading French geological institute dedicated to sustainable management of natural resources
5 February 2019
The University of Cape Town (UCT) and the French Geological Survey public institution, BRGM, have joined forces to promote research in three major themes – responsible mining, the circular economy and the sustainable management of water resources.


More die after surgery than from HIV, TB, and malaria combined – study
1 February 2019
Around the world 4.2 million people die every year within 30 days after surgery – with half of these deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), a new study in The Lancet reveals.


New device developed to administer drugs via mobile messaging
31 January 2019
A shared passion for improving healthcare in developing countries has led biomedical engineers from the University of Cape Town (UCT) and Osmania University, India to develop a tool for clinicians to administer medication to their patients remotely using mobile messaging technology.


UCT study uses genetics to explore people’s risks of getting injured
24 January 2019
University of Cape Town (UCT) researchers have used an innovative approach to generate data that provides a DNA sequence road map that can be used to explore people’s susceptibility to musculoskeletal soft tissue injuries.


UCT selected for large-scale funding to tackle the world’s complex challenges
24 January 2019
Researchers from the University of Cape Town (UCT) are included in two of 12 international teams selected by United Kingdom Research and Innovation (UKRI) to establish large interdisciplinary research hubs based at leading UK universities that address the world’s complex development challenges.


UCT among top 10 emerging-economy universities
17 January 2019
The University of Cape Town (UCT) has held its position at ninth in the 2019 Times Higher Education (THE) Emerging Economies University Rankings and is the top university in Africa. South Africa has nine universities in the Emerging Economies Rankings, up from eight last year, and retains seven in the top 200.


UCT students weigh in on men’s role in addressing gender-based violence in South Africa
17 January 2019
Research from lobby group, Sonke Gender Justice, shows that the impact of gender-based violence has been estimated to cost South Africa up to R42.4 billion per year. It also reports that the Western Cape is one of the most unsafe provinces in South Africa. A third of the country’s murders are reported to police stations in this province.


UCT to co-host the Neuroscience Imbizo
4 January 2019
The IBRO-SIMONS Computational Neuroscience Imbizo, or isiCNI2019 is an opportunity for African and international students to learn about cutting edge research techniques in computational neuroscience.