Media releases



First quarter


Study by UCT academics prompts a call for a national ban on lead bullets
15 March 2018
A third of all vultures caught and tested in a Botswana study involving a University of Cape Town (UCT) academic showed elevated levels of lead in their blood, most likely due to ingesting lead bullet-contaminated flesh. Hunters' bullets shatter inside their prey and can then be absorbed into the blood stream of the vultures when they feed on these animals or their remains. This ingested lead is highly toxic to birds.


UCT academic joins UN Special Envoy in discussions over uncertain water future
9 March 2018
The University of Cape Town’s Dr Kevin Winter was part of a team of experts that joined the United Nations (UN) Special Envoy for Climate Action, Mike Bloomberg, on a tour of the Theewaterskloof Dam this week.


UCT and Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems to collaborate on research
6 March 2018
A partnership between the University of Cape Town (UCT) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, which is based in Germany, has served as a stepping stone in developing new and innovative technologies for South Africa.


Three subjects at UCT ranked in the top 50 in the world
5 March 2018
The University of Cape Town has been ranked among the top 50 universities in the world in three subjects – development studies, geography and sport – in the 2018 QS World University Rankings by Subject. A further eight subjects are in the top 100.


Update on the selection process for the new VC
1 March 2018
Following the public presentations by the two shortlisted candidates for the position of Vice-Chancellor and the interviews held last week, the selection committee presented their recommendation to Senate this afternoon.


Visiting United States law Professor Davis to deliver talk on ‘Power, Prosecution and Racism’
27 February 2018
The Faculty of Law at the University of Cape Town will host US law Professor Angela J Davis, who is an expert in prosecutorial power and racism in the US criminal justice system, on 1 March.


Better access to research is vital to advance healthcare in Africa, UCT study finds
26 February 2018
Researchers from the Division of Emergency Medicine at the University of Cape Town found that one in six African emergency care publications are inaccessible outside institutional library subscriptions and therefore not accessible to African researchers.


Small plastic pollution on South African beaches comes from local sources – UCT study
26 February 2018
A study of the small plastic fragments on South Africa’s beaches repeated every 10 years since the mid-1990s has found that most plastic pollution derives from local sources. This is important, because it means that we cannot blame distant nations with much larger plastic industries for the poor state of many of our beaches and adjacent coastal waters.


UCT civil engineering student wins top national award for water project on waterless urinals
21 February 2018
With Cape Town experiencing the worst drought in over a century and facing the possibility of Day Zero, a University of Cape Town (UCT) Civil Engineering graduate has won a prestigious award for a project on waterless urinals.


Results from innovative tuberculosis vaccine trial show potential for new revaccination strategies
20 February 2018
Scientists from the University of Cape Town’s South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative (SATVI) and the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation will present the findings of an innovative clinical trial that provides encouraging new evidence that TB vaccines could prevent sustained TB infections in high-risk adolescents.


UCT research group notes shortcomings in the National Minimum Wage Bill
19 February 2018
The Department of Labour is considering one of the biggest changes to South Africa’s labour laws since 1995 by, amongst other things, introducing a National Minimum Wage (NMW). The NMW Bill will set a wage of at least R20 for workers across all sectors of the economy subject to lower wages in the domestic and farming sectors.


UCT and Eskom partnership brings change in the energy sector
19 February 2018
A new research group, the Applied Thermo Fluid Process Modelling Research Unit (ATProM), is building on an existing collaboration between the University of Cape Town (UCT) and Eskom to provide engineers with up-to-date research, students with real-world experience and solutions to some of the challenges facing ageing energy infrastructure in South Africa.


UCT study to uncover why brains seize
15 February 2018
Over the past five years, a University of Cape Town (UCT) scientist has been able to establish the necessary local technology to study the function of individual brain cells which aims to uncover why brains seize – resulting in the development of epileptic seizures.


UCT scientists drive genomics research in tackling diseases endemic to Africa
13 February 2018
The University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Hearing Impairment Genetics Studies in Africa has been awarded grant funding by the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) for cutting-edge research. The research offers the potential to identify genes that cause non-syndromic hearing loss – loss of hearing that is not associated with other signs and symptoms.


Invitation: UCT hosts open lecture on Cape Town water crisis
12 February 2018
The University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Future Water Institute, will host an open lecture by Dr Kevin Winter on Monday, 12 February. The lecture is titled: “Cape Town’s water crisis before Day Zero”.


UCT helps public schools to improve the quality of education in South Africa
12 February 2018
In South Africa many low and no-fee public schools are poorly equipped for the challenge of educating children affected by hunger, poverty, violence or ill-health. To ensure quality education for these learners, schools need to improve their skills in leading and sustaining partnerships with social purpose organisations and governments.


UCT leading programme to reduce child death rates in Africa
08 February 2018
The University of Cape Town (UCT)'s African Paediatric Fellowship Programme (APFP) is addressing the paediatric medical skills shortage in Africa to prevent treatable diseases and infections responsible for the deaths of these children.


UCT update on student accommodation
7 February 2018
The University of Cape Town has had approximately 86% of students with accommodation offers placed at residences on campus as at Tuesday, 06 February 2018. The university is, at this stage, aware of only 80 students who were made accommodation offers but were yet to be placed.


UCT community urged to step up water saving measures
30 January 2018
Discussions on the University of Cape Town’s response to Day Zero have begun and the university is developing contingency plans.


UCT Business School receives top international accreditation
24 January 2018
The University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business (GSB) has once again been awarded the highly regarded Association of MBAs (AMBA) accreditation, effective for the next five years. This cements the GSB’s reputation as one of the top business schools in the world.


UCT to assist walk-in applicants
23 January 2018
The University of Cape Town is currently engaging various internal stakeholders on how to handle walk-in applications. The university’s commitment is to assist walk-ins as best as possible and processes are being put in place to enable this.


UCT community urged to step up water saving measures
23 January 2018
The University of Cape Town executive has issued the below communication appealing to the university community to step up water saving measures and providing an update on the institution’s plan to continue operations should the city reach Day Zero.


UCT to consult with Khoisan community over Sara Baartman Memorial Hall renaming
19 January 2018
The University of Cape Town Council will take the decision on the renaming of the Memorial Hall to Sara Baartman Memorial Hall after consultation by the Names of Building Committee with the Khoisan community.


UCT statement on the impact of the water crisis
18 January 2018
The University of Cape Town is at this stage not facing the risk of any research activities having to be curtailed as a result of the water crisis in Cape Town.


Where technology and ecology meet: using big data in fynbos studies
18 January 2018
While the term big data may not conjure up images of plants, Associate Professor Adam West from the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Cape Town (UCT), is using this technology to accurately map ecosystems.


Paperless laboratories for researchers at UCT
16 January 2018
The University of Cape Town’s (UCT) eResearch department is being steered in the direction of a paperless tracking solution to researchers across the university. A major part of patenting intellectual property in research is the ability to provide evidence in the form of meticulous record-keeping and verification of the lab activities.


Injectable birth control may raise HIV infection risk by 40%
08 January 2018
The intramuscular injectable contraceptive depot medroxyprogesterone acetate, or DMPA, may raise the risk for HIV infection by 40% in women, according to research published recently in Endocrine Reviews. Research indicates alternative contraception methods may help protect women.


Imbizo brings together African students with world’s leading computational neuroscientists
04 January 2018
The University of Cape Town (UCT), together with the University College London (UCL) and the University of Oxford, will host a prestigious summer school in January 2018 to help develop computational neuroscience in Africa.


Surgical patients are twice as likely to die in Africa – UCT study
04 January 2018
When compared to the global average, one in five surgical patients in Africa, who are generally young and fit, will develop complications, and 2% will die following surgery. This mortality rate is twice the global average for surgical mortality, which is 1%.