Media releases


Fourth quarter


Dust's effects on climate: UCT researchers dig up the dirt
13 December
Particles floating in the atmosphere (known as aerosols) cause the seasonal average surface temperature in southern Africa to fall by as much as 2°C during the austral winter season, resulting in changes in the surface energy balance and dynamics of the lower troposphere, according to research by Fiona Tummon, who is receiving her PhD in Environmental & Geographical Science at the University of Cape Town this week.


Space satellites help UCT researcher dive into study of southern African ocean currents
13 December
Marjolaine Rouault's PhD thesis, Agulhas current variability determined from space: a multi-sensor approach, used complex earth observation techniques to study the major ocean currents around southern Africa.


Law reform needed to aid conservation and land reform, according to new UCT research
13 December
An array of broad legislative reforms can bridge the divide between South Africa's conservation and land reform imperatives, by improving the use of communally conserved areas and the management of the country's dwindling natural commons. This is according to Alexander Paterson, a PhD graduand in Public Law at the University of Cape Town.


UCT researcher seeks to boost tourism industry
13 December
A candidate for a PhD in Commercial Law at the University of Cape Town has proposed ways to make the tourism industry in South Africa more competitive and innovative through the protection of intellectual property. Caroline Ncube's thesis, >i>Intellectual property protection for e-commerce business methods in South Africa: Envisioning an equitable model for SMEs in the tourism industry, examines how intellectual property law should protect e-commerce business methods to ensure that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in tourism, one of South Africa's immediate priority sectors, are not disadvantaged.


UCT PhD research provides insights into mood disorders
13 December
Three doctoral graduands at the University of Cape Town will receive their degrees at December graduation for their respective research into the relationship between psychopathology and substance use - especially cannabis; mood disorders; the positive effects of feeling guilty; and the impact of early trauma on the brain's natural painkiller system.


UCT research suggests why liver disease progresses only in some
13 December
A study by medicine doctoral student Mashiko Setshedi at the University of Cape Town addresses how and why liver disease progresses in some individuals but not in most people.


UCT researcher develops self-regulating vacuum dressing for wounds
13 December
University of Cape Town doctoral student Dr Nicolas Kairinos' thesis, The biomechanics of negative-pressure wound therapy, finds that, contrary to common perception, negative-pressure wound dressings do not reduce tissue pressure but increase it, resulting in accelerated wound healing.


Grad edition of Monday Paper, the corporate news journal for UCT
13 December
Human interest stories that have been published in the Monday Paper.


New UCT research dips into water management issues
13 December
Three graduands at the University of Cape Town will receive their doctoral degrees this month for their research into water management. In their respective theses they compare water use by indigenous trees with that of alien species; consider how low-flow events affect rivers; and examine the use of algae as water quality indicators in KwaZulu-Natal rivers.


Taxation can slow global warming behaviour - UCT research
13 December
Concerns about the political and economic consequences of carbon taxation are not necessarily justified, and such taxes can provide a cost-effective means of changing human behaviour and encouraging technological improvements in the use of fossil fuels, according to Nadia Kamm, a PhD graduand in Public Law at the University of Cape Town.


UCT researcher demonstrates better formula for maths education
13 December
University of Cape Town doctoral student Margaret Long's thesis, Mathematical, cognitive and didactic elements of the multiplicative conceptual field investigated within a Rasch assessment and measurement framework, shows how mathematics teachers can instantly improve the performance of their learners by clustering them according to test performance. She demonstrates the usefulness of such methods for Grades 7 to 9, but shows that the framework can extend in principle to all school grade levels.


UCT researchers put the university under the lens
13 December
Three PhD candidates at the University of Cape Town have focused their respective research theses on the university environment -- with one thesis focusing on the University of Rhodesia from 1945 to 1980. Their conclusions can apply to other organisations as well, especially those dealing with transformation and institutional change.


UCT research examines portrayals of women in Drum adverts - from demeaning to empowering
13 December
Business Administration PhD graduand Mlenga Golden Jere takes a deep look at the portrayal of women as message sources in advertisements that appeared in Drum between 1981 and 2010.


UCT to confer honorary degree on David Potter today
13 December
Inventor, entrepreneur and a philanthropist Dr David Potter will receive an honorary doctorate in Engineering Science today, 13 December, at 15h00, at the University of Cape Town. In 1980, he founded the software company Psion, which later introduced the world's first handheld computer and the term "netbook" to the industry.


UCT research aims to smooth finance hurdles for SMMEs
12 December
New research out of the University of Cape Town offers guidelines for improving bank creditworthiness assessment processes for financing the small, medium and micro-enterprise (SMME) sector, which has been identified as a critical growth area for the country's economy.


Emotional intelligence smartens up sports success, finds UCT study
12 December
Success on the sporting field is as much about being sensitive to fellow teammates' needs as it is about physical preparedness, according to research done by Exercise Science PhD graduand David Thomas Crombie at the University of Cape Town.


The sword in the stone: UCT research documents ancient human movement in Garden Route cave complex
12 December
A well-dated cave complex at Pinnacle Point in the Garden Route contains a rich archaeological record of human occupation covering most of the known chronological range of the Middle Stone Age. This is according to University of Cape Town student Kyle Brown. According to his PhD thesis,The sword in the stone: lithic raw material exploitation in the Middle Stone Age at Pinnacle Point site 5-6, Southern Cape, South Africa, this locality represents one of the most important archaeological sites in southern Africa in the Middle Stone Age (about 280 000 to 40 000 years Before Present). Brown's thesis represents a comprehensive analysis of the stone artefacts from the site.


Mothers transmit trauma to children, suggests UCT research
12 December
University of Cape Town PhD student Bruce Christopher Bradfield's thesis, A relational psychoanalytic exploration of the intergenerational transmission of trauma from mothers to their adult children, suggests that trauma is not limited to the person experiencing it. Instead, Bradfield suggests, it can be transmitted from mother to child.


UCT research makes case for protecting contract workers
12 December
There is a growing trend among South African firms to contract work out to miners, truck drivers, construction workers and clothing machinists, and to treat these contract workers as self-employed rather than staff workers under labour law. Many of these "self-employed" workers in turn employ others to help them complete a job. Research by Pamhidzai Bamu, a PhD graduand in Commercial Law at the University of Cape Town, broadly considers the development of this informal and precarious work in a global context.


98% pass rate for UCT's MBChB grads
12 December
The graduating class of the MBChB degree programme for 2011 at the University of Cape Town has achieved a pass rate of 97.7 percent - including Vuyane Mhlomi from Khayelitsha, a township in Cape Town, who is graduating third in his class with an average in 2011 of 76.6 percent in his final year of study for the medical degree.


Tutu unable to attend UCT grad ceremony today
12 December
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu will not be attending the graduation ceremony this morning at the University of Cape Town, as he has not been released from hospital following a medical procedure over the weekend. UCT has no further details about his condition.


UCT research looks at the mate-swapping albatross, the non-conforming penguin and other fowl topics
9 December
Six doctoral students at the University of Cape Town have completed studies on southern African birdlife: 5 of them focusing on specific species, while the sixth travelled 160km on foot, collecting almost 1 million vegetation data points and more than 32,000 insects, and monitoring more than 400 birds' nests to calculate the diversity of grassland.


UCT research tackles Ghana's barriers to healthcare access
9 December
The University of Cape Town is set to graduate more than 70 PhDs during the December 2011 graduation ceremonies. Among these are international students whose research focused on issues specific to their home countries. With a primary focus on Ghana, Bertha Garshong's thesis tackles the challenge of access to healthcare.


UCT research investigates infrastructure development
9 December
The engineering sector in South Africa remains among the most sought-after skills areas for employers and the development or improvement of infrastructure. Five PhD candidates set to graduate from the University of Cape Town devoted their research to studying issues that could have an important impact on this sector.


UCT research examines future and past of baboons
9 December
UCT Zoology PhD graduand Tali Hoffman provides the first detailed investigation into the conflict over space between baboons and humans in the Cape Peninsula, while archaeology doctoral graduand Riashna Sithaldeen explains how climate and landscape might have guided the evolution of the species.


UCT Chemistry PhD researchers do their bit to fight malaria
9 December
According to the World Health Organisation, a child dies from malaria every 30 seconds. Malaria accounts for about 1 million deaths every year, most of them in sub-Saharan Africa. Two Science graduands at the University of Cape Town – one of them from Kenya – devoted their doctoral research to the development of anti-malarial treatments.


UCT student's award-winning wind generator design uses recycled hard drives
9 December
The design for a sustainable wind generator using redundant materials has earned a prestigious international award for Hartmut Jagau, a master's student in electrical engineering at the University of Cape Town.


UCT to graduate 89 doctoral candidates this month - 5249 total graduands to be hooded between 12 and 17 December 2011
8 December
The University of Cape Town will graduate a total of 89 Doctors of Philosophy at 12 ceremonies beginning at 10:00 on Monday, 12 December 2011. The total number of graduates for December 2011 is 5249, an increase of 187 graduates from December 2010. The total number of PhDs awarded for 2011, including the June graduates, is 152.


Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Ms Mary Burton and Dr David Potter to be honoured at graduation ceremonies in December
6 December
The University of Cape Town will honour Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu with the Graça Machel Chancellor's Award for Continental Leadership at the graduation ceremony at 10:00 on Monday, 12 December, in Jameson Hall. (Media seating is limited; please confirm your attendance by Thursday, 8 December: email Ms Mologadi Makwela or phone +27 (0)21 650 5427.) In addition, human rights champion Ms Mary Burton and software genius Dr David Potter will receive honorary degrees at graduation ceremonies on 12 and 13 December respectively.


UCT students become first Africans to win global negotiation competition
5 December
A team of 4 law students from the University of Cape Town have become the first African team to win the Copenhagen Competition – an international negotiation contest hosted by the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. The UCT team beat competitors from the University of Copenhagen, the National University of Singapore and Yale University at the finals on 1 December 2011.


UCT's newest A-rated researcher looks to plants, insects for major vaccines
5 December
Professor Ed Rybicki of the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology is the University of Cape Town's newest A-rated researcher, following the release of the latest ratings by the National Research Foundation (NRF).


UCT's new residence helps supply jobs as well as living space
30 November
One of the innovations of the new University of Cape Town residence, Obz Square, is en suite shower and toilet facilities in each of the 880 rooms. Each toilet/shower "pod" was assembled off-site, transported to the site on the corner of Main Road and Penzance in Observatory, and then installed fully fitted, tiled and plumbed, ready to be lifted and plastered into rooms like Lego blocks.


UCT student dies in fall
25 November
The University of Cape Town regretfully confirms that a third-year Commerce student died tragically on Thursday, 24 November 2011.


UCT experts on aspects of climate change for COP-17 journalists
23 November


UCT opposes passage of info bill without critical changes
22 November
The University of Cape Town notes with extreme disappointment the fact that Members of the South African parliament voted in favour of the proposed Protection of State Information Bill. This despite the extraordinary strong civic voice that has risen against the proposed Bill.


UCT blacks out website to protest government move against freedom of information
22 November
The University of Cape Town has blacked out its home page ( today in protest against the current version of the Protection of State Information Bill, which has been returned to the National Assembly for vote today.


Aspirin cuts cancer rates in people with hereditary risk by 60%
21 November
Research has provided proof that taking a regular dose of aspirin reduces the long-term risk of cancer in people with a family history of the disease by about 60 percent.


UCT students apply beauty as well as brains
21 November
Two University of Cape Town students have been named Miss Cape Town 2011 and a semi-finalist in the Miss South Africa 2011 pageant, respectively.


Three young UCT researchers selected for new science academy
15 November
Three University of Cape Town scientists, all in their early to mid-30s, are among the 20 founder members of the new South African Young Academy of Science (SAYAS) - selected from almost 150 nominations.


USHAWCO helps learners to SHINE
11 November
With a social entrepreneurial spirit, SHAWCO (Students' Health and Welfare Centres Organisation) at the University of Cape Town introduced the SHAWCO SHINE programme to support students in grade 10, 11 and 12, by improving their academic results, boosting their confidence as well as stimulating their ambitions for further tertiary education.


UCT researcher to receive L'Oréal-UNESCO Life Sciences award
11 November
Professor Jill Farrant, the Research Chair in Plant Molecular Physiology in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of Cape Town, is 1 of the 5 exceptional women scientists from around the world who will receive the 2012 L'Oréal-UNESCO Awards in Life Sciences for 2012. She will receive her award and US$100 000 prize money at a ceremony at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris in March 2012.


UCT conference to address challenges in treating and understanding lung diseas
08 November
The University of Cape Town, in association with the Hull/York Medical School, University of York, will host a conference on "21st Century Challenges of Chronic Lung Disease" on 14-16 November 2011, in the Institute for Infectious Disease & Molecular Medicine (IIDMM), on the Faculty of Health Sciences Campus of the University of Cape Town. Senior clinical and basic scientists will present a research-based overview of specific challenges associated treating chronic lung diseases and how current research efforts are increasing the opportunities for future therapies.


UCT students win lion's share of awards in international landscape architecture competition
01 November
Three landscape architecture Masters students from the University of Cape Town have won 3 out of 4 awards at a recent International Federation of Landscape Architecture (IFLA) competition.


UCT Summer School 2012 programme is online
31 October
The course programme for the 62nd annual University of Cape Town Summer School is now available online at the Centre for Open Learning website. Summer School 2012 will run from Monday, 16 January to Friday, 27 January 2012.


UCT research shows strong connection between Vitamin D deficiency and TB
25 October
Researchers at the University of Cape Town and the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) in the UK have found that vitamin D deficiency is extremely common in black Africans living in Cape Town and is associated with susceptibility to tuberculosis (TB) infection. The research is published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in the USA.


Origins of Political Order author Fukuyama to speak at UCT
24 October
World renowned political scientist Francis Fukuyama will give a public lecture on his landmark new book, The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution, on Wednesday, 26 October, at 19:00 in Beattie Lecture Theatre on University Avenue, UCT Upper Campus. The lecture will explore the provenance of 3 basic political institutions - the state, the rule of law, and accountability - that constitute the basis for modern government.


UCT forensic science expert to discuss war on violence against women in SA
24 October
Professor Lorna Martin will discuss her experiences as a forensic pathologist and present some of her findings on violence against women in South Africa, when she gives her inaugural lecture on 26 October 2011, at the University of Cape Town.


Physics leader to speak at UCT for non-physics audience
20 October
Professor Anton Zeilinger of the University of Vienna, Austria, will speak on "Quantum Games and Quantum Information" at the Vice-Chancellor's Open Lecture at the University of Cape Town on Tuesday, 25 October 2011 at 18:00, in Kramer Lecture Theatre 1. The lecture is free of charge and open to the public. Please contact Ms Michelle Moses via email or telephone 021 650 4870 to ensure seating is available.


UCT molecular genetics expert to explain how novelty and diversity evolve in plants and animals
17 October
Data from large-scale DNA sequencing projects in the last 2 decades has shown that common sets of genes regulate development in animals and plants respectively. Given the remarkable conservation of these genes, a key challenge becomes understanding how morphological diversity has evolved in plants and animals. Professor Nicola Illing, of the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of Cape Town, will present evidence that novelty evolves from the recycling of existing genetic regulatory loops, rather than from the de novo appearance of new genes via protein evolution. Prof Illing will discuss her current research interests in Evolutionary and Developmental Genetics in her inaugural lecture, "Evo-devo: Clues to morphological and functional diversity in bats and resurrection plants".


It Gets Better, Tutu and UCT members tell young people
12 October
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has joined University of Cape Town (UCT) students and staff, local civil society organisations and high-profile individuals, to create It Gets Better  – Cape Town: a collection of 18 videos that form the first South African contribution to a global video campaign targeting sexual minorities who experience discrimination in secondary schools and beyond. The group includes the captain of the UCT Rugby Team, the editor of the Varsity student newspaper, members of the UCT Student Representative Council, university staff members and students.


UCT student team scoops research prize at transplant conference
10 October
For the first time, the South African Transplant Society (SATS) has presented its annual prize for the best original research presentation to 2 final-year medical students, for their research on the correlation between how a kidney functions in the first few days after transplantation, and the long-term outcome of the transplanted kidney.


UCT African literature scholar dies
07 October
Dr Reuben Chirambo, a senior lecturer in the Department of English Language and Literature in the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Cape Town, died of cancer on Thursday evening, 6 October 2011, at the age of 48.


Broken hearts, spacemen, wattle trees and a man with one leg: My extraordinary journey in medicine
03 October
Professor Wayne Derman of the University of Cape Town has provided important clinical support to South Africa's athletes at international level: as Chief Medical Officer for the South African Team to the Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004 Olympic Games, and as Medical Officer for the South African Paralympic Team to Beijing in 2008. From December 2001 to May 2002, he served as Flight Surgeon to Cosmonaut Mark Shuttleworth during the "First African in Space" mission in Russia. He recently served as the Medical Officer for Cape Town for the FIFA 2010 World Cup.

Third quarter


UCT expert to discuss pragmatic psychology and perils of eyewitness identification
27 September
Colin Tredoux is Professor of Psychology at the University of Cape Town, and was Head of Department from 2007 to 2010. He has appeared as an expert witness in South African courts, advising on the limitations of polygraph testing. He has also published methods for assessing the fairness of police identification parades, and has led a multi-year project to develop software for the synthesis of artificial faces. The software has multiple uses, ranging from development of stimuli in research laboratories, to construction of faces from memory. It is presently used by a number of research groups around the world.


Global activist/feminist to speak at UCT
22 September
Professor Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak of Columbia University will speak on "The Tradition of Critique and Feminist Writing", in the Vice-Chancellor's Open Lecture at the University of Cape Town on Tuesday, 27 September 2011.


Motsoaledi to address UCT students on leadership in health care
19 September
Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, the Minister of Health, will be the keynote speaker at the Shaping Leaders in Health talk hosted by the Health Sciences Student Council on Thursday, 22 September 2011, 18:30, in the New Learning Centre Lecture Theatre at the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Cape Town.


UCT historian gets jump on Heritage Day by calling for global perspective on Cape's history
19 September
We need to understand the Cape not only as part of the South African nation but also in relation to its historical links to Asia, other parts of Africa and the Indian Ocean world, according to Professor Nigel Worden of the University of Cape Town. This will be the argument he will present in his inaugural lecture on Wednesday, 21 September 2011, at 17:30, in LT1, Kramer Law Building, Middle Campus. This is Professor Worden's inaugural into the King George V Chair of History, to which he was appointed in 2009.


UCT's 5th colloquium on HIV/AIDS to focus on human stories behind the virus
19 September
The experiences of HIV-positive people who tell their own stories about living with the virus will be the focus at the fifth annual colloquium hosted by the HIV/AIDS Institutional Co-Ordination Unit (HAICU) at the University of Cape Town, on Wednesday, 21 September 2011, 09:30–13:30, at the Centre for African Studies Gallery on Upper Campus. A programme is listed at the end of this release.


UCT Constitutional law expert to speak on race, redress and remembrance
12 September
Professor Pierre de Vos of the University of Cape Town's Department of Public Law will speak on The past is unpredictable: Race, redress and remembrance in the South African Constitution in his inaugural lecture on 14 September 2011, 17:30, in Lecture Theatre 1, Kramer Law Building, Middle Campus. In 2008 Professor de Vos became the first legal academic in South Africa to write a regular Blog, Constitutionally Speaking.


UCT conference to bring together international experts on safety and violence
07 September
Seven experts with international expertise in fields related to preventing violence and promoting safety will bring their experiences to bear on SA's struggles in this important area, at the first conference of the University of Cape Town's Safety & Violence Initiative (SaVI) beginning on 8 September, 2011, in the Barnard Fuller Building, of the UCT Health Science Campus.


Sir Sydney Kentridge to speak at 34th anniversary commemoration of Biko
05 September
Internationally renowned advocate Sir Sydney Kentridge will deliver the 12th annual Steve Biko Memorial Lecture, "Evil Under the Sun: the Death of Steve Biko", hosted by the University of Cape Town and the Steve Biko Foundation, on Monday, 12 September 2011, at 19:00 in Jameson Hall, Upper Campus, UCT.


UCT entrepreneurial expert to speak on value creation
05 September
Professor Eric Wood of the University of Cape Town's Graduate School of Business (GSB) will speak on The Art of Value Creation in his inaugural lecture on 7 September 2011, 17:30, in Lecture Theatre 2D, Leslie Social Sciences Building, on Upper Campus. Professor Wood teaches in the fields of innovation & entrepreneurship at the GSB and in the Netherlands.


Education expert to speak at UCT on 'changing schools for good'
02 September
The Schools Development Unit (SDU) at the University of Cape Town will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a lecture on "Changing Schools for good: what the future holds for Teacher Professional Development in SA", by Brahm Fleisch, Professor of Education Policy at Wits School of Education, on Monday, 05 September 2011, at the Kramer Law Building, Middle Campus, at 16:00. Registration opens at 15:30.


UCT conference to bring together international experts on safety and violence
01 September
Seven experts with international expertise in fields related to preventing violence and promoting safety will bring their experiences to bear on SA's struggles in this important area, at the first conference of the University of Cape Town's Safety & Violence Initiative (SaVI) beginning on 8 September, 2011, in the Barnard Fuller Building, of the UCT Health Science Campus.


Ramos to speak at UCT on global economy's impact on SA
01 September
The School of Economics at the University of Cape Town will host Maria Ramos, the Group Chief Executive of the Absa Group, as the guest speaker for a special lecture on "The state of the global economy and its impact on South Africa", on Friday, 2 September 2011, at 13:00 in Kramer Lecture Theatre 1 on Middle Campus. The lecture is open to the public and seating will be on a first come, first served basis.


Tutu, Haffajee, Pityana, Lategan to discuss civic responsibility at UCT event
22 August
This public conversation will feature Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, who continues even in his retirement to speak on issues of moral integrity; Professor Bernard Lategan, the Ombudsman for Stellenbosch University and the founding director of the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study; Ms Ferial Haffajee, the editor of City Press and a council member of the SA National Editors' Forum; Dr Sipho Pityana, the chairman of the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution; Khayelitsha community organiser Ms Noncedo Bulana; and SRC presidents Ms Amanda Ngwenya of UCT, Mr Ayabulela Mahlathi of the University of the Western Cape and Mr Jan Greyling of Stellenbosch University.


Interview opportunity for Cape Town plant lovers: world-renowned botanist Peter Linder
22 August
Nature lovers who appreciate the abundant and unique plant life of the Cape Peninsula will have the opportunity to meet and ask questions of Professor Peter Linder of the Institute for Systematic Botany at the University of Zürich. Linder was formerly a lecturer in Plant Systematics at UCT from 1987 to 2001. His research interests include the evolution of Cape flora and the geographic distribution of plant species in Africa and the Southern Hemisphere.


UCT academic to present musical lecture on primary health care
22 August
Professor Steve Reid, the Glaxo-Wellcome Chair of Primary Health Care at the University of Cape Town, will perform live music in his presentation of his inaugural lecture, "The Music of Health for All", on Wednesday, 24 August 2011, at 17:30, in the Student Learning Centre Lecture Theatre of the Anatomy Building in the Faculty of Health Sciences at UCT.


2010/2011 SA Child Gauge puts children's political rights under the spotlight
16 August
Children's participation in decisions that affect them is essential for South Africa's democracy, for improved service delivery, and for children's development.


UCT law faculty gives back to top students
15 August
The University of Cape Town's Faculty of Law, through its Law 150 Endowment scholarships, is giving 10 top black South African learners an opportunity to study law at UCT in 2012.


UCT Math Circle quartet make South Africa proud at the International Mathematical Olympiad
11 August
Western Cape young mathematicians and the University of Cape Town's Mathematics Competition participants Sean Wentzel (Westerford High School), Kira Dusterwald (Springfield Convent Senior School), Ashraf Moolla (Rondebosch Boys High School) and Robert Spencer (Westerford High School) were South Africa's best performers when they participated in the 52nd annual International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) held in the Netherlands last month.


UCT researcher scoops Shoprite Checkers Woman of the Year Award
10 August
The University of Cape Town's Dr Elmi Muller scooped the Health Care-Givers category at this year's Shoprite Checkers Women of the Year Awards, which were announced recently (Saturday, 23 July 2011) in Johannesburg.


Helicopter emergency landing at UCT
3 August
UCT confirms that a small private helicopter made an emergency landing in Cross Campus road on middle campus this morning at 9:00. No one was injured.


UCT hosts celebrated academic Dr Ismail Serageldin
22 July
Distinguished academic and sustainable development expert, Dr Ismail Serageldin, will deliver a Vice-Chancellor's Open Lecture on "Universities and the Unfolding Knowledge Revolution: Preparing for the 21st Century", at the University of Cape Town (UCT) on Monday, 25 July at 13:00.


UCT doing its bit to improve poor mathematics and literacy levels at local schools
04 July
While the rest of the country's learners take a well-deserved winter break from school, the University of Cape Town is set to remain a hub of activity when learners from surrounding communities descend on Upper Campus to attend the Maths and Science Education Project (MSEP) on 4–6 July and the 100-UP project, on 11–13 July.

Second quarter


UCT researchers awarded fellowships by L'Oréal-UNESCO
30 June
Two researchers at the University of Cape Town have received fellowships of US$20 000 (about R140 000) each towards the completion of their PhD research projects, through the 2011 L'Oréal UNESCO Regional Fellowships For Women in Science in Sub-Saharan Africa programme.


UCT teaching material receives award for OpenCourseWare Excellence
29 June
A resource shared on the University of Cape Town's OpenContent directory has earned a 2011 Award for OpenCourseWare Excellence recognised by the international OpenCourseWare community. Ms Matumo Ramafikeng received an ACE Award from the OpenCourseWare Consortium in the "texts and illustrations" category for her course titled Occupation Focused Conceptual Frameworks, focusing on the core concepts of occupational therapy thinking used in practice by occupational therapy students, therapists and scientists


UCT introduces "fast-track" degree programme to build skills in clinical health research
28 June
The Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Cape Town, in partnership with other universities in South Africa, Nigeria and Malawi, has introduced a "fast-track" degree programme to allow medical students to work simultaneously towards a Master's degree or PhD in clinical research, as a way of addressing the critical shortage of academic clinicians in Africa.


UCT welcomes US First Lady - Mrs Michelle Obama
23 June
The University of Cape Town is honoured to be one of the hosts for the visit of the First Lady of the United States of America, Mrs Michelle Obama, on Thursday, 23 June 2011. While at UCT, the First Lady will get an opportunity to meet 50 students from 5 historically disadvantaged communities in Cape Town.


UCT celebrates International Year of Chemistry with Interactive Public Programme - 23 June - 5 July 2011
22 June
To celebrate the International Year of Chemistry (IYC), the Department of Chemistry at the University of Cape Town is presenting a wide range of events to give insight into what chemistry is about and how it impacts on so many different aspects of our everyday lives. There is something on offer for everyone, from young children to senior school learners and adults.


ICT PhD thesis opens up new technology for users in the developing world
14 June
Andrew Maunder's PhD thesis, Designing appropriate interactive systems for the developing world, explores the process of designing appropriate information communication technologies (ICT) for developing world communities. He describes the design of 2 cellular phone-based interactive systems, both of which aim to provide a locally appropriate interface to a multimedia information system.


UCT PhD research assists local abalone farmers
14 June
Abalone farming is a growing export industry in South Africa. The stock feeds on seaweed, whose health and cultivation are examined by three UCT graduands who received their PhDs on Friday, 10 June 2011.


UCT PhD thesis unpacks access to land for urban poor
14 June
Najmunnisa Mammon's PhD thesis, The urban land question: management and access for the urban poor in post-apartheid South Africa, can play a significant role in addressing the urban land question in Cape Town and South Africa. She points out that the first step in making state-owned land available to the urban poor is to make the public land asset register more explicit and transparent to society; the second is to define a role for the state in facilitating access for the urban poor; and the third is to streamline urban planning and land use management processes to enable such access.


UCT to offer SA's first Masters course in Muslim Personal Law and Human Rights
13 June
In July 2011, the University of Cape Town will offer South Africa's first university course in Muslim Personal Law and Human Rights at the Masters level – 1 of 4 courses that make up an interdisciplinary Masters degree in Human Rights.


New UCT research investigates effects of drug use and pregnancy on SA youth
08 June
Choices made by youth provide the research focus of 2 PhD graduands at the University of Cape Town. One thesis examines the likelihood that babies born to teenage mothers will be born underweight and grow up to be shorter than average and stunted; the other looks at the effects of methamphetamine ("tik") use on the social interactions of young people in Cape Town. Both graduands will receive their PhDs from the on Thursday, 9 June 2011, at 15:00.


UCT PhD thesis investigates effects of tax increase, advertising ban on tobacco sales
09 June
Evan Blecher's PhD thesis,The economics of tobacco control in low- and middle-income countries, investigates the effectiveness of excise tax increases and advertising restrictions to reduce tobacco consumption, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Many LMICs experience rapid economic growth, and over the past 2 decades, cigarettes have become more affordable in these countries. Blecher argues that excise tax increases on tobacco should be anchored on the affordability concept, rather than as a tax burden, as is currently the case, where excise tax is determined as a percentage of the retail price.


UCT research looks at issues critical to family life and women
08 June
Five PhD candidates selected issues of special interest to women and family life for their research: declining marriage trends in South Africa since 1995; the development and evaluation of a smoking cessation programme for disadvantaged pregnant women; how men cope when their female intimate partners are raped; how health workers who provide abortion services deal with the social challenges and moral complexities of their work; and the opportunities and challenges for comprehensive primary and secondary prevention of cervical cancer, which is a major killer of women in developing countries. All these graduands will receive their PhDs on Thursday, 9 June 2011, at 15:00.


UCT PhD research advances understanding of TB
08 June
Tuberculosis remains a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in countries with high HIV prevalence, such as South Africa. Three PhD candidates devoted their PhD research to studying different aspects of TB treatment and immunity responses. Two of these studies looked specifically at TB in relation to HIV-infected patients. The graduands described here will receive their degrees on Thursday, 9 June 2011 at 15:00.


UCT PhD thesis establishes simple test for heart and kidney disease risk in women
08 June
University of Cape Town PhD graduand Juliet Evans demonstrates that a simple measure of waist circumference can identify women's risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes just as effectively as the higher-risk and more costly computerised tomography-derived measure.


UCT to graduate 63 doctoral candidates this week
07 June
The University of Cape Town will graduate a total of 63 Doctors of Philosophy at three ceremonies on 9 and 10 June 2011. The total number of graduates for June 2011 is 1336. This is the first of 2 graduation sessions each year at UCT.


Celebrating Africa in the midst of apartheid
06 June
A remarkable photographic collection of African Independent Churches in Soweto, taken between 1969 and 1971, will be showcased in an exhibition at the Centre for African Studies Gallery on the University of Cape Town's upper campus. UCT Emeritus Professor Martin West took the photographs while doing the fieldwork for his PhD in social anthropology at UCT. The exhibition runs from 8 June to 3 August.


UCT Maths Competition 2011 champ achieves 100% for fifth year running
01 June
The top participant in the University of Cape Town Mathematics Competition has achieved perfect scores since he first began participating as a Grade 8 learner in 2007 – the first participant to achieve an unbroken record in the 35-year history of the competition.


UCT students triumph in SAICA Board Exam
31 May
The University of Cape Town pass rate for first-time writers of the 2011 South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) Part 1 Board Exam is 96% compared to a national average of 80%. The pass rate for UCT's African students is 89%, while the national average is 55%.


Three UCT academics victorious at 2011 NSTF-BHP Billiton awards
25 May
Three out of 6 University of Cape Town (UCT) finalists walked away with top honours during the annual National Science and Technology Forum-BHP Billiton Awards, held in Johannesburg last night (26 May).


Six UCT finalists at NSTF-BHP Billiton Awards
25 May
Six finalists from the University of Cape Town are in the running for top honours at the National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) -BHP Billiton Awards to be held in Johannesburg on 26 May 2011.


UCT biologists' find is named one of Top 10 New Species for 2011
24 May
When you discover the world's only known jumping cockroach, as UCT's Professor Mike Picker and former student Dr Jonathan Colville did, you naturally spend much time thinking of catchy headlines - such as the one above - to mark the event.


UCT uses modified MRI scanner to measure brain waves of cyclists in the saddle
23 May
Researchers at the University of Cape Town have found a way to measure the brain activity of a cyclist who is operating at racing speed, using a specially modified MRI scanner that holds the subject's head still while the legs are pedalling.


UCT's Prof Zingoni is the newest Fellow of an international elite group of structural engineers
16 May
Alphose Zingoni, Professor of Structural Engineering & Mechanics in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Cape Town, has been elected a Fellow of the International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE).


GrandWest/SHAWCO partnership boosts healthcare in Cape communities
06 May
More than 5 000 residents of disadvantaged communities received free doctor consultations last year worth a total of R2 million, thanks to the partnership between GrandWest CSI and SHAWCO Health at the University of Cape Town.


SHAWCO is seeking learners who want to excel
06 May
Learners in Grades 11 and 12 have an opportunity to study with tutors at the University of Cape Town on Saturdays to boost their chances of excelling in their matric exams. In 2010, learners in the pilot programme for Grade 11 participants in the SHAWCO Shine Programme achieved a pass rate of 100%. All these participants are currently in the Grade 12 programme in 2011.


The Ficksburg moment is a dangerous one for SA
05 May
I would like to thank the SRC for having organised this event today and to say that I bring the apologies of the Vice-Chancellor, Dr Max Price. I also bring to this meeting the full support of the Executive of the University of Cape Town.


7 000 high schoolers to converge on UCT for an evening of fun maths
13 April
Question: Thabo looks after a flock of goats and sheep. The flock has 55 percent more sheep than goats. What is the ratio of goats to sheep in the flock?


UCT savours the taste of Varsity Cup victory
12 April
Statement by Dr Max Price, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Town: "UCT is celebrating a great win, and we are extremely pleased to finally be crowned the champions of the Varsity Cup."


UCT wins award for multilingualism
06 April
In recognition of the need for university graduates to be competent in more than one South African language, for the past decade the University of Cape Town has been developing training programmes in Afrikaans and isiXhosa that have been incorporated into the formal MBChB curriculum of the Faculty of Health Sciences.

First quarter


UCT champion of urban poor and city improvement honoured with prestigious award
29 March
University of Cape Town Professor Susan Parnell is the 2010 recipient of the Alan Pifer Research Award, for her work in urban poverty reduction and environmental management.


Isdell's $1m donation kicks off UCT rugby stadium project
15 March
A donation of US$1 million (about R7 million) by alumnus Neville Isdell to the Rugby Club on 7 March 2010 has allowed the University of Cape Town to dust off its long-nursed plans to build a rugby stadium.


UCT Deputy Vice-Chancellor Beall steps down
07 March
Professor Jo Beall, a deputy vice-chancellor at the University of Cape Town, has tendered her resignation to take up the position of Director of Education and Society at the British Council in London. Her resignation will take effect at the end of April.


GIPCA hosts panel discussion on Palestine, Israel, and South Africa
03 March
The Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts (GIPCA) is hosting a panel discussion on "Palestine, Israel and South Africa" on Thursday 10 March at 17:30, as part of its ongoing Great Texts/Big Questions public lecture series. This free public lecture will take place at Hiddingh Hall, University of Cape Town (UCT) Hiddingh Campus, Orange Street, Cape Town.


UCT to honour heroes in teaching, reconciliation and computer technology
23 February
The University of Cape Town this year will award honorary degrees to David Potter, the founder of microcomputer systems companies Psion and Psion Teklogix; Cape Town teaching legend Stella Petersen; UCT Emeritus Professor Martin West; and struggle and reconciliation leader Mary Burton. The degrees will be awarded to Petersen and West during graduation ceremonies in June, and to Burton and Potter in December.


Statement by the UCT Dean of the Faculty of Humanities on the so-called "closing down of CAS" and merging of academic departments
21 February
There has been some public speculation over the past week about proposals for departmental reorganisation in the Faculty of Humanities at UCT, and the so-called "closing down" of the Centre for African Studies (CAS). Claims have been made that CAS and all its courses, programmes, exchange links, intellectual activities and so forth have either been, or are about to be closed down, and that students have been excluded from discussion on the matters. This is completely untrue. No decision, administrative or otherwise, has been made in relation to any department in the Faculty at this time, and any decision that may finally be made will be arrived at through open discussion and debate within the faculty. A statement was made about this on 14th February but it appears that further details are required.


No plans to close Centre for African Studies, says UCT Dean
15 February
Rumours have been circulating that the Centre for African Studies (CAS) at UCT is to be "closed down" and that students will no longer have access to the courses and programmes that have been offered by CAS in the past. This is not true. The Faculty of Humanities at the University of Cape Town is investigating a proposal to merge the departments of Social Anthropology, Linguistics, the African Gender Institute (AGI) and the Centre for African Studies (CAS) into a new Department of Anthropology, Linguistics and Gender Studies. If the proposal is accepted, all programmes currently offered by all these departments, including CAS, would continue to be offered.


Mizrahi to lead infectious disease research at UCT
14 February
Professor Valerie Mizrahi has been appointed as Director of the Institute for Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine (IIDMM) at the University of Cape Town as of 1 January 2011.


UCT's new Italian knight dedicates award to his father
21 January
At a ceremony at the Italian Ambassador's residence in Cape Town in December, Professor Mino Caira of the University of Cape Town was formally presented with the title of Cavaliere dell'Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana (Knight of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic).


Erwin and other experts to help stretch minds at UCT Summer School 2011
07 January
ANC MP Alec Erwin will coordinate a lecture series on the challenges of developing nations as part of the course offerings at the University of Cape Town Summer School programme, which opens on 17 January.