At UCT we are committed to supporting our students from their first year to graduation. While your time at university can be the best years of your life, you do sometimes need a little help along the way. To truly make you a part of our community, we’ve made a wide range of services available to you.

The Department of Student Affairs (DSA) oversees all student services and activities, including student orientation, sport and recreation, student accommodation, student undergraduate financial aid and the Student Wellness Service. The DSA also works with a multitude of partner and support departments to cater for the needs of all students.

It focuses on:

  • helping students to succeed academically
  • assisting students to become engaged citizens
  • supporting students to reach their full potential.

Your first year

The First-Year Experience (FYE) is a collective, campus-wide initiative to help first-year students transition successfully into university life. This involves multiple staff members from across the university who work to help you navigate this new space, manage your academic journey and develop a strong sense of belonging at UCT.

The FYE prioritises an integrated approach to student development, linking initiatives that respond to your academic, social and material needs.


While UCT has an array of services to help you navigate life at the institution, you don’t always know who to contact when you’re in need, particularly in moments of distress.

The UCT Central Advising and Referral System (CARES) is there to provide you with a central point of contact for the information and services you need.

Send your queries to and a CARES agent will either respond with the relevant, general information or they will refer you to the relevant department.

Ensuring inclusivity

The Office for Inclusivity & Change (OIC) offers a range of support services to ensure that the university is accessible and inclusive to all:

  • removing physical, policy, information and attitudinal barriers that prevent disabled members of UCT from fulfilling their potential
  • supporting survivors of rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment and all forms of discrimination and marginalisation
  • providing case management advice and support to respondents, mediation services, training and awareness raising
  • working with course convenors to develop and implement curricula that improve the personal and professional development of students
  • ensuring equal access to administrative, academic and support services for all students and staff
  • facilitating important student interactions to contribute towards building inclusion at UCT.
UCT believes that no student should be excluded from pursuing a degree due to a lack of financial support. Therefore, the university has reserved funds for financial aid packages to support eligible students, and works with several external stakeholders who provide similar assistance through bursary programmes.