The transformation process at the University of Cape Town (UCT) involves all its staff and students in an endeavour to make the institution inclusive and reflective of South Africa’s demographic profile and to make it a place where everyone can work together with pride and a sense of belonging, to uphold our position as Africa’s top university.
The journey towards transformation begins by identifying the change and the culture we want at UCT and proceeds by committing each member of the UCT community to pursuing our desired culture and change – every day.
“While changing the social composition of power is important, we have to realise that it is not sufficient – we also need to transform the structures as well as ways of doing, knowing and being.”
Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, former Vice-Chancellor
UCT’s focus on institutional culture change addresses six broad areas:
- student access, support and success
- staff access, support and success
- place and space – with a focus on artworks, symbols, names of buildings, our identity and UCT's work, in both academic and social spheres
- how we respond as an institution to discrimination, harassment, and violence
- engaging with the community and developing community partnerships
- curriculum support, including the development of inclusive classrooms.
UCT’s Employment Equity (EE) plan aims to support UCT in achieving its transformation agenda.
The university has also established the Office for Inclusivity and Change (OIC) to provide institutional responses to transformation, sexual and gender-based violence, disability and cultural change.
At its core, the transformation we strive for is characterised by excellence. Without this excellence, transformation has no integrity. Equally, the sustainable excellence we strive for is enabled and enriched by transformation. Excellence without transformation at its heart will always be called into question.
Transformation characterised by integrity recognises that everyone has the potential to transform and to be excellent. It recognises that as we ensure access from across society, we also strive to ensure opportunities for students and staff to participate fully and have a tangible impact on our world, for all to contribute to shaping new perspectives and creating our joint futures. Such transformation is enriching, meaningful, sustainable, filled with promise and will affect and change us all.