Welcome to the University of Cape Town (UCT). We know you have given serious thought to your choice of institution, and we are glad you have chosen to study at Africa’s top-rated university.

UCT offers not only education of high quality in the programme of your choice, but also opportunities for personal growth, leadership training, relationship building, personal transformation, and even the possibility of developing your entrepreneurial skills to take your ideas into the business world.

While you are studying here, you will learn about Vision 2030. This is UCT’s institutional strategic plan for helping to lead society through the unprecedented developments of the 21st century. The Vision 2030 mission statement, which applies to all of us, sets a goal to unleash human potential for a fair and just society.

We want to help you to unleash your own potential so you, in turn, can unleash the potential of others. Many of our alumni become leaders in their chosen fields, and through them, UCT’s influence is felt across the world.

You have been offered a place here because of the high academic standards you have achieved. You will have done so through hard work and perseverance, qualities that will stand you in good stead during your university studies. UCT aims to help you develop further qualities and skills, such as critical thinking, teamwork, problem solving, active learning and evolving, emotional intelligence, and decision-making. These attributes will be invaluable to you in your future careers, and more generally.

Many, if not most, students who excelled in high school find that pursuing a degree is a very different kind of challenge. University study requires a greater level of discipline and focus. But you are not alone on this path. Every UCT faculty has programmes and people in place to assist you along the way.

In addition, I invite you to explore our wide range of extracurricular activities and clubs and to seek opportunities to pursue a healthy lifestyle in which there is a good balance between the rigours of academic work, and adventure, fun and social activity. Your education is not just about studying; it’s also about getting to know other students and making friendships that can last a lifetime. It’s about explorations and discovering talents you may not know you have. Living a balanced life will help you to get the best out of your time at UCT.

Your physical and mental health and well-being are important – to you, and us. If you are struggling or need any assistance, please reach out to our Student Wellness Service, which offers onsite, online and telephonic counselling and support, or contact the UCT Student Careline (0800 24 25 26 or SMS 31393 for a call-back), which is available 24/7.

During orientation, you will receive a substantial amount of new information. Don’t worry if you can’t memorise it all! What is really important for you to know is that UCT and your faculty have so many ways to help you find your way in your field of study.

Please make it a habit to ask questions – in class, in your study groups, in the library, in your res, your faculty – in fact, anywhere on campus. Your success is UCT’s success, so don’t be shy to seek help as soon as you feel you might need it.

UCT is the top-rated university in Africa and one of the top-rated in the world. We strive for excellence among our students and staff members. We are committed to transformation so that each of you can fulfil your true potential. It’s important to us that you realise your goals, graduate and contribute to the growth of South Africa and the continent. You are Africa’s gift to the world.

We are all looking forward to getting to know you, to celebrating your accomplishments and walking beside you every step of the way in this new chapter of your life.


Emer Prof Daya Reddy
Vice-Chancellor interim

Page through Campus Life for just about all the information you need to know about studies and life at UCT. It’s an indispensable guide for all first-time students on campus.

Read Campus Life 2024 online.

Campus maps

Finding your way around campus can be overwhelming in your first weeks, but there are resources and tools available to help you.

You can download the UCTMobile App and then you’ll always be able to find out where things are. The campus maps on the UCTMobile App include information about UCT’s six campuses, and you can search for buildings, residences, and computer availability.

You can access the web version of the maps, if that’s easier for you, or if you’re in a computer lab or on your laptop you can enjoy seeing the maps on a bigger screen than your phone or tablet.