Excellence is the key trademark that should be visible in all UCT endeavours through the pursuit of achieving the highest standard of research, teaching and operations in order to contribute meaningfully towards more equitable society. Excellence is the guiding principle in all we do. We constantly interrogate what constitutes excellence – by the relevance of the knowledge, the applicability of the research and the extent to which the knowledge contributes towards a more fair and just society.

Research has long been the cornerstone of excellence at UCT, and we want our researchers to keep contributing to local and global knowledge, but we also recognise that excellence does not rest in the university’s research endeavours and academic successes alone. Excellence is located within the professional, administrative support and service staff who work as collaborative partners to achieving excellence in the academic enterprise.

We know that excellence already exists across the full diversity of our multilingual and multicultural campus. And it is through this collective tapestry of sexualities, race, genders, cultures, histories and perspectives that excellence is located.

Excellence must be sustainable. This requires that it reaches across all UCT activities: our research; our teaching and learning; the impact we have on communities; the work of our professional, administrative support and service departments; across the UCT community and in all our operations.

We challenge one another to be excellent in their humanity and in their understanding of each other. To seek, instil and celebrate excellence in everything we do as a university and in the way we engage with one another, in the way we reach out to the communities surrounding us, in the way we build the UCT community.

Excellence is not an elusive goal. It is already within each of us. You define your level of excellence.

Opening ourselves to learning, teaching, researching and operating in a deeper pool of inclusivity will pay dividends that will contribute to authentic and sustainable excellence.

The Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence Awards aim to recognise members of the UCT community who make an outstanding contribution to the university’s mission and objectives in areas beneficial to the university and its strategic imperative.