University of Cape Town

Photo courtesy Danie van der Merwe

Take in the stunning architecture that typifies South Africa’s oldest university.

The University of Cape Town – known throughout South Africa as “UCT” – is South Africa’s oldest university, founded in 1829 as the South African College, a high school for boys.

It is one of Africa’s most prestigious universities, and is situated in beautiful old buildings high on the slopes of Devil’s Peak, with impressive views out over the Cape Flats, towards Somerset West and Stellenbosch.

The university has six faculties – Commerce, Engineering and the Built Environment, Law, Health Sciences, Humanities and Science.

At the main campus visitors can sit on “Jammie steps”, the popular student hangout outside Jameson Hall, to soak up student life, or enjoy a walk around the campus overlooking Rondebosch and Newlands.

You can also access the pedestrian path to the Rhodes Memorial, which offers striking views of Cape Town, and pop in to the restaurant for a welcome cuppa and home-made treats.

The Hiddingh Campus in the city houses the Drama and Fine Arts departments, including the Michaelis Gallery (+ 27 (0)21 480 7170), which exhibits local and international art. At the end of each academic year, fourth-year student art is displayed and the event is a highlight of the local art scene.

Among UCT’s more than 100 000 alumni are the late Professor Christiaan Barnard, the world-renowned heart surgeon, and three Nobel laureates: Sir Aaron Klug, the late Professor Alan MacLeod Cormack and JM Coetzee.

Contact the university for more information on foreign students, short courses and lecturing positions. Contact Cape Town Tourism for more information on educational tourism.

The Groote Schuur Campus, which is built on land that was donated by mining magnate Cecil John Rhodes, is situated on the slopes of Devil's Peak. Photo courtesy of MySkyGarden

Smuts Hall is a male student residence at the university. Photo courtesy of DanieVDM

'I could never accept the position that we should disqualify a human being on account of his colour.' Cecil John Rhodes. Photo courtesy of DanieVDM

Buyel'Embo Village

This cultural village aims to remind us of our origin and serves as the reservoir for African knowledge pertaining to nature and traditions, giving us an opportunity to celebrate who we are through music (wonderful sounds from live bands) or from its’ distinct fineness of cuisine, topped up with African (local) arts and crafts.

Braai and Camping

Hot summer sun, extra long days and warm nights, sun-kissed skin and time to spend with loved ones; summer in Cape Town is the ideal time to get outdoors and enjoy getting closer to the spectacular nature that is within minutes from the bustling city.

Cape Town Diamond Museum

Diamonds were formed three billion years ago by molecular-changing heat of around 1 300 °C, deep within the Earth’s crust. If you didn’t know that, then you have not been to the Cape Town Diamond Museum.

Castle Military Museum

The Castle Military Museum is housed in the oldest building in South Africa, the Castle of Good Hope. It is a tribute to the brave regiments of the past, providing an insight into the political history of the country and celebrating the rich military history of the Cape.

South African Rugby Museum

Cape Town sport enthusiasts are lucky enough to live in the city that is home to the South African Rugby Museum. Located just a drop kick away from the Newlands Rugby Stadium in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town, home of the Stormers, the South African Rugby Museum is a full of tokens, collector’s items, memorabilia and history of one of the country’s most watched sports.

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