Our fundraising priorities feature projects which demonstrate our commitment to producing new knowledge and enabling students to pursue excellence in their respective fields. This ability to explore new frontiers in our work is only possible because of the donor partnerships we are fortunate to have. Without such support, we would be severely curtailed in what we could imagine possible.


  • Student-Centred Development

    Plaza Week 2019


    Completing a university degree is the aspiration of countless young South Africans, enthused with the hope of making an impactful contribution to our fast developing region. The challenge of funding this lifelong asset is one that the University of Cape Town (UCT) has committed itself to, ensuring that no student will be turned away simply on the basis of financial need. We endeavour to optimise this opportunity through more financial assistance programmes for both undergraduate and postgraduate students. Bursaries make allowance for mentoring and tutoring facilities, career pathing, as well as health and wellness. While some students are supported by National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) funding, those who fall outside of the R 350 000 annual household income limit, still have funding needs due to family commitments. If such students are from families with an annual household income below R 600 000, they are assisted with gap funding that ranges from R 20 000 to R 100 000.   An undergraduate bursary is estimated at an average cost of approximately R140 000 per student per year. Not all students in need of financial assistance are fully funded and while partial sponsorship of tuition and residence is a welcome support, they still bear the challenge of funding ancillary costs. As a result, many students find themselves in financial debt and while they are academically eligible to continue in their study programmes, historical student fee debt still needs to be reconciled. UCT is reliant on donors to consider partnering with us to assist students who face the risk of not completing their studies due to historical student fee debt. In many instances, these outstanding fees range from around R 10 000 to R 100 000 per student. Given the critical shortage of postgraduate qualifications in South Africa and the need to produce more specialists to increase the knowledge base of our region, UCT aims to attract a larger number of postgraduate candidates for study. Since many outstanding students do not have the financial capacity to pursue honours, masters or doctoral degrees, the need often outweighs the limited resources that the university can provide. Postgraduate bursary programmes at UCT are also structured as comprehensive support packages, responding to students’ needs for support with academic fees, residence fees, research costs, and essential living expenses.  Honours Degree bursaries are calculated at R 150 000 per year, while Masters Degree programmes are set at R 165 000 per year, and Doctoral Degree programmes at R 180 000 per year.

    Student Wellness Service

    Holistic student development is among our key concerns at UCT since the achievement of academic goals is dependent on a healthy lifestyle. The Student Wellness Service works to promote this value through a range of interventions offered by a professional team consisting of medical practitioners, psychiatrists, nurses, a social worker and psychologists. The team is dedicated to helping students adopt healthy living values and to make life choices that promote their well-being. While this has become a significant and indispensable part of student services at UCT, the growing student population and diversity of needs have necessitated a more substantial level of primary health care. This is especially with regard to care-giving approaches that are more culturally diverse and likewise attuned to healing therapies. Of particular concern is the increased risk that students face with mental health issues, given the demanding workloads and tight time constraints of university schedules, as well as the trauma that is associated with a politically transitioning environment. The increased services include a crisis care line, on site crisis intervention service after hours, over weekends and public holidays, as well as psychologists who have a lived experience of previous disadvantage. We also need to increase the number of doctors and nurses who tend to physical ailments, particularly for students who live in residence and are on financial aid. The Service hopes to build a more sustainable and long term service on campus that is based on the principles of Primary Health Care, focusing on Health Promotion - Disease Prevention - Curative Care. The annual budget for the Service is calculated at R 2 800 000.

    Global Citizenship Programme

    Universities globally are increasingly under pressure to graduate students who think more broadly than their degree or discipline, are critical thinkers and active citizens committed to fight for social justice in all realms. The Global Citizenship Programme takes these issues as its direct mandate to work across the university, engaging students as active, critical citizens. The Programme is an active learning initiative for innovation in critical global citizenship, community engagement, and social justice pedagogy. We develop and offer short credit-bearing courses, build partnerships on and off campus with relevant organisations, and contribute to debate and discussion on transformation and engaged student learning. In essence, the programme is about learning and development with a focus on opportunities for citizenship and leadership. In particular it asks students to think about, and act on, these roles in the context of both global concerns and local issues. This is done by enabling students to engage with global issues, coupled with instilling a motivation in them to work for social justice through involvement in local community service and volunteering. In this way, it provides a space for an enriched and wider education experience to complement their primary degree programme. Over the past eight years, student registrations have reached over 2000 from a diversity of academic disciplines on campus. The programme runs at an operating budget of approximately R 1 700 000 per year.

    Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Education                                                               

    As society evolves into a more inclusive and fluid social system, so do our economies need to incorporate innovative means of building prosperity. While the traditional model of an employee society was built on individuals conducting standardised tasks in a predictable manner, the entrepreneurial model now focuses on the way individuals respond to opportunities in the face of uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. Within this global context, university students need more than the traditional academic curricula, and are increasingly required to graduate with transferable skillsets and mind-sets. The UCT Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Education programme aims to offer a series of block courses and workshops to students, to explore entrepreneurship as a career option and develop related skills useful in this context. The project will be a hub of entrepreneurial activity on campus for students to expand their academic development into an inventive set of skills. This is so that students are not only intrapreneurial, as job seekers, but also entrepreneurial, as job creators. Hosted by the university’s Careers Service, the entrepreneurship and innovation learning opportunities will take place concurrently with students’ academic streams, and also offer full-time courses. While donors are invited to consider elements of the programme that they may choose to fund, the total estimated cost of the programme per year is calculated at R 5 400 000.

    Knowledge Co-Op

    As development challenges grow with intensity the world over, higher education institutions such as the UCT are aware of their need to groom socially responsive leaders. UCT has therefore made a commitment to produce graduates whose qualifications are internationally recognised and locally applicable, underpinned by values of engaged citizenship and social justice. The Knowledge Co-Op at UCT is a programme that helps to put this mission into action by matching student research projects with community based organisations that are in need of skills and research expertise to improve the capacity of their work. UCT students, under the supervision of project leaders, are therefore given the opportunity to see the direct impact of their work through interactive engagement with communities that lack development resources. The experience is an invaluable lesson for students who are empowered to practice this kind of innovative leadership in the careers that they will pursue. As the Knowledge Co-Op works to foster socially-responsive learning, our students are able to acquire the necessary civic literacy, knowledge and skills to build a more just, equitable, and unified South African society. This is the calibre of citizenship that UCT fosters among its students and we look forward to funding partnerships in this responsibility of grooming our next generation of innovative leaders. Our fundraising target is set at R 800 000 per year.

    Excellence in Law

    Over the past two decades, South Africa’s Constitution and Bill of Rights have been heralded as among the most progressive human rights documents. Under the globally admired leadership of Nelson Mandela and other struggle heroes, this achievement is a victorious culmination of the struggle against apartheid and the birth of a constitutional democracy. While this pivotal project in our country’s history embraces a range of political, social, economic and cultural rights, the challenges of inequality still persist. One of the most urgent of these challenges is access to education. The University of Cape Town’s Faculty of Law addresses access to studying law through its Excellence in Law campaign. With a keen focus on strengthening our constitution and the rule of law, through quality legal education, this initiative endeavours to raise support for scholarships and to recruit prospective lawyers from all sectors of society. The total annual cost of a scholarship to study law at UCT is calculated at ZAR 160 000.

  • Arts and Culture

    Soprano singer Noluvuyiso Mpofu during her audition in the quarter-finals of the Belvedere Singing Competition.

    Opera School

    The University of Cape Town Opera School prides itself on discovering vocal talent amidst impoverished communities that are rich in musical culture, turning the fragile dreams of young singers into real opportunities. For nearly 90 years, the school has been creating opera stars for the world’s stages through the intensive training, coaching and personal supervision offered. The opera programme at UCT is one of the most expensive courses of study due to the costs of productions, personal voice teachers and coaches. The school is located at the university’s renowned South African College of Music, headed by internationally recognised artists and academics. It offers a rigorous academic programme that meets students at every need, from those who have had formal training to those who lack basic elements of musical theory. The foundation programme is especially suited to bridge such gaps and help students to reach parity with their peers before tackling the Performer’s Diploma in Opera (PDO). Their progress in the PDO is offered further development through the Bachelor’s Degree of Music in Opera and the Postgraduate Studio, with intensified needs of close supervision and coaching. Many of our students have emerged from the comprehensive programme of theory and practice, taking their rightful place among the world’s best. Among these stars are the likes of Pretty Yende, Musa Ngqungwana, Goitsemang Lehobye, Levy Sekgapane, Pumeza Matshikiza, and several others. Over the past four years, we have been establishing an endowment in order to create a sustainable financial resource. The fundraising goal of the endowment campaign is to raise R20 million so that students receive comprehensive bursaries and the Opera School is able to provide the intensive training necessary for nurturing operatic skill. We have thus far secured R17 million and now seek to close the funding shortfall R3 million.

    Baxter Theatre

    Producing indigenous and international productions, over the past four decades, the Baxter Theatre Centre at the University of Cape Town has significantly expanded the body of work in South African Theatre. It has given our local artists international exposure, providing a voice and visibility to African themes, apart from creating work for South African directors, producers, actors, technicians and designers. The diversity of productions staged at the Baxter span dance, drama, opera, music concerts, and comedy showcases, making the Baxter an iconic theatre venue among a wide range of audiences. Developmental theatre work is a unique focus, through arts festivals and workshops that nurture young artists and provide them with a platform to present their work. The Baxter is not funded by the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture, neither does it qualify for funding from the National Lottery Commission. The university generously allocates The Baxter a grant of approximately one-third of our annual operational expenses. If the arts industry in South Africa is to sustain the excellent work it has already produced, funding support is essential. It is especially crucial now as the Corona Virus pandemic means that the Baxter will not be fully operational again anytime soon. However, when this pandemic is over, the arts will play a significant role in finding meaning, healing and bringing communities together, in celebration of our humanity. The Baxter has always been the people’s theatre and so, we are appealing to the people to “Buy the Baxter a cup of coffee every month.” In other words, to contribute R30 per month to build future financial sustainability.Join friends of the Baxter Theatre who are supporting the #BaxterCoffeeAngels campaign

    Institute for Creative Arts

    The national and global significance of the Institute for Creative Arts (ICA) is largely attributed to the interdisciplinary nature of the ICA, working across disciplines of music, dance, fine art, drama, creative writing, film and media studies. Inter-disciplinarity is a key theme of the Institute and projects are imbued with innovation, collaboration, and dialogue with urbanism and community. Apart from creating new platforms and mentoring new artists, the ICA maintains strong affiliations with arts projects locally, nationally and internationally, exploring critical themes of decolonisation and transformation and setting new boundaries for imagining new social concepts. The Institute hosts a Graduate Programme (MA and PhD) in Interdisciplinary Arts, Fellowships, Inter-disicplary Conferences (comprises talks and art) on contemporary topics, the Infecting the City Public Art Festival and a Public Spheres Programme, a Public Lecture Series, a Publications and Podcast Initiative and Live Art Programmes that include community workshops, public discussion and the ICA Live Art Festival.

    The ICA Live Art Festival is the Institute’s flagship event in that it features students and faculty members from the university, as well as a wide range of invited artists and academics, nationally and internationally. Blurring the fields of art, dance, theatre, music, architecture and literature, the ICA Live Art Festival is widely acknowledged as the leading platform for interdisciplinary and live art in South Africa. Profiling works by artists from Africa and the diaspora, the Festival makes possible new and transformative interactions within the public sphere. The work of the Institute has contributed to the development of researchers, artists and audiences from marginalised communities. In a country where division continues to hamper our institutions and bureaucracies, the ICA fulfils a pressing need for a space where intellectuals and artists from a wide range of backgrounds can come together to experiment with ideas and develop new visions for the creative and performing arts through innovative projects. Our funding shortfall is currently R1.5 million per year.

    Irma Stern Museum

    For over forty years, the University of Cape Town has housed the Irma Stern art collection at the museum on Cecil Road, Lower Campus. Irma Stern, one of South Africa’s most influential and complex visual artists, made this place her home until she died in 1966. The museum highlights the formal innovations in the art of this pioneering modernist, examines her influence on contemporary art, and explores challenges posed by Stern’s approach to her craft. Stern was an inveterate traveller and discriminating collector. Her varied collections displayed throughout the rooms of her home include Ancient Egyptian and Hellenistic Greek artefacts, 3rd century Indian stone carvings and Chinese ceramics, as well European furniture dating back to the 15th century and, most notably, an extensive collection of African art.

    The Irma Stern Museum draws on the arts to inspire, engage and encourage debate through permanent and temporary exhibitions, workshops, events and discussions. A particular focus of the museum is the outreach education initiative. Through on-site tours and online material, the museum supports art teachers in making the work of Irma Stern relevant and exciting to those learners who engage with her work as part of the school curriculum. Additionally, targeted workshops aim to make art meaningful and accessible to learners from poorly resourced communities who do not ordinarily have the opportunity to explore art as a medium of expression.Our fundraising target to sustain these initiatives is estimated at R500 000 per year.

    Arabic Studies

    Arabic has a long tradition of teaching in South Africa, not only for those who bear a Muslim religious identity but also for those who have an interest in the cultural and religious perspectives associated with the Middle East. In the past century only a few South African universities have offered courses in Arabic studies, but due to the recent changes in the field of language teaching in the country the University of Cape Town is now only one of four such institutions. UCT’s Arabic Section is the only such unit that offers a programme mostly focused on Modern Standard Arabic and contemporary topics. The importance of this language offering is confirmed by the increase in student enrolment since its inception in 2003, as well as the frequent requests for resources from various companies and organisations outside of the university. The basic costs of the Arabic Section at UCT have thus far been covered through an endowment offered by the Shahmahomed Trust. As we now endeavour to expand the section with more teaching and research capacity, we seek to grow our current endowment. This financial resource will enable us to offer a new post of either lecturer or senior lecturer so that we can offer a Major in Arabic at undergraduate level to more students, as well as develop our postgraduate studies and thus provide the country with an expertise that the job market seems to value. Our aim is to raise R12 million.

    Hebrew Studies

    Hebrew has been taught continuously at the University of Cape Town since 1896 when the then South African College created a dedicated academic chair in the language. This legacy has all but ended with the recent retirement of staff in the Hebrew Studies Section of the university. Hebrew studies faces the risk of being phased out unless permanent funding is secured to attract new staff and grow the Section into a facility that is able to offer more courses at undergraduate and postgraduate level, and build our current research capacity. Hebrew Language and Literature serves several purposes. An encounter with Hebrew culture offers a portal into the modern Middle East. Furthermore language instruction has long provided future teachers with the tools needed to teach the language in the classroom. We seek funding to support positions – at either the lecture or senior lecturer level – that will ensure that UCT continues to offer Hebrew at both the undergraduate and postgraduate level on a permanent basis. The costs of an endowment for a lectureship is calculated at R20 million.

  • Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics

    Science Learning Centre

    The UCT Science Learning Centre is envisioned as a space where science learning is fostered through interactive engagement, where students from a diversity of backgrounds are able to experiment creatively and learn from each other about how to best understand our complex world. It will not only contribute to enhancing the learning experience of our students but will also stimulate innovative approaches to teaching and learning among academic staff.  In this way we aim to span the breadth of interests and opportunities within our faculty, developing a sense of community and common identity among Science students. The UCT Science Learning Centre will be located on level three of the repurposed Chris Hani Building on Upper Campus, most centrally located to all Science Faculty departments. The associated Faculty of Science Administrative Office will be located one level above to provide students with a close spatial link to academic administrative resources. The overall project will include a new large 350-seater lecture theatre and general student amenities, with the top floors of the repurposed building comprising the Science Learning Centre and Faculty Administrative Offices. The costing has been estimated as follows:

    • Science Learning Centre and Administration Facilities – R35 million
    • Repurposing the Chris Hani Building – R90 million

    Every donation towards this project makes a significant impact on the goal of building an innovative environment to grow our next generation of scientists.

    School of IT

    School of IT

    As we find ourselves at the brink of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, there is a growing need within the South African and Global Tech Industry for graduates who are able to straddle multi-disciplinary fields of computing and technology. In order to better respond to this need, the UCT launched the School of Information Technology at the start of 2018. The School combines previously separate departments of Computer Science, Information Systems, Electrical and Computer Engineering, with ancillary offerings in other departments such as Statistics and Film and Media. This unified teaching and learning structure has become a dominant model across the globe for a more inclusive and comprehensive response to the rapidly-changing tech industry. In order to strengthen our country’s competitive position in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, UCT seeks to build capacity for the new School of IT such that the programmes of study and associated career opportunities may be more accessible to the many potential graduates who are needed for our country’s techno-social advancement. As the School of IT now draws students from a wider field of disciplines, effecting transformation through greater access for youth who grew up under circumstances that lacked exposure to technology, more equipment and human resources are needed for the School to fulfil its potential. While General Operating Budget funding from the university covers fundamental costs, donor funding is essential to extend the School’s current capacity and meet our funding shortfall of R1 million per year.

  • Health

    Forensic Pathology Institute      

    South Africa’s high crime rate and a lack of sufficient resources in forensic pathology have given rise to excessively high rates of unsolved murder cases. Unanswered questions, surrounding the death of loved ones, is a harsh reality that thousands of citizens face every day. The Division of Forensic Medicine at UCT has undertaken to set right this injustice to the dignity of crime victims through the establishment of a new Forensic Pathology Institute. The facility is poised to be more than just a mortuary. It will allow for pathologists to be trained and work as expert consultants to investigators, courts, prosecutors and defence counsel. In this way, the Institute will provide a comprehensive service that will include improved quality of responses to questions of loved ones regarding cause of death, manner, and any other peri-mortem/ante-mortem circumstances. More importantly this centre will enable many unsolved or cold cases to be reopened and investigated with the latest technology and expertise. The centre will be constructed in Observatory, Cape Town, at the corner of Main Road and Groote Schuur Road, at the entrance to the historic Groote Schuur Hospital. The Forensic Pathology Institute is a joint undertaking of the Western Cape Government Department of Health and UCT’s Division of Forensic Medicine. The share of construction costs are such that government has committed over R200 million and UCT will fundraise R21 700 000 to cover the costs of equipment for laboratory, dissection, and teaching spaces.

    APFP trains health professionals who can develop capacity in their countries through clinical service provision, training and research in child health.

    African Paediatric Fellowship Programme

    The goal of the African Paediatric Fellowship Programme (APFP) is to transfer specialised skills to child health care professionals in Africa, especially where resources for such training are minimal. With access to the facilities of Africa’s largest and only stand-alone specialist hospital for children, the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, the programme creates opportunities for practitioners from the African continent to gain fundamental training in focused paediatric areas. The APFP was established in 2007 in the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health at UCT. To address the skills shortage in paediatric health care in Africa, the APFP has been building regional capacity by offering medical training within the spectrum of diseases that are prevalent in the African setting.  Working in partnership with hospitals and training institutions across Africa, the APFP equips carefully selected doctors and rehabilitation therapists with specialist and subspecialist skills required to advance child health in Africa, and collaborates with the equivalent training programme for nurses. Since 2009, our donors have enabled the APFP to grow and mature from a fledgling initiative enrolling 7 fellows in its first year, to the current enrolment of 41.  In total, donor support has facilitated the APFP’s training of 88 fellows from 14 African countries. The annual cost of a Fellowship is calculated at R 300 000 per year over two years of the programme.

    Perinatal Mental Health Project

    The Perinatal Mental Health Project (PMHP) addresses the crisis of maternal mental illness in South Africa. It is the only project of its kind in South Africa, and only one of a handful in the developing world. Formally commended by the World Health Organisation, it was founded in 2002 with the primary objective of achieving universal maternal mental health care.  Through service provision to 3000 at-risk women and girls annually, at 4 obstetric facilities (Mowbray Maternity Hospital, False Bay Hospital, Hanover Park Midwife Obstetric Unit and Retreat Midwife Obstetric Unit) the PMHP aims to develop the necessary models in order for the Department of Health (DOH) to scale-up and roll-out integrated, quality maternal mental health care nationally. PMHP’s primary objective is to provide mental health screening for pregnant women and girls and free counselling as part of routine antenatal care. Its secondary objective is to prepare the environment and enhance scalability of maternal mental health services. Therefore, the PMHP trains the next generation of health practitioners and provides in-service professional development for health workers in the maternity setting, reaching approx. 700 health workers per year, including community health workers. It conducts applied research to develop, evaluate and optimise maternal mental health service models. The PMHP’s advocacy programme addresses stigma, raises awareness and ensures research uptake. Donor support helps to supplement the total annual budget of R 4 800 000.

    Drug Discovery Centre (H3D)

    Translating basic disease biology into new medicines is challenging anywhere in the world, but in Africa it is a daunting task because of infrastructure, technology and expertise gaps, along with a lack of financial resources. Over the last six years, UCT’s Drug Discovery and Development Centre, H3D – the first and only one of its kind in Africa – has been harnessing modern pharmaceutical industry skills along with the development of the relevant infrastructure, enabling technologies, and expertise. In this relatively short period, H3D has made ground breaking history by leading an international effort that has led to the discovery of Africa’s first potential malaria medicine in partnership with Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV). Currently a clinical development candidate, MMV048 not only has the potential to impact both malaria control and elimination by reaching that milestone, it has also already shown that major advances in scientific and clinical research are possible at H3D. This progress has brought H3D to a major inflection point where it now needs to achieve long term sustainability on one hand while on the other hand expand significantly in order to achieve critical mass in disease areas of focus, as well as in underpinning scientific disciplines. We are currently fundraising for a Chair in Drug Discovery, with an annual funding target of R 2 500 000.

    Southern Cape – Karoo Health Sciences Teaching Platform

    Increasing the number of health science students and expanding the rural exposure that final year students receive in their training are two objectives of the Garden Route District Health Sciences Platform. The project involves the placement of medical and physiotherapy students in their final year at George, Knysna, Mossel Bay and Oudtshoorn Hospitals joining the clinical teams where they contribute to service delivery while learning hands-on. Expansion to Beaufort West as well as the inclusion of occupational therapy students is also planned. The benefit is therefore twofold: students are exposed to a wide range of health challenges in a more rural setting, while these medical institutions benefit from the added expertise that accompanies the transition of a non-academic hospital to an academic hospital. With the movement and accommodation of senior students away from the Health Sciences Faculty base in Observatory, Cape Town, space is then available for the faculty to train a larger cohort of students. This will ultimately increase the number of health care practitioners that the university produces. Supplementary donor funding is needed for capital expenses on the student and staff residence, including a learning centre, as well as operating costs for the platform. The most important cost of the project relates to our students. Our budget is currently calculated at R 250 000 per student, with a total average of 30 students per year.

    Inclusive Practices Africa              

    The Institute for Disability Innovation Africa is intent on bridging the research and knowledge gap about people with disabilities since this largely unmet need has resulted in policies becoming stagnated as merely ‘in principle’ documents rather than bringing about change through implementation. The Institute is based in the Faculty of Health Sciences at UCT and endeavours to work through four key themes:

    1. Education programmes through African-focused knowledge systems
    2. Research and engaged scholarship with multiple stakeholders for reciprocal learning
    3. Public and private systems development through deepening collaboration
    4. Advocacy for inclusive change

    The Institute will therefore serve as a vehicle to generate knowledge and innovation that advances the social inclusion of people with disabilities throughout the continent. The project is envisaged over a five-year plan that includes the establishment of a Research Chair in Disability Innovation, which incorporates bursaries for postgraduate researchers and funding for postdoctoral fellows. Operating under the auspices of an Institute, the project incurs infrastructural and running costs as well as staffing responsibilities to carry through the four themes across regional and international collaborations. The fundraising target is set at a total of R25 million over a period of five years.

  • Next Generation of Academics

    Growing the Future Academics of Engineering and the Built Environment (EBE)

    The Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment (EBE) at UCT is intent on producing both knowledge and professional graduates who make a positive impact in South Africa, as well as globally.  There is also a growing need for the academic profession to contribute towards the social and economic development demands of South Africa as well as the broader continent. To do this we need to attract and develop the best, most passionate, committed and diverse students and staff into our faculty. The Faculty aims to support the development of diversity and excellence in the academic profession by introducing strategic programmes to contribute to the transformation of the faculty and the university’s academic space. Key Programme Interventions are:

    • Undergraduate Level Research Programmes
    • Postgraduate Bursaries / Scholarships
    • Early career development and support

    While our student profile is a diverse representation some of the best talent in our country, our academic staff profile still lacks transformation. Black South Africans are significantly under-represented in the faculty’s academic staff profile as well as in management positions. In order to address the transformation of the current EBE academic staff profile, the faculty will inject early and consistent interventions that can be sustained throughout the academic journey, from first year to professorship. Over a period of five years, we aim to prepare approximately 90 candidates with programme costs estimated at R 17 million per year.

    Leading with Excellence Campaign

    The University of Cape Town’s Faculty of Health Sciences has a prestigious reputation for medical achievement. It is ranked among the top 50 medical schools in the world, and its ground-breaking research has impacted on health globally. It is also known for having trained some of the finest health practitioners and health scientists internationally. With austerity measures being imposed upon the Department of Medicine by the Provincial Government of the Western Cape, the Department has decided to launch a fundraising campaign titled Leading with Excellence which will allow us to take greater control of our strategic initiatives. The goals of this campaign will include establishing new professorships, retention strategies of early career health professionals, updated academic and clinical buildings, and scholarships/fellowships to support our transformative agenda. The beneficiaries of this fundraising campaign will comprise primarily members of the Department of Medicine at UCT, and this will indirectly impact on the communities we serve in the Western Cape, the Provincial Government of the Western Cape, including Groote Schuur Hospital, as most of our staff share joint appointments. There is also significant overlap in the nature of our work and the larger UCT community. While the campaign target is set at R 200 million over five years, one of the more immediate aspects of the campaign is the training of postgraduate and postdoctoral candidates to ensure a pipeline of talent from student to early career scholars and professorships. Scholarships for such training is valued at a total cost of R 30 million over the next five years.

    Transformative Pipeline for Mathematics and Applied Mathematics

    The Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics at UCT is world-renowned for the strength of its teaching and research. It is home to more than 30 permanent academic members, many with National Research Foundation ratings and several internationally recognised as leading experts in their respective fields, for example Topology, Category Theory and Cosmology.  Unfortunately the staff profile of the department is under-represented by Black South Africans, with currently only one appointed in a full-time Lectureship position. The department currently teaches 6756 undergraduates across the faculties of Science, Engineering and Commerce, of which 40% are Black South African. In order to address this issue, the department is putting together a transformative programme to develop young academic staff who will represent the future in what is one of Africa’s leading Mathematics Departments. The aim is to produce a homegrown pipeline of research mathematicians, some of whom will fill vacancies as they arise and as existing staff retire or resign annually. The programme supports two students per year, for a total of ten years, from Honours level. In addition we wish to support two Masters and one Doctoral student from 2019. In total, thirteen postgraduate students will be fully supported all the way to completing their doctoral studies. The total cost of the programme is R 47 million and we have thus far secured R 6 million.

    Researcher Development Programme

    Integral to the new strategic plan for UCT is the continual development of emerging researchers. In particular we seek to attract more black, women and disabled South African postgraduate students and postdoctoral fellows to broaden the pool of future academics.  The Researcher Development Programme is for early career academics or those who have not yet established themselves as researchers. It includes a wide range of professional development seminars and workshops which are open to all staff, as well as research development grants for eligible early career scholars. The impact of the programme is, on the individual level, a demonstrable improvement in leadership ability and academic status through a focus on research, writing and management skills. At the collective level, it will transform the current demographic of academic staff such that it is more inclusive and diversely representative. In this way UCT will ensure its contribution to the growing base of knowledge production and strengthen socially responsive research, developing theory that is appropriate to South Africa’s location on the continent. Donor funding for the programme is needed to supplement what the university provides from its current resources. To this extent, our annual funding shortfall is calculated at R1 million per year.

  • Social Justice and Advocacy

    Nelson Mandela Memorial and School of Public Governance

    Improvements in governance and accountability, economic policy, and global economic conditions have led to more consistent growth in the current period than at any other time in modern African history. In order to sustain and expand this growth, our continent needs to train highly skilled individuals to serve as senior officials in government and government agencies. The values espoused by the founder of South African democracy, Nelson Mandela, his commitment to constitutionalism, inclusion, accountability and transparency are critical for Africa to reach its full potential. The Nelson Mandela Memorial and School of Public Governance is a fitting development to enhance the legacy of Nelson Mandela and help to underwrite Africa’s bright future. The University of Cape Town, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the South African National Parks Board have formed a partnership to establish the Nelson Mandela Memorial and School of Public Governance on the slopes of Table Mountain to the south of the Upper Campus of UCT. The purpose of the project is to commemorate the ethical spirit of Nelson Mandela in a living memorial which embodies the values of accountability and inclusive developmental governance. This will be done through a centre of memory, a small conference centre and space for teaching and research in the field of accountable, ethical governance and inclusive development. The total estimated building cost is R 520 million but, with pledges already standing at R 270 million, our fundraising shortfall is R 250 million.

    Children’s Institute

    The Children’s Institute (CI) is a highly respected policy research unit that uses evidence to bring about real change for children. Children are over-represented in poor households, often without basic services like water and sanitation, and often separated from their parents because of orphaning or labour migration. The combined effects of poverty and food insecurity result in persistently high stunting rates – a sign of chronic malnutrition that undermines physical and cognitive development, and contributes to high under-5 mortality. One in three children experience sexual abuse before the age of 18 and rates of physical violence are similarly high, driving excessive rates of child murder. The CI’s research and advocacy agendas are aligned with the major challenges facing children in South Africa, and currently focus on three main inter-related themes:

    1. Alleviating child poverty and deprivation through well-designed and inclusive social protection strategies – in the context of historical and structural inequality.
    2. Improving child protection systems by strengthening coordination, violence prevention and response strategies – in the context of widespread violence and abuse.
    3. Strengthening early childhood development through a comprehensive package of services and support for children and their caregivers – in a context where children have very different opportunities from the moment they are born.

    The CI’s staff – with backgrounds in public health, sociology, law, politics, social work, psychology and communications – pool their skills to investigate the complex social issues affecting children. The research evidence is used strategically to contribute to laws, policies and interventions that realise children’s rights and advance social justice. The CI has an annual budget of R11 million. It relies on external funding through research contracts and donations to continue its work.

    Photographed at the launch of the ACDI were (from left, back) Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng, Prof Bruce Hewitson, Prof Harald Winkler, Prof Mark New and Prof Edgar Pieterse; and (from left, front) Dr Mandy Barnett, Tasneem Essop and Kirtanya Lutchminarayan

    African Climate and Development Initiative

    The African Climate and Development Initiative (ACDI) is UCT’s collective response to the challenge of climate change in the context of sustainable development in Africa. ACDI is an inter and transdisciplinary research and training institute that brings together academics across UCT and beyond, NGOs, business, civil society and government to co-produce and test new insights, evidence and innovations that will help to solve Africa's climate and development challenges.  ACDI’s vision is of a developing world that has transitioned to an equitable, sustainable, low-carbon development trajectory. ACDI works towards this vision by a suite of activities framed around three goals:

    Goal 1: Enable and facilitate innovative inter- and trans-disciplinary research on issues at the nexus of climate change and development across UCT, South Africa, Africa, and the global South.

    Goal 2: Develop capacity of a new generation of African researchers and practitioners with the knowledge, experience and competencies to function effectively towards addressing complex climate change challenges at multiple scales, and in multiple contexts.

    Goal 3: Promote well-informed climate response strategies, planning, implementation and decision-making through targeted networking and stakeholder engagements. This includes proactive communication and dissemination of UCT climate change and development research and expertise. In order to ensure future sustainability of ACDI’s work, we are fundraising towards seed contributions for the endowment fund with contributions of R 500 000 to R 1 million.

    Schools Improvement Initiative

    The Schools Improvement Initiative (SII) draws on the university’s broader resources to assist the Western Cape Education Department in improving the quality of education in the province. The SII’s model of school improvement is sought through the development of strong university-school partnerships. Through the SII the university engages practically, developmentally and critically with the problems of schooling in our country. This is carried out through Teacher Professional Development and School Organisational Development, student volunteer programmes, coaching and recruitment of learners for university study, and strengthening resource capacity for school libraries. With a strong focus on interdisciplinary collaboration and school improvement, we draw on university-wide resources and initiatives which include academic staff and student service organisations. Over the next few years, the SII will be exploring ways in which we can encourage community engagement that goes beyond the school and classroom. Our focus will be on the school as the core institution of community engagement and democratic development. We aim to develop strong and responsive university-school partnerships which contribute positively to long-term change in the classroom, the school and in the broader community. While a large portion of the SII budget is provided for from the university’s general operating fund, we rely on donor support in order to meet our annual funding shortfall of R 1 800 000.