University Of Cape Town Upper Campus
University Of Cape Town Upper Campus, The University of Cape Town and its Upper Campus are key parts of the heritage of Cape Town and the history of South Africa. The Upper Campus is one of Cape Town’s landmarks and UCT is one of the best Universities in South Africa.
UCT is one of Africa’s finest Universities, but reference to the ‘The University of Cape Town’ applies as much to its iconic Upper Campus in the Cape Town suburb of Rondebosch as it does to its superb facilities, faculties and departments.
One of South Africa’s National Monuments, the UCT Upper Campus is one of Cape Town’s most recognisable landmarks, and is as much a part of the character of the city as the Houses of Parliament, the V&A Waterfront and Table Mountain.
UCT is South Africa’s oldest University. Founded in 1829 as a school for boys called the South African College, the growing school and college became a tertiary institution over time and was awarded full University status in 1918. Nestled under ‘Devil’s Peak’ mountain, the majestic buildings of the Upper Campus at Groote Schuur, Rondebosch, are easily seen from the road and the Campus is an instantly recognizable Heritage feature of Cape Town as well as of one Africa’s leading tertiary teaching and research institutions.
The Campus as it stands today was laid out by architect J.M. Soloman in 1918 when the South African College became the University of Cape Town, incorporating buildings from the early 1800’s restored by famed architect Herbert Baker in the 1890’s. UCT was moved onto the Campus in 1928, and the Campus was declared a National Monument in 1979.
Another heritage building, the Woolsack, is situated just below in the ‘Middle Campus’. Built by Cecil John Rhodes to be a home for artists and poets, the Woolsack was a summer home to author Rudyard Kipling and his family from 1900 – 1907.
A Brief History of Anti-Apartheid Activism at UCT
The University of Cape Town has an academically illustrious and politically active past. Like many of the world’s established Universities, UCT became a breeding ground for independent thought, and in the political turmoil of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, the campus became a centre for social dissent and political activism, culminating in violent on-campus protests in 1987. However, despite the growth of liberal thought and the University’s central role in anti-apartheid activism, and despite the leadership of individuals such Dr Mamphele Ramphele, founder of the Black Consciousness Movement in South Africa with Steve Biko, the predominantly white student demographic only reflected the democratic changes taking place in South Africa well into the 1990’s.
The University of Cape Town has also both produced and retained many prominent individuals in academia, business and the political arena in South Africa – from celebrated Author and Professor Andre Brink to current Chancellor Graca Machel – the wife of Nelson Mandela.
UCT Arts & Culture
Besides its academic and research facilities, UCT is well known for its contribution to the development of Arts and Culture in Cape Town and South Africa. Central to this is the University’s Baxter Theatre – built in 1977 and open to all even in Apartheid years. Today UCT Art’s faculties comprise the Baxter Theatre Centre, the School of Dance, the Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts (GIPCA), the Irma Stern Museum, The Kirby Collection, the Little Theatre, the Michaelis School of Fine Art and the SA College of Music.
UCT’s achievements in the sports arena are also well documented and respected. The University promotes sports on both social club and competitive levels, with an excellent record of achievement at Provincial and National levels.