One of the worldâ€™s oldest universities, founded in 1829, as a high school for boys, the University of Cape Town (UCT), only grew into a full-fledged university during the period of 1880 and 1900. In 1887 UCT admitted female students for the first time in honour of Queen Victoriaâ€™s Diamond Jubilee. In 1928 the university moved the bulk of the facilities to the slopes of Devilâ€™s Peak, the land bequeathed by Cecil John Rhodes to the nation, specifically for a national university. Having a definite stand against Apartheid, UCT admitted its first black students in the 1920â€™s. Today UCT has one of the most diverse campuses in South Africa.
The halls of UCT have seen, and continue to see the most incredible minds known to man. Professor Christiaan Barnard who performed the worldâ€™s first heart transplant at Groote Schuur Hospital, Max Theiler who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1951 for developing a vaccine against yellow fever, Professor J.M. Coetzee who received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2003, Sir Aaron Klug who received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1982 for his structural elucidation of biologically important nucleic acid-protein complexes and his development of crystallographic electron microscopy, to name but a few of the 100 000 that are world renowned.
UCT prides itself on its providing the highest standard of education and tutoring available, in the most pristine setting possible. Home to more than a quarter of South Africaâ€™s top rated researchers that are considered world leaders in their fields, UCT offers more than 60 specialist research units. UCT also has 36 different sports clubs, including extreme sports, martial arts and individual sports. Excellent Academic societies of which the most prominent would be the United Nations Association of South Africa (UNASA) and Students for Law and Social Justice (SLSJ). There are phenomenally interesting religious, political, special interest and cultural societies as well, such as the ANC youth League, UCTâ€™s Mountain and Ski Club and RainbowUCT.
The University of Cape Town is an exceptionally prestigious institution to study at, with the rich history and the ongoing excellence with which UCT stands for there is no alternative. The Universities comprehensive website http://www.uct.ac.za has further information on almost every question you may have when choosing an institution, as well as a updated calendar of upcoming events and goings on at the university.