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University of the Western Cape
Private Bag X17
Tel: +27 21 959 2142
Fax: +27 21 959 3352

University of the Western Cape

The University of the Western Cape was established in 1959 as a constituent college of the University of South Africa for people classified as “Coloured”. The first group of 166 students enrolled in 1960 and they were offered only training for lower to middle level positions in schools, the civil service and other institutions designed to serve a separated Coloured community. During the mid 1980’s the University leadership saw an unambiguous alignment with the mass democratic movement which also brought a new edge to the academic project; under the banner of “an intellectual home of the left”, space was created for curriculum renewal and for innovative research and outreach projects.Following the achievement of democracy in 1994, many of the University’s senior academics and alumni found themselves in public office at all levels, a number in the national Cabinet. The University continued to grow, and today it ranks in the upper group of universities in the country and in Africa. The University has several leading research units, and produces the largest number of black Science graduates annually. The University has positioned itself as an Engaged University, relating to the University’s unfolding sense of itself and of the ways in which it is facing the challenge of being an excellent university in a global environment while at the same time remaining responsive to the social and economic development imperatives of the country.

General information

Founded: 1959

Undergraduate students: 12 860

Master’s students: 1 502

PhD students: 1 019

International students: 4 209

Academic staff: 937


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