In selecting content for 2017: A Year in Review, the newsroom team was struck by how the national tableau continued to shape both our individual and institutional journeys.
Ongoing uncertainty around the government’s plans for fully funded higher education reflected in protests and disruptions to the academic enterprise for the third year in succession. Despite this, students and staff banded together to successfully complete the academic year.
The national drought was felt more acutely in the Western Cape, paradoxically bringing attention to the robust body of water and sustainability research being undertaken at the university. Our researchers have taken the lead to assist authorities and planners to manage the crisis and ensure a water-sustainable future.
In this same spirit, our academic departments continue to work with community partners across Cape Town to produce locally relevant research. In seeking to go beyond the traditional reach of the university, for example, the GSB established a satellite campus in Philippi to better serve the surrounding communities.
The university also achieved some remarkable successes in teaching and learning – with a focus on catering for the multilingual diversity on campus – and continued to incorporate digital technologies that enhance the teaching and learning experience.
As a collective, these national and local challenges held up a mirror to what we value as an institution: development through research, social responsiveness, excellence in teaching and learning, and a commitment to deeper transformation. It has challenged us to continue working towards a UCT that is inclusive, diverse and welcoming: a home for all and a springboard for possibility.
While we could never give a comprehensive overview of the past year, the selected pieces in the pages that follow record some of the milestones in the institution’s journey through 2017, and reflect a university at work in a changing world.