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© University of Cape Town
University of Cape Town

University of Cape Town

University of Cape Town


UCT is a community of exceptionally talented students, teachers, and researchers – and a wide range of professional, administrative support, and service staff – all of whom are committed to helping change this world for the better. We encourage one another to work hard, not only to earn degrees or public recognition but also to be leaders in this increasingly changing world.

Our vision is to be an inclusive, research-intensive African university that addresses the challenges of our time with cutting-edge teaching, research, and facilities. As a university, we are committed to promoting transformation, working tirelessly to guarantee the sustainability of our institution, and ensuring excellence in all we do.

UCT has a proud tradition of academic excellence and is currently the top-rated university in Africa and one of the top-rated universities in the world. Our researchers continue to help with the creation of African-based solutions to global problems, including issues relating to climate change, urbanization, safety and security, education, and health, to name just a few. Many UCT researchers are recognized world leaders in their respective fields, which means that if you choose to study with us, you will continually be exposed to the latest scholarly work and research discoveries.

In addition to providing excellent teaching, UCT encourages students to build their leadership and service skills. We invite our students to participate in the many volunteer projects taking place in the local communities, to become active members of the 100+ societies and over 40 sports clubs on campus, or to give something back to the institution by serving in student governance.

UCT has a vibrant, diverse, cosmopolitan community. Our staff and students come from many different communities in South Africa, as well as more than 100 countries across Africa and the rest of the world. Every person has something to contribute to UCT’s quality and growth, and our goal is to ensure that everyone feels at home during their time here.

Higher education not only opens the door to exciting career opportunities but can also help to build South Africa’s young democracy. Good citizenship requires each of us to understand the issues our country is dealing with and our individual responsibilities. In this sense, education can help to transform society as a whole, and many UCT alumni are currently making outstanding contributions to society through the skills they learned here.

Despite the many challenges we face as a university and a country, I believe that this is a great time to be at UCT. This is a time that offers the prospect of making real change happen.

Campus Features

University of Cape Town

Set against the foothills of the Table Mountain range, the University of Cape Town (UCT) is situated in close proximity to the Cape Town city centre. UCT has six campuses across the city, consisting of Upper, Middle and Lower campus; Hiddingh Campus (home to the English Language Centre); the Health Sciences Campus (situated opposite the Groote Schuur Hospital where the world’s first successful heart transplant surgery was conducted by Dr Christian Barnard); and the Breakwater Campus (home to the Graduate School of Business).

With over 29 000 students, UCT’s campuses are home to its vibrant, multicultural and multinational student community. Students have access to over 40 sports clubs, from jiu jitsu to rugby and more than 100 student societies and organisations reflecting a wide range of interests including academic, religious, cultural, social and political activities.

As the top-rated university in Africa with a vision to be an inclusive, research-intensive African university that addresses the challenges of our time, UCT offers studies across six academic faculties: Commerce, Engineering and the Built Environment, Law, Health Sciences, Humanities, and Science which are supported by cutting-edge teaching, research and facilities.

Intensive English Language - Hiddingh Campus

The English Language Center can be found in the Rosedale Building on the University of Cape Town’s Hiddingh Campus. The campus contains some of the oldest educational buildings in South Africa and is famed for its history and architecture.

The campus is in the center of Cape Town, a short walk from Cape Town’s vibrant cultural and historic center, with easy access to the beaches and local attractions. You will be able to use all the facilities on the Hiddingh campus, including the library and computer lab, and a private UCT bus service will also connect you to the main UCT campus, where you can access a wide range of sports and recreational facilities, join student clubs and societies, and attend student events. Your first day will include an orientation tour so you can get to know all the university has to offer.

We are lucky enough to share the campus with the Performing and Creative Arts departments, giving the campus a creative and vibrant atmosphere. The campus includes two theaters and exhibition space, and there are regular on-campus events, art shows, and performances that you can attend.

The campus is located in the central suburb of Gardens, with Company’s Garden to the East and Kloof Street to the West. Company’s Garden is an oasis of green and tranquility in the city center, while Kloof Street is well known for its many restaurants, bars, and cafes.

    Visa Requirements

    Applying for a visa can feel daunting, but our support team will guide and support you through the visa process. As an institution accredited by the South African Department of Higher Education, the University arranges thousands of student visas each year.

    Visa Exempt Countries (English Language Centre and Global short Programmes)

    If your course is for less than 90 days, many students do not need a study visa. Students from the countries listed below can travel to South Africa and will be issued a visitor’s visa at the airport when they arrive.

    • Andorra
    • Argentina
    • Australia
    • Austria
    • Belgium
    • Botswana
    • Brazil
    • Canada
    • Chile
    • Czech Republic
    • Denmark
    • Ecuador
    • Finland
    • France
    • Germany
    • Greece
    • Iceland
    • Israel
    • Italy
    • Jamaica
    • Japan
    • Liechtenstein
    • Luxemburg
    • Malta
    • Monaco
    • Netherlands
    • New Zealand
    • Norway
    • Paraguay
    • Portugal
    • Russia
    • San Marino
    • Saudi Arabia
    • Singapore
    • Spain
    • St Vincent
    • Sweden
    • Switzerland
    • Uruguay
    • Venezuela
    • United Kingdom
    • USA

    Students from the following countries can study for up to 30 days on a visitor’s visa without applying for a study permit:

    • Angola
    • Antigua and Barbuda
    • Barbados
    • Belize
    • Benin
    • Bolivia
    • Cape Verde
    • Costa Rica
    • Cyprus
    • Gabon
    • Guyana
    • Hong Kong*
    • Hungary
    • Jordan
    • Lesotho
    • Macau*
    • Malaysia
    • Malawi
    • Maldives
    • Mauritius
    • Mozambique
    • Namibia
    • Peru
    • Poland
    • Seychelles
    • Slovak Republic
    • South Korea
    • Swaziland
    • Thailand
    • Turkey
    • Zambia

    * Only with regard to holders of Hong Kong British National Overseas passports and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passports
    ** Only with regard to holders of Macau Special Administrative Region passports (MSAR)

    Visitor's Visa from non-exempt Countries (English Language Centre and Global Short Programmes)

    If you do not hold a passport for one of these countries listed above and plan to be in South Africa for less than 90 days, you will need to apply for a Visitor's visa at the South African embassy in your country of residence.

    Applying for a Study Visa (Semester Study Abroad Programmes)

    If you plan to be in South Africa for more than 90 days, you will need to be issued a study visa in your home country before traveling to South Africa. To apply, you will need the following documents:

    • Your passport (please make sure that your passport has at least two empty visa pages)
    • Two passport photographs
    • An original bank statement showing you have enough money for your stay (approximately ZAR6000 per month) and your receipt for your course fees.
    • A return ticket
    • A letter of invitation from UCT - we will provide you with this.
    • A radiological report (Chest X-ray)
    • A medical report - download here
    • A police clearance certificate from your home country
    • Medical Insurance - see our FAQ for more information
    • If you are bringing a spouse or children, you will also need your marriage certificate and your children’s birth certificates

    You should apply to your local South African diplomatic mission. You will be asked to complete the application forms and submit them with the relevant documents. We recommend you contact your local mission or visit their website for further details before going there in person.

    We are here to help!

    We know that applying for a visa for any foreign country can be complicated, so please contact us if you have any questions or need any help with your application.

    Student Testimonials


    • Cape Town

      Cape Town, South Africa