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University of Cape Town: Alumni and Faculties


UCT has five Nobel Laureates among its former staff and alumni: Ralphe Bunche (Peace Prize, 1950); Professor Max Theiler (medicine, 1951); Professor Allan McLeod Cormack (medicine, 1979); Sir Aaron Klug (chemistry, 1982); and Emeritus Professor J M Coetzee (literature, 2003).

Other notable alumni include Professor Christiaan Barnard, who performed the world’s first heart transplant; Jonathan Dorfan, director of the Stanford Linear Accelerator Centre; actors Vincent Ebrahim (The Kumars at No 42) and Richard E Grant, and famed film critic Roger Ebert (on a Rotary International programme); writer Breyten Breytenbach; entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth; and Neville Isdell, CEO of the Coca-Cola Company.

Staff include cosmologist George Ellis, collaborator with Stephen Hawking and winner of the 2004 Templeton Prize for Progress Toward Research or Discoveries about Spiritual Realities, the largest single annual financial prize given to an individual for intellectual merit; author André Brink; and formerly, Helen Zille, mayor of Cape Town.

UCT remains in contact with over 60 000 alumni of which 50 000 are in South Africa.

UCT has six faculties:

  • Commerce (incorporating the Graduate School of Business)
  • Engineering & the Built Environment
  • Law
  • Health Sciences
  • Humanities (including arts, social science, music, education and fine arts)
  • Science

All faculties are supported by the Centre for Higher Education Development, which addresses students'; teaching and learning needs. This incorporates the Academic Development Programme(ADP).

Degrees Offered

Undergraduate degree programmes in all faculties combine a strong foundation in one or more academic disciplines with the professional skills required in the world of work. These include numeracy/information literacy, and communication
skills; to the appropriate graduate level.

UCT is a leading research centre and postgraduate research is increasingly emphasised. Each faculty offers master's and doctoral degree programmes.

There are 57 specialist research units at UCT. Postgraduate diplomas with an advanced professional focus are offered in all faculties.