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University of Cape Town: University Resources

University library

The state-of-the-art Chancellor Oppenheimer Library on the upper campus includes the Knowledge Commons, a one-stop shop of electronic resources, as well as substantial research collections focusing on Africana. There are nine libraries across the campuses.

The libraries hold about 1.1 million volumes, over 6 000 print journal subscriptions, and have access to over 32 600 online journals and 175 electronic databases.

Web access is available at

The libraries are linked to the libraries of the three other tertiary institutions in the Western Cape region to form the Cape Library Co-operative (CALICO). An online system (ALEPH) provides access to the collections of all CALICO institutions.


There are over 2 000 personal computers in computing laboratories for students. There is ready access to standard software and to teach-yourself courseware. Every student has an email account and access to the Internet.


36 student residences house 5 600 students.

Sport and clubs

Over 95 sport and recreational societies on campus cater for a wide variety of cultural and sporting interests.


Resources include the Baxter Theatre Centre, Irma Stern Museum, and the Little Theatre, which celebrated its 75th birthday in 2006.

Disability Services in the Department of Student Affairs

This service ensures that people with disabilities can overcome barriers to study and work.

Student Wellness Service

This service offers affordable primary health care for all students. A team of nursing sisters, doctors and psychologists are available for consultation. Services include voluntary HIV testing and counselling.

Student Affairs Department

The Students Affairs Department’s vision is to provide efficient and high-quality student services as well as an environment in which students from diverse backgrounds can thrive and develop to their full potential.


UCT is a leading research centre in South Africa with 254 rated researchers - the highest concentration of rated staff at one institution. The university also boasts 23 A-rated academics - considered international leaders in their fields –as assessed by the National Research Foundation (NRF) This constitutes more than one-third of all South Africa’s A-rated academics.

The university also has six P-rated researchers (usually younger than 35, with the potential to become A-rated researchers).

The university has 57 research groups, which include institutes, centres and units across all faculties. These include nine research groups funded by the SA Medical Research Council.

UCT is also home to two Centres of Excellence, accredited by the Department of Science and Technology. The university is a major beneficiary of THRIP (Technology and Human Resources for Industry Programme) funding, a venture promoting partnerships between industry and research institutions.

UCT also receives significant funding from the Innovation Fund.

In 2006, UCT had the fourth-highest publication count in South Africa, up one position from 2005.To boost research endeavours UCT aims to increase the number of postgraduate students.

More than 29% of UCT’s students are enrolled in master’s and doctoral programmes. There has been a substantial growth in honours enrolment (up 37%), master’s enrolment (up 19%) and doctoral enrolment (up 37%) between 2001 and 2005.