UWC Website

UWC Website, the University of the Western Cape has a history of creative struggle against oppression, discrimination and disadvantage. Among academic institutions it has been in the vanguard of South Africa’s historic change, playing a distinctive academic role in helping to build an equitable and dynamic nation. UWC’s key concerns with access, equity and quality in higher education arise from extensive practical engagement in helping the historically marginalised participate fully in the life of the nation.

UWC Website

Early Days

In 1959, Parliament adopted legislation establishing the University College of the Western Cape as a constituent college of the University of South Africa for people classified as “Coloured”. The first group of 166 students enrolled in 1960. What they were offered was limited training for lower to middle level positions in schools, the civil service and other institutions designed to serve a separated Coloured community. In 1970 the institution gained university status and was able to award its own degrees and diplomas.

A Freer Climate

Protest action by students and black academic staff led to the appointment, in 1975, of the first black Rector. The new, freer climate under the leadership of Professor Richard E (Dick) van der Ross was hospitable to intellectual debate and internationally respected scholarship.

In its mission statement of 1982, UWC Objectives, the university formally rejected the apartheid ideology on which it was established, adopting a declaration of nonracialism and “a firm commitment to the development of the Third World communities in South Africa.” In 1983, through the University of the Western Cape Act of 1983, the university finally gained its autonomy on the same terms as the established “white” institutions.

Towards Democracy

The term of Professor Jakes Gerwel, who took office as Rector in 1987, saw an unambiguous alignment with the mass democratic movement and 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. Important social and policy issues, which had been swept under the carpet by the government of the day, thus received attention.

The university also formalised its “open” admissions policy, providing access to a growing number of African students, and paving the way for rapid growth. Despite severe constraints, students from the disadvantaged communities graduated in increasing numbers, equipped to make a professional contribution to the new South Africa. President Nelson Mandela lauded UWC for having transformed itself “from an apartheid ethnic institution to a proud national asset.”

New Order

The 1990’s were characterised on the one hand by a sense of rich achievement. UWC was able to play an impor tant role in the emergence of the new democratic order. It provided opportunities for many people to prepare for a wide spectrum of higher-level careers, and played a leading part in policy research and formulation.

UWC takes pride in the fact that so many of its senior academics and alumni found themselves in public office at all levels, a number in the national cabinet.

On the other hand the decade was marked by a strong orientation to the future. There was increased concentration on teaching and learning excellence. UWC’s research productivity now places it in the upper group of universities and technikons in the country. A thorough- going review of structures and academic programmes was also begun in the 1990s.

This has led to decisions on consolidation of effor ts, to a more interdisciplinary thrust, and to the development of programmes which offer better access to the job market and show a more direct responsiveness to issues of national importance. In the words of Professor Cecil Abrahams, Vice-Chancellor from 1995, UW C is committed to being “a Place of Quality, a Place to Grow.”

Vision of the Future

Towards the end of 2001 former UWC rector Professor Brian O’Connell assumed the Vice-Chancellorship amidst a plethora of processes to restructure the higher education system in South Africa. In 2002 the Minister of National Education mapped the future higher education landscape. One of the outcomes of the restructuring process was that UWC would retain its status as an autonomous institution.

Under the visionary leadership of its new Rector, the University is now, more than ever, challenged to demonstrate that it is capable of competing with the best and of playing a prominent role in the intellectual, social and economic life of the nation.

One of UWC’s primary concerns for the future is to use its mandate to create and maintain a sense of hope for the nation whilst helping to build an equitable and dynamic society.

A second concern is with its role in the knowledge economy. It remains committed to creating, preser ving and disseminating knowledge that is dynamic and relevant to the challenges of a modern world and a transforming society. A third concern, which is inseparable from the notions of hope and knowledge, is a concern with agency – the will and the ability to act, to be an agent of change.

A dynamic future beckons as UWC strives to remain a vibrant institution of high repute, in pursuit of excellence in teaching, learning and research. UWC believes that its strength will come from its ability to provide a nurturing space for its staff and students to grow in hope and to create and share knowledge to inform agency. ​​​​

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The University of the Western Cape is a national university, alert to its African and international context as it strives to be a place of quality, a place to grow. It is committed to excellence in teaching, learning and research, to nurturing the cultural diversity of South Africa, and to responding in critical and creative ways to the needs of a society in transition. Drawing on its proud experience in the liberation struggle, the university is aware of a distinctive academic role in helping build an equitable and dynamic society. In particular it aims o:
• Advance and protect the independence of the academic enterprise.
• Design curricular and research programmes appropriate to its southern African context.
• Further global perspectives among its staff and students, thereby strengthening intellectual life and contributing to South Africa’s reintegration in the  world community.
• Assist educationally disadvantaged students gain access to higher education and succeed in their studies.
• Nurture and use the abilities of all in the university community.• Develop effective structures and conventions of governance, which are democratic, transparent and accountable.
• Seek racial and gender equality and contribute to helping the historically marginalised participate fully in the life of the nation.
• Encourage and provide opportunities for lifelong learning through programmes and courses.
• Help conserve and explore the environmental and cultural resources of the southern African region, and to encourage a wide awareness of these  resources in the community.
• Co-operate fully with other stakeholders to develop an excellent, and therefore transformed, higher education system.​​

Please dont hesitate to contact the institution when facing problems or hindrances. The institutions contact details will be of aid to you if you want to clarify or enquire more dossiers.

Contact Numbers 
Telephone :  +27 21 959 3900 : Prospective Students
Telephone :  +27 21 959 3901 : Current Students
Telephone :  +27 21 959 3902 : Parents and Sponsors  
Telephone :  +27 21 959 3903 : Alumni and Employers  
Telephone :  +27 21 959 2911 : General Information

Student Admissions and Applications

For all Student Admissions and Applications related queries, contact the UWC Contact Centre at:

Telephone :  +27 21 959 3900/01

Email Address: admissions@uwc.ac.za

UWC Postal Address

Postal Address :  University of the Western Cape  

Private Bag X17

Bellville 7535

Republic of South Africa

UWC Physical Address

Physical Address :  University of the Western Cape  

Robert Sobukwe Road

Bellville 7535

Republic of South Africa

UWC Website Enquiries 

Email Address :  servicedesk@uwc.ac.za

Faculty Enquiries

Faculty of Arts 
Faculty Manager :  Susheela McWatts    
Email Address :  arts@uwc.ac.za    
Telephone :  +27 21 959 2138
Faculty of Community and HealthSciences (CHS)
Faculty Manager :  Marquard Simpson  
Email Address :   msimpson@uwc.ac.za  
Telephone :  +27 21 959-2856
Faculty of Dentistry
Faculty Manager :  Joline Savill  
Email Address :  jsavill@uwc.ac.za  
Telephone :  +27 21 937 3159
Faculty of Education
Faculty Officer :  Suheima Towfie   
Email Address :  stowfie@uwc.ac.za  
Telephone :  +27 21 959-2275
  Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences (EMS) 
Faculty Officer :  Sanchia Van Staden  
Email Address :  emsadmin@uwc.ac.za  
Telephone :  +27 21 959-3619  
Faculty of Law
Faculty Officer :  Denise Snyders  
Email Address :  dsnyders@uwc.ac.za  
Telephone :  +27 21 959 3292
Faculty of Science     
Faculty Manager :  Lawrence Corner Undergrad
Email: science-undergrad@uwc.ac.za
Postgrad Email: science-postgrad@uwc.ac.za
Telephone :  +27 21 959 3891

Office :  International Relations Office  ​

 Contact Person :  Debra Lamson  
 Email Address :  dlamson@uwc.ac.za   Telephone :  +27 21 959 2884

Office for Students with Disabilities Enquiries

Office :  Office for Students with Disabilities, Institute for Counselling
Contact Person :  Ms Evadn’ Abrahams    

Postal Address :  University of the Western Cape     Private Bag X17    Bellville 7535     Republic of South Africa 

Telephone :  +27 21 959 2299/3586  

 Email Address :  eabrahams@uwc.ac.za

Student Counselling Enquiries   

Institute:  Centre for Student Support Services  

Location:  2nd floor of the new Community and Health Sciences Building  

Telephone :  +27 21 959 2299/3587  

Facsimile :  +27 21 959 2882  

Email Address :  csss@uwc.ac.za

Residential Services Enquiries

Office :  Accommodation Office  
Postal Address :  University of the Western Cape                               Private Bag X17                             Bellville 7535                             
Republic of South Africa 
Telephone :  +27 21 959 2568   
Facsimile :  +27 21 959 2671  

Kovacs Private Residence On Campus:
Postal Address: Kovacs UWC Student Village
University of the Western Cape
Private Bag X7
Republic of South Africa
Telephone: +27 21 959 9500
Facsimile: +27 21 959 9501
Email: kovacs@uwc.ac.za
Website: www.kovacsuwc.co.za​