Welcome from the Director
It is my pleasure to welcome you to the website for the International Academic Programmes Office (IAPO) at the University of Cape Town (UCT).
IAPO's vision is "empowering internationalisation at UCT." We aim on achieving this vision through our mission to be the thought-leader, partner and first port of call on all matters internationalisation for the global higher education community, participating at UCT in order to further the university's strategic goals as a whole. As the institutional home of internationalisation at UCT, IAPO works to ensure that the externalisation of internationalisation is built on and supported by internationalisation at home. IAPO fosters the exchange of ideas and insights throughout Africa to the rest of the world and vice versa.
In 2008, UCT’s Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Thandabantu Nhlapo defined Afropolitanism as the university’s aspiration to embrace more meaningfully and more visibly its African identity and to play a significant continental role as one of Africa’s leading institutions. IAPO continues to work to align itself with UCT’s Afropolitan vision. Internationalisation and Afropolitanism share a common transformation vision as both have the potential to create greater diversity on campus and encourage curriculum development, while impacting on the institutional climate at UCT. In the continuing spirit of celebrating our Afropolitan niche both geographically and intellectually, UCT annually celebrates Africa Month each May with a host of events for both students and staff. It is a celebration that is not to be missed.
UCT proudly stands as Africa’s top ranked, research-led university. It is also ranked among the top 100 universities in the world for eight of its subject areas in the Times Higher Education (THE) Rankings. Together, IAPO strives to uphold this position, and UCT’s position as a university that is used globally as a benchmark for internationalisation. This, as always, takes hard work and dedication, because the concept is an ever-moving target.
Since the founding of UCT, and the creation of IAPO in 1996, international students and international collaborations have been a fundamental part of the UCT experience. The number of international students continues to grow year by year – as does the size and scope of IAPO. There are nearly 5000 international students registered across all six faculties, making up roughly 20% of the UCT student body.
Over the years, IAPO has grasped opportunities to promote UCT within the international realm. Aside from opening our doors to many visitors from around the globe - expanding the UCT community - the department has represented the university on various global events, negotiated funding opportunities and formed new collaborations.
One particularly successful programme, led by IAPO, is the Semester Study Abroad (SSA) programme, which was launched in 1998 with 152 students. Since then, the programme has grown rapidly, reaching just under the 1000 mark for the past few years. Also, since 1998, IAPO secured its relationship with the International Education Association of South Africa (IEASA). Over the years, IAPO has received several IEASA Golden Key awards for excellence in Internationalisation and for their corroborative efforts between the international office and international students. We have also flown the UCT flag high by hosting the IEASA conference in 2012.
On an international level, in 2009 UCT joined the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN), a global network of 17 of the world’s leading universities. UCT hosted the WUN Conference for the first time in March 2014, and we were proud to announce UCT Vice Chancellor’s, Dr Max Price, appointment at WUN’s new chair.
UCT's dedication to internationalisation with an Afropolitan niche has also been translated into a number of new programmes and partnerships with higher education institutions on the African continent. One of these new programmes came into being when UCT joined the prestigious MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program in 2014. The UCT chapter of the MasterCard Scholars Program is a US$23 million, 10-year initiative to educate and prepare young people - particularly those from Africa - with access to quality and relevant education.
I hope that this website serves as a guide to simplifying the intricacies involved in considering studying at UCT, representing UCT abroad in one of our many exchange programmes, visiting or partnering with UCT. Now that you have a taste of what internationalisation at UCT is about, I hope that you will be encouraged to contribute to IAPO's vision of empowering internationalisation at UCT.
Professor Evance Kalula
Director, International Academic Programmes Office
Director, Confucius Institute