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International Full Degree Students

The University of Cape Town is host to over 4,500 international students from 104 different countries. The majority of these students are registered for full degree studies across UCT's faculties. The University values the contribution that international students make to the academic, social and cultural life of the institution.

The primary objective of the International Full Degree (IFD) student section within the International Academic Programmes Office (IAPO) is to develop strategic initiatives and offer core services that enhance the academic and social experience of international undergraduate and postgraduate full degree students at UCT. The section also maintains formal relations with various UCT & external constituencies to address issues affecting international full degree students. In addition the section contributes to the enhancement of UCT's strategic goal of being a research led institution. The following assistance, advice and support is offered by the IFD section:

  • Acts as a central point for international full degree student enquiries and advises on UCT admissions and administrative procedures, placement, study options, opportunities for research, immigration regulations etc.
  • Provides assistance and advice to students regarding the renewal of study permits and the UCT community in general on immigration regulations.
  • Provides students with a wide range of letters including letters to facilitate opening bank accounts confirm registration and verify permission to work in South Africa.
  • Organises and runs orientation programmes for new international full degree undergraduate and postgraduate students.
  • Assist students in obtaining temporary and long - term accommodation off - campus.
  • Represents the interests of international full degree students on relevant UCT committees.
  • Participates in IAPO`s pre-registration process to screen health insurance and study permits and ensure compliance with existing immigration legislation.
  • Liaises with international student clubs and societies to promote the integration of international students at UCT and enhance the student experience on campus.
  • Organises events aimed at contributing to transformation at UCT and celebrating the diversity of the UCT student body.
  • Contributes to the development of strategy and policy for international postgraduates at UCT eg recruitment, development of proposals and circulars on internationalisation matters affecting international postgraduate students etc.
  • Maintains linkages with international donor organisations such as USAID and AED to facilitate placement of postgraduate students funded by those organisations at UCT.
  • Maintains relations with various country embassies, the Department of Home Affairs and other external constituents to keep abreast with developments in those areas. eg changes in immigration legislation applicable to international students.
  • Networks with colleagues in higher education institutions within and outside South Africa on internationalisation matters.
  • Produces information booklets and maintains other information resources for international full degree students.
  • Promotes community service opportunities to full-degree international students in collaboration with organisations such as SHAWCO, and UCT's HIV AIDS unit.
  • Attendance and presentation of papers at local and international conferences e.g. International Educations Association of South Africa (IEASA) and the National Association of Student Development Conference (NASDEV) on international students matters.
  • Provides a 24 hour emergency call service for international full degree students.

For additional information on IAPO's services to international degree students, please do not hesitate to contact the international full degree students' support team or access IAPO's webpage