Student life at UCT

Read about student life at The University of Cape Town

Whether it was having our farewell dinner or the wine tasting, my highlight would definitely be the time with my fellow students as a whole! We had so much fun!

Sumona Bose, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Welcome! Wamkelekile! Welkom!

Ranked 1st in Africa by Times Higher, the University of Cape Town (UCT) is South Africa’s oldest university, founded in 1829 as the South African College. Its campus is located in one of the most beautiful spots on the Cape Peninsula, on the slopes of Table Mountain. This vantage point offers panoramic views and easy access to the city of Cape Town itself.

Chloe Scott UCTPhoto: UCT Upper Campus by Chloe Scott

Much more than just an academic programme!

We know that many participants want to experience something of Cape Town beyond the classroom therefore we arrange social and sightseeing events before and during the LSE-UCT Summer School.

Formal opening cermony and welcome

The Summer School will officially begin with a formal welcome from the LSE-UCT Summer School Academic Director on the Sunday directly before the start of the programme. This will be followed by music, drinks and snacks and a chance to meet LSE-UCT Summer School staff and fellow participants. In addition we offer the following optional events:

Extracurricular and social events

Movie night - On one night each week, we will be showing a film at the Graça Machel Hall of Residence. These events are free to all LSE-UCT Summer School participants and normally include a screening of one classic or contemporary African film, along with some popcorn to make the evenings even more enjoyable.

LSE-UCT Summer School photo competition - We hold a photo competition each year which gives participants the opportunity to share their experience and adventures. We usually have five categories and announce the winners at the Farwell Dinner on the last day after the final exam. Yes, there are prizes!

Braai - There will be an informal ‘braai’ (barbeque) at the end of the first week.

Farewell dinner - We invite all participants to attend a farewell dinner on the final evening of the LSE-UCT Summer School, along with faculty and administrative staff from the programme. The event takes place at a local hotel and is a wonderful occasion to celebrate the unique experience the LSE-UCT Summer School offers. The dinner is also a final opportunity to network with the fascinating faculty, staff and students who participated in this programme before saying goodbye to the great friends you have made - or preferably - "see you again next year!"

"The most memorable moment was the final dinner. This was truly a
celebration of our achievements, and was even more special because of Vice
Chancellor Mamokgethi Phakeng’s speech. The positive energy in the room allowedus to conclude LSE-UCT Summer School on an extremely high note! It also instilleda sense of unity which I carried with me as I returned home." Christian Pierce, COPPEAD Graduate School of Business, Brazil

Please note: Subject to availability, times, dates and costs (if applicable) to be confirmed.

Roundtable event

During the LSE-UCT Summer School we organise an evening roundtable event to which all summer school participants are invited. The event begins with a panel session where some of our faculty debate an interdisciplinary topic, and we then invite questions from the audience to generate additional thought-provoking discussions.  This is normally one of the educational highlights of the programme as it brings together attendees and experts from across multiple courses.

Topic to be confirmed shortly. 

Cultural excursion

Excursion to Table Mountain* - There will be an excursion to Cape Town’s most famous landmark, Table Mountain, on the first Saturday of the programme. Participants will need to pay their own entrance fee for the Table Mountain cableway (R255), but we will provide free transport to and from Graça Machel Hall of Residence. You can sign up for this excursion during registration or at the LSE-UCT Summer School Cape Town Office.

*Please note that entrance to Table Mountain is weather dependant but tickets are valid for seven days, so if the weather is poor and the cableway is closed on the day, you can use it any time the following week. If it is not possible to visit Table Mountain over the first weekend we will offer alternative options.

Optional trips

You can also join one (or more) of the following exciting trips:

Safari - Get close and personal with some of South Africa's most iconic animals! If you want to spend some extra time in Cape Town you can join a two day post study safari at Aquila Private Game Reserve and Spa.

Swimming with Sharks - For all who think they will need a turbo adrenalin boost after the final exam, how about swimming with sharks?

Township tour - Explore District 6, Bo-Kaap, Signal Hill, Langa and Gugulethu. This tour will trace the various areas occupied by local populations in and around Cape Town from the early days of the city through the Apartheid era to the current day. The tour will give a view of contemporary township life and highlight some of the development initiatives which have taken place.

Wine tasting tour - Do you like cheese and wine? The story of wine making is synonymous with the development of the Western Cape. Why not join us for wine (and cheese) sampling from three of Cape Town’s 700 wine farms!

All tours can be booked via our Cape Town office. You will receive prices and how to book once you have a confirmed offer.

Alex de Cort Solms Delta Wine Estate 2019

Photo: Solms Delta Wine Estate by Alex de Cort

Take a look at our Instagram page to see photos from our amazing alumni and their LSE-UCT Summer School adventures.

The University of Cape Town Campus

During the period of apartheid, UCT was designated as a “whites only” institution. However, today’s campus has been transformed to reflect the diversity of the entire South African population in terms of students and academic and administrative staff. It is also consistently ranked as the number one university in Africa.

UCT facilities

UCT Library - The UCT Chancellor Oppenheimer Library is situated on Upper Campus next to Jameson hall and will be open from Monday to Friday from 08:30 – 17:00 and on Saturday from 09:00 – 12:30. The library is closed on Sundays. Prescribed and recommended books from the programme will be made available for reference purposes (i.e. you may only use the books in the library) to LSE-UCT Summer School students and you are encouraged to use the library as a general study space. However, full course reading packs are provided during
registration to cover all essential reading materials.

UCT Student Wellness - UCT maintains an on-campus health centre for registered Summer School participants where there is no fee for visits to nurse-practitioners, although participants are charged for appointments with doctors and other specialists. All staff members are qualified and accredited practitioners with a licence to dispense medication.

UCT Gym - open 06:00 to 21:00, Mondays to Fridays, and 8:00 to 19:00, Saturdays and Sundays.

Internet access - While on campus, LSE-UCT Summer School participants are able to access the internet through UCT’s Information and Communication Technology Services (ICTS).

Tip: If you are already registered with Eduroam, you should find that you are able to connect to WiFi automatically when on the UCT campus.

Getting around UCT

Transport at UCT starts with the Jammie Shuttle, but it doesn’t need to end there. A range of public and private transport options will help you get around campus and the city. Transport overview | Jammie Shuttle | Campus maps

Farwell Dinner Moyo KirstenboschPhoto: Farwell Dinner at Moyo, Kirstenbosch