year in review 2018 Paperturn - Page 13



2018: A YEAR IN REVIEW | VICE-CHANCELLOR’S OVERVIEW
“I BELIEVE THAT THIS EVENING REPRESENTS ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF HOW WE
CAN BEGIN TO BUILD AN EVEN STRONGER COMMUNITY WHERE EVERYONE’S
CONTRIBUTION IS VALUED, AND EXCELLENCE IS ACKNOWLEDGED IN ALL
ASPECTS – FROM GARDENING AND CATERING SERVICES TO MAINTENANCE
TEAMS, AS WELL AS ADMINISTRATIVE AND PROFESSIONAL STAFF, TO
ACADEMICS AND STUDENTS,”
VICE-CHANCELLOR PROFESSOR MAMOKGETHI PHAKENG IN HER OPENING
ADDRESS AT THE UCT ANNUAL AWARDS 2018.
I believe that, as an academic
leader, UCT should also be heading
the charge to understand and
address the changes that are rapidly
unfolding in the world. To this end,
I set up the “Futures Think Tank”
to consider how our future as a
university, and as a society, may
be affected by the shifts that are
arising from phenomena such as
climate change, the fourth industrial
revolution, technological advances,
artificial intelligence and global
migration, to name a few. I asked
Professor Alison Lewis, dean of the
Faculty of Engineering & the Built
Environment, to lead the Think Tank
and my hope is that by the end of
this year we will be able to announce
initiatives emerging from its work.
One thing that does not change is
UCT’s reliance on so many individuals
and organisations for all kinds of
support. Our campus community
stands strong on the shoulders of
our many supporters, and I extend
my sincere thanks to each of you
for helping to make 2018 a year of
continuing growth and success for
the university.
that is in touch with the needs of
surrounding communities.
One of my first actions as vicechancellor was to spend time visiting
sites and community projects on the
Cape Flats where UCT is involved.
I was excited to spend the time
discussing ideas and future dreams
with our students and the health
services professionals who help train
them, and I renewed my commitment
to build and strengthen relationships
with communities that may have felt
alienated from the “university on the
hill”.
Many of these projects have their
roots in the work of SHAWCO,
UCT’s student-run community
service organisation, which proudly
celebrated 75 years of community
work in 2018.
UCT remains Africa’s top institution,
after climbing 15 places in the 2019
Times Higher Education (THE) World
University Rankings. We moved up
from 171st in 2017 to 156th in 2018.
UCT scores also improved in four of
the five main THE categories:
Teaching: 31.7, up from 30.5
Research: 41.5, up from 36.2
Citation: 87.2, up from 87.0
International outlook: 82.4, up
from 81.1
Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng
Vice-Chancellor
11

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