year in review 2018 Paperturn - Page 60



SCHOOL TIES
Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng has
recommitted UCT to nurturing relationships with high schools
after meeting with principals from across the metropole.
things that we haven’t been paying
attention to.”
With student protests focused on
the lack of transformation, and how
students feel a sense of alienation on
campus, the action calls into question
the past, and what the future should
look like.
“We’ve decided to reclaim the
university as a place of ideas, a place
where ideas grow and are encouraged;
where ideas are not silenced but are
allowed to exist,” Phakeng said.
To new recruits from schools across
the province, country and continent
Phakeng said, “We give you the space
to come here and shape it into being
the best university. It’s the diversity
that we bring that’s going to make our
university the best in the world.”
Phakeng invited principals and
stakeholders to participate in open
dialogue with the university, and
shared her vision for UCT’s future.
“As a university, we don’t exist
on our own. We don’t just take
students – they come from elsewhere.
They exist in a community and we,
as a university, are also part of a
community.
“You should see UCT as an
extension of your school,” she told
the principals.
Of the recent student protests,
Phakeng said she supported mindful
student activism provided the rights
of others aren’t impacted.
“Activism is important … Sometimes
it’s a wake-up call for us as a society;
a wake-up call for us to look at
58

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