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UCT Summer school heads to Kensington for the first time next year

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The summer school programme was recently offered to students at Ikamva Youth in Masiphumelele. PHOTO: University of Cape Town
The summer school programme was recently offered to students at Ikamva Youth in Masiphumelele. PHOTO: University of Cape Town

To entertain, educate and help residents kickstart the new year, the University of Cape Town (UCT) Summer School programme will head to Kensington for the first time, from Monday 9 to Saturday 28 January next year.

The programme aims to immerse audiences in new ideas, expert insight and creative thinking – to enlighten, entertain and inspire.

It is the largest public-education programme of its kind in Africa, bringing academics, industry experts, thought leaders and world audiences together.

The Summer School, usually based at the university’s Upper Campus, will be at Shawco in Kensington.

Dr Jackie Stewart, Executive Director of UCT’s Students’ Health and Welfare Centres Organisation (Shawco), said the agency had a long history with the Kensington community, one of the reasons it wanted to pilot the Summer School in the area.

Shawco was started by UCT medical student Andrew Kinnear in 1943, working with one of his lecturers, Dr Golda Selzer.

As Stewart relates: “Andrew came from a disadvantaged background, so he would work as an ambulance driver over weekends to pay for his studies. He saw the dire need for health services in the community and approached Selzer with his idea of UCT medical students, under the supervision of the staff, going out into the community to run clinics to address the need.”

In July 1943, the first clinic was started in Kensington.

“Next year will be Shawco’s 80th anniversary and what better way to start our anniversary year than to bring UCT’s Summer School to the community where it all began,” Stewart said.

She said the courses are open to everyone and UCT has waived the entrance fee. “It is aimed at high-school learners or any adult able to make their way to our centre in Kensington and is interested in learning. There are no entry educational requirements and no assessments or examinations.”

Marco Charles, Head Office Administrator at Shawco, encouraged residents to attend. “It will give them a broader knowledge of what is out there in the world – from art, literature and technology to politics, nature and forensics,” he said.

Stewart explained all courses will be live-streamed from UCT and a range of topics offered.

“Some courses will run in the morning, others all the way through to the last slot at 15:00 (so learners can also attend after school). We have once-off two-hour courses, to a three-day and five-day course. Topics include psychology, sexuality, women’s political struggle, cloud technology, literature, forensics, bereavement and nutrition.”

People are encouraged to register for the programmes. Registration will be open until Friday 23 December and reopen on Wednesday 4 January. Each course is limited to 50 people.

  • For more information and to register contact Shawco at or call 021 593 2170

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