Cape Town Universities: How Much Longer Can They Hold The Lamp?


Cape Town has given to South Africa more than the country can be grateful for.

Surpassing all the tourism and wealth this broad shouldered town has coughed out, it has given to the country the best in university education through the various Cape Town Universities.

Of the many Universities that exist in South Africa, Cape Town has its fair share of the Universities.

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These universities have spread their wings of achievement beyond the South African Country to the continental stage, so its safe to say the Universities are not doing bad in their aim for the global skies.

Cape Town Universities

University of Cape Town

Chief among all Cape Town Universities is University of Cape Town. This university has been cited on more occasions than necessary to count as best in Africa.

The university has a massive lap to accommodate over 27,000 students. University of Cape Town has its gates open to both local and international students seeking for undergraduate or postgraduate degree. The university which is the oldest in the country, has a reputation for excellence and extended research.

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University Of Western Cape

University of Western Cape is another university in Cape Town. Established in 1959, it is ranked among the best performing in South Africa. This University is home to over 20,000 students. Among other things, University of Western Cape is decorated with playing a role in the freedom of South Africa from oppression.

The university was first designed to serve as a university for non whites. Hence it took to heart issues of race and equality to accompany its educational target.


Cape Peninsula University

Cape Peninsula University of Technology is yet another Cape Town University. This university is among the young ones in the country. It was drawn in 2005 when Cape Technikon and Peninsula Technikon were merged.

Cape Peninsula University of Technology
Cape Peninsula University of Technology

The institution has evolved into one institution to bet on in terms of technology. Cape Peninsula University of Technology got itself recently in the eyes of the media with its contribution to the development of a satellite.

Communication components design by the institution, it was reported, played an important role in the nano-satellite developed by Stellenbosch University in partnership with CubeSpace.

Another is the University of Stellenbosch Business School.

The Fears

These Universities have managed to hold the lamp for education in South Africa. The billion Rand question however is: for how long can they keep up? This is in respect to the financial state of the country having its back to the floor.

More so, indications that things are not well with the university system came when over 1200 academics pooled their signatures to warn Mr. Zuma of the dangers ahead. The concerns were raised as a result of the drying coffers of the universities.

It has been reported that 16 of the 26 universities in the country are in a far from good shape. Among the universities with more critical cases are Cape Town’s Cape Peninsula University of Technology, University of Cape Town, and University of the Western Cape. The extent of financial ailment of the universities could go as high as losing R3.7 billion.

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Amidst the delicate situation of things, the university system in the country is now acting a drama of three scenes.

The first is the scene of students calling for free and more quality education.

The second is the scene of universities going broke and seeking for ways to make students pay even more.

The third is the scene of a government that seem either confused, nonchalant or even both.

With all going on, the government and Ministry of Education are enjoying a rather long swim in the waters of silence.

Of great worry for the system is that getting students to spend any extra rand in fee is highly unlikely since the violent protests that followed an earlier call for increase in fee, has not been forgotten. On another hand, the government which is subsidizing the education system is unofficially on a financial sickbed.

The dangerous window that the country may likely take out is to cut costs of running the university system. If the government chooses this smooth path of folly, then we may soon see the lamps of good university education in Africa shut down faster than we can understand. That is even if it goes unchallenged.

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