The Centre for Higher Education Development (CHED) was established in 1999 as an academic organisational unit with a brief from Senate to focus "across faculty boundaries on all matters concerning academic development". UCT established this dynamic structure to respond to the widespread shifts in student learning. With the primary objective of advancing both learning and teaching across the Faculties, CHED was designed to provide a single space in which the academic and service needs of UCT's diverse student body are addressed in an efficient, cost-effective manner.
CHED is a cross-faculty structure headed by an academic dean and fulfils this brief by working in the broad field of higher education development. Higher Education Development includes the development of educational opportunities for disadvantaged students as well as the development of the quality and the appropriateness of higher education.
The establishment of CHED effected a programmatic synthesis between a number of programs that were previously spatially and administratively dispersed across the Upper and Middle Campuses, although they all in some way contributed to the Senate's brief for CHED.
The establishment of the Centre was possible as a result of the reconfiguration of the university's upper campus where new accommodation was allocated for this purpose. CHED is located in the old Chemical Engineering Building now renamed Hoerikwaggo and PD Hahn buildings on upper campus and the Kramer Building on middle campus. The Faculty-based academic development programmes remain located in the relevant faculties.