The UCT Global Citizenship: Leading for Social Justice Programme is a co-curricular programme providing students with an opportunity to engage critically with contemporary global debates and to reflect on issues of citizenship and social justice. While voluntary, co-curricular and not credit-bearing, each of the three courses can be recognised on students' transcripts as UCT Short Courses.

The programme is supported by the University as a way of promoting values of engaged citizenship and social justice among UCT graduates as outlined in the UCT Mission. Funding for the programme has come from the Vice-Chancellor and from the DG Murray Trust. It is therefore FREE to UCT registered students.

The broad objectives of the programme are:

  • To expose students to a broad foundational knowledge on issues relating to global citizenship and social justice that go beyond the immediate requirements of their professional degree or major discipline.
  • To develop students' capacity for leadership in contemporary global-political and social justice issues through improving their active listening, critical thinking and logical argument skills.
  • To promote students' awareness of themselves as future citizens of the world with a motivation to work for social justice through involvement in community service/volunteering.

The programme currently has three inter-linked but separate components:

  • GC 1: Global Debates, Local Voices workshop series (Semester 1)
  • GC 2: Service, citizenship and social justice service learning course (including 10 hours of community service organised through the course) (Semester 2)
  • GC 3: Voluntary community service – 60 hours (self organised) with a recognised student-run, NGO, faith-based or community-based organisation (Ongoing throughout the year)

Any of the courses can be done at any stage of your UCT career, and in any order.

The programme takes a blended learning approach, so in addition to class sessions (GC1/GC2) and community service visits (GC2), we use online and digital resources to enhance student learning (GC1/GC2/GC3). The exciting and innovative online components of the programme, which encourage the development of students’ ‘digital citizenship’, play a key role in student learning and the programme’s success.

How can I get involved?

Any registered UCT student in any faculty can do the GC programme (or separate components of it) over the course of your degree. While we do have first-year students, the courses are primarily aimed at senior undergraduate and early post-graduate students. If fully completed, each course is recognised as a Short Course on your transcript.

Here is a selection of the comments from students who have participated in the GC courses over the past 5 years:
- An engaging way about finding out about yourself as well as how you can relate to the globe in a positive transformative manner.
- Allows you to think & move beyond the confines of faculty – to think outside the box.
- Challenges the way you think or perceive the world around you. Thought provoking, definitely for anyone who wants to be involved in bigger issues affecting the world It is a cool course where you can learn a lot about yourself and the societal duty.
- It is the greatest experience I have ever had in UCT. For the first time in my academic life, I was encouraged to think and question certain aspects of how the world is the way it is.
- It is an amazing programme which offers academic and practical experience.
- It heals the soul and opens your mind. It is a must do program.
- It is a great space for thought provoking questions and a good catalyst to discovering what your purpose is.

We look forward to welcoming you to the GC Programme!