Established over fifty years ago, the University of the Western Cape (UWC) is a institution whose history in many ways reflects the history of the nation of South Africa. Initially formed to provide higher education opportunities for people who were classified as "coloured," the university strongly identifies with the liberation struggle and continues to address social and political issues through research, teaching, and community engagement. UWC is a university "of the people," and although it has expanded its admissions, it maintains a commitment to marginalized groups.

"UWC: A place of quality. A place to grow from hope to action through knowledge."

Within the university, there are seven departments: The Faculty of Arts, The Faculty of Community and Health Sciences, The Faculty of Dentistry, The Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, The Faculty of Education, The Faculty of Law, and the Faculty of Natural Sciences. Multiple institutes, schools, and centers exist at UWC, including the recently launched Centre for Multilingualism and Diversities Research at the School of Public health. Additionally, the Rectors's Office sponsors several special programs that focus on HIV/AIDS, gender equity, leadership, and the performing arts. Community engagement initiatives are prioritized at UWC. An example of an on-going initiative is a project that focuses on health equity with an emphasis on providing highly qualified health professionals in rural areas. There is also a substance abuse training initiative, as well as an effort to bolster international collaboration in higher education through service-learning.

The Faculty of Education is probably most relevant for our trip. Within it, there are three departments: Educational Psychology, Educational Studies, and Language Education. There is also a School of Science and Mathematics Education and a Further Education and Training Institute. Three centers exist as well, which might be of interest for us: the Centre for Adult and Continuing Education, Service Learning Centre of Africa, and the Centre for Higher Studies in Higher Education.

UWC has several athletic and recreational activities available to students, including aquatics, rugby, dance sport, cricket, football, and netball (which was derived from basketball).