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 Dean's Message

Author: Prof  Monwabisi K. Ralarala

 The Faculty of Arts has gained national and international recognition through its academic offerings in the domains of both the arts and the humanities.

Dean’s welcome message 

The Faculty of Arts has gained national and international recognition through its academic offerings in the domains of both the arts and the humanities. With over 4,000 undergraduate and 650 postgraduate students, along with over 45 full-time associate and full professors who teach and research in various disciplines, the faculty is considered to be one of the largest in the Western Cape region.  Whilst we in the faculty place more emphasis on academic activities with a view to teaching students critical thinking and thus stimulating their intellectual wealth, we also strive to reinforce students’ active involvement in university life and community engagement and leadership through our partnerships and associations.

The faculty’s emphasis on research resonates with that of the institution and places us on a par with other Arts faculties in the Western Cape region. The function of the faculty is accomplished through several inter-related strategic initiatives which actively involve thirteen departments, four research centres (Centre for Humanities Research; Centre for Multilingualism and Diversities Research; Desmond Tutu Centre for Spirituality and Society; and the Centre for Advanced Studies of African Societies) and three Research Chairs (Visual History; Desmond Tutu Chair for Ecumenical Theology and Social Transformation in Africa; and The Mellon Chair in the Creative Humanities).

The unique context and ethos of the faculty is also reflected in our commitment to students from various backgrounds, as well as to serving the ‘beehive of various cultures’ that characterises them. As a faculty, we strive to enrich our inclusive identity and emphasise the value of cultural diversity through both our undergraduate and postgraduate studies.

At undergraduate level, our well designed and coordinated curriculum is intended to introduce our first years – as part of their transition from Grade 12 to university – to subjects that are intended to develop their critical thinking skills, understanding of human communication, knowledge and sharing of knowledge, information technology and more. Our mainstream bachelor programmes include the BA (Bachelor of Arts), BTh (Bachelor of Theology) and BLIS (Bachelor of Library and Information Studies).

At postgraduate level, our faculty offers Honours, Masters and PhD programmes for both full- time and part-time studies. One of the important highlights in which we take pride is the graduation of students with Masters and PhDs from well-coordinated and well-designed academic programmes under the auspices of the faculty.

The skilling and development of our students result in achievements that are truly valuable: employable graduates, with some holding leadership positions as academics and others as senior managers and professionals in both the public and private sectors. Our impressive network of alumni is testimony to this fact.  Such achievements have not only served to recognise doctoral education in particular but have also demonstrated that the job market values humanities graduates. This, in turn, encourages potential students to consider humanities seriously. 

If you want to grow in a place of quality, explore rich opportunities and make a meaningful contribution to society, I invite you to join the Faculty of Arts. 

Prof  Monwabisi K. Ralarala, Dean of Arts


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