The Natural Sciences Faculty at UWC is an outstandingly innovative and proactive teaching and research institution.
Positioned between two of the premier tertiary institutions of South Africa, the standard for success has clearly been set. Although, historically, UWC was borne out of an apartheid philosophy which intended UWC to produce teachers for the colour communities of the Cape, UWC has defiantly broken its shackles of the past and has strived to be a respected and independent University in its own right. We are proud to have come to this point in our history where we are competitive and have made strides to become national leaders in many areas of science. The recent awarding of SARCHI Chairs (National prestigious research positions worth annually R2.5 million) is a case in point. Of total of 62 UWC were awarded the most chairs, of which 5 of the 7 will be located in the Faculty of Science.
The Faculty of Science is indeed stimulated by our emergence as a national and international competitor in the fields of higher education and research, and we have decided, collectively under the leadership of our DVC, Prof Ramesh Bharuthram, to capitalise on this new challenge. In addition to our New Life Sciences Building, rated as the best in Africa, UWC has embarked on building a new Chemistry building to embrace the surge of great science which has recently emerged in our faculty.
For this reason, we began and continue to strengthen the Faculty of Science’s international dimension and will respond to Vice Chancellor Prof Brain O’Connell’s call to internationalise our campus to achieved genuine international integration. In this regard UWC and the Science Faculty can boast an increasing number of MOU’s with outstanding institutions across the world, as well as rapidly growing number of international visitors and researchers.
The Science Faculty has one principal ambition: to gain recognition as one of South Africa’s top faculties. To achieve this goal, we must transcend our preceding reputation as a faculty residing within a ‘historical disadvantaged institution’ and take our true place as one of the top tertiary institutions of Africa. To realize this goal, we have to build our faculty on the following pillars: equality of opportunity in our student intake, to strive to provide excellent study conditions for our students, to provide high quality research infrastructure for academic staff and finally to provide an enabling working environment for all staff: thereby obtaining excellence in both education and research.
As Deputy Dean of Research, I am genuinely delighted to be able to count on the support of the entire academic and research community - students, lecturers, professors and researchers - and also all our support staff to realize this vision. The Faculty of Science will continue to strive for excellence at both undergraduate Teaching as well as Research.
Prof David Fisher
Deputy Dean of Research and Post Graduate Studies