The University College of the Western Cape opens its doors.
Professor Richard van der Ross appointed as UWC’s ﬁrst black Rector.
UWC’s Cape Flats Nature Reserve declared a National Monument.
Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Jakes Gerwel, declares UWC “the intellectual home of the left.” UWC opens its doors to African students and inaugurates its longest-serving Chancellor, Archbishop Desmond Tutu (who would serve for more than 25 years).
UWC becomes the ﬁrst university to award President Nelson Mandela an honorary doctorate upon his release from prison.
Many academics from UWC join President Mandela’s new government and are appointed to ministerial and advisory positions, including its Rector, Prof Gerwel, who becomes the Director-General in the Presidency. UWC’s leadership takes part in writing the higher education policy for the incoming government. The South African interim Constitution and ﬁnal Constitution are drafted at UWC.
UWC acquires the ﬁrst protein X-ray crystallography facility in South Africa, a major boost to research capacity development in biotechnology.
The Mellon Mays Under-graduate Fellowship is introduced, promoting an international postgraduate education experience. The ﬁrst cohort of Fellows is accepted in 2009.
South African writer, Meg Van der merwe, initiates UWC Creates, the only creative writing programme in South Africa operating across three languages (English, Afrikaans and isiXhosa).
10 SARChI chairs awarded to UWC, the highest number awarded to any university in SA that year (as of 2019, UWC hosts 18 SARChI Chairs).
UWC is declared Africa’s Greenest Campus in the inaugural African Green Campus Initiative Challenge.
UWC signs the Berlin Declaration on Open Access in the Sciences and Humanities, joining hundreds of institutions around the world dedicated to supporting the principles of open access and working to achieve greater transparency and collaboration on publicly funded projects.
For the ﬁrst time, UWC awards over 100 PhDs and over 4,000 degrees in one year.
Under the leadership of Rector and Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian O’Connell, UWC is recognised as a top-tier university by the Department of Higher Education and Training.
UWC’s Centre for Humanities Research is awarded the Flagship on Critical Thought in African Humanities by the NRF.
UWC is ranked number 1 in Physical Science – not just in South Africa, but for Africa as a whole – in the 2016 Nature Index.
A group of UWC students, led by Professor Nico Orce, conduct the second major African-led experiment at the CERN laboratory in Switzerland.
UWC’s former Vice-Chancellor, Professor O’Connell, receives the National Research Foundation’s highest honour, the NRF Lifetime Achievement Award.
UWC’s Faculty of Dentistry – Africa’s leading and largest dental school – launches a new state-of-the-art video conferencing system that will allow students to watch live surgeries in class or at home – a ﬁrst for South Africa.
UWC Rugby made its debut in the Varsity Cup.
The team made history by becoming the ﬁ rst historically disadvantaged institution to qualify for the premier university rugby competition.
UWC celebrates its 60th anniversary.