University of the Western Cape: Online Application and Requirements
The University of the Western Cape is one of South Africa’s premier educational institutions. Founded in 1960, the university is located just outside of the greater Cape Town area. The university is in a very centralized location for those living on and around the peninsula and boasts easy access to the nearby cities and towns. Students at the University will find convenient transit options to and from nearby Cape Town, including car, taxi, and bus. The Unibell railway station serves the university directly, and Belville Central Station is a short drive from campus.
Currently, the university hosts more than 23,000 students studying in seven separate faculties. UWC boasts a strong history of inclusion and works to ensure that all South Africans have access to high-quality University-level education. The university performs cutting-edge modern research in a variety of fields and has some of the most highly qualified faculty at any University.
The university’s course structure is divided into seven separate faculties:
- The Faculty of Arts and Humanities
- 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
- The Faculty of Natural Sciences
Across these faculties, students may choose from more than 200 individual degree and certification tracks. These include subjects as diverse as Accounting, Social Work, African Language Studies, Biotechnology, Computer Science, Physics and Astrophysics, and Political Studies. Students will likely find a class to fit almost any academic niche here.
How to Apply Online
Applicants to the University of the Western Cape may apply for admission online. You may apply for admittance to up to two programmes. Prospective students seeking admission to the Faculties of Dentistry, Law, and Community and Health Sciences are advised to have a secondary choice, as these programmes are quite competitive.
To begin your online application, navigate to https://www.uwc.ac.za/apply-now. You will need to complete an online form detailing your personal information, educational history, and other relevant factors. Once the form has been submitted online, the university will send you an email informing you that they have received your application.
You must note the applicant number contained in the email as it will be very important later. The email from the university will also contain information regarding the necessary supporting documents that you will need.
Is there an application fee?
There is not an application fee to apply online to the University of the Western Cape. However, you will need to provide a number of documents, depending on your circumstances.
What documents will I need?
New students seeking admission to the university will need the following documents:
- Certified copy of your identification;
- Certified copy of your NSC certificate OR Senior Certificate;
- Documentation of previous academic records;
- Affidavit with a description of your post-matriculation activities.
Transfer students entering the University of the Western Cape from another university will need:
- Copies of NSC or Senior Certificate;
- Identification documents;
- A certificate of good conduct from your current institution;
- An official copy of your academic transcript;
- Descriptions of any modules completed at your current institution;
● Degree certificate, if applicable.
International students will need to coordinate with the Universities South Africa (USAF) to determine if they are eligible. The USAF will need the following documents:
- Application for Exemption;
- Certified copy of passport;
- Final school results.
Students will need to obtain a confirmation letter from the USAF before being considered for admission to Western Cape University.
Finally, Postgraduate students will need to submit:
● Certified copy of identification documents;
● Official academic transcripts;
● Certified copies of all degree certificates;
● A one-page Letter of Motivation;
● A short Curriculum Vitae.
International Postgraduate students will also need to submit a certified copy of their passport and their SAQA Evaluation Certificate. Those applying for research positions at a Masters or Doctoral level must provide a short brief regarding their research intentions.
What are the Requirements for Admission?
Applicants to the University of the Western Cape need to have studied seven subjects. There are four compulsory subjects, and applicants may submit three subjects of their choice. The compulsory subjects are:
● Home language;
● Additional language;
● Life Orientation;
● Mathematics or Mathematical Literacy.
Students must obtain a rating not less than four on their compulsory subjects to be eligible for matriculation into a degree program. UWC utilizes a weighted application system, meaning that students who obtain higher NCS levels will be considered for application before those with lower levels. Additionally, applicants to UWC must write the National Benchmark Test. This serves as a benchmark and helps UWC evaluate students who may require additional academic support.
Are there alternative forms of admission?
The University of the Western Cape offers non-traditional students many options. First, even those who may not meet the criteria to matriculate into a program can still participate in studies at the university. The University Senate has processes in place to admit students who may not meet traditional criteria, such as those who have been out of school for work or other reasons. Students who have done well on examinations but who have not completed traditional subject choices may also petition the University Senate for admission.
Foundational Support Programmes
UWC recognizes that many people would like to attend university but may not have all of the required backgrounds. To assist these persons, UWC offers foundational programmes. Students may be provisionally accepted to the university on the condition that they complete the foundational programmes first. These programmes offer a lighter course load and intense assistance to help students build the skills they will need for success in the university.
UWC’s application period generally closes on 31 August. Prospective students must ensure that their online application is complete and that all relevant supporting documents have been submitted before 11:59 PM on that date. Applications for a given academic year generally close on 31 August of the preceding year.
Students who are accepted for admission will need to register for their courses. The registration process begins when the student accepts their offer of enrollment. This can be done via the web portal at student.uwc.ac.za, or through calling the University’s Contact Centre. Offers for admission can be revoked if they are not accepted within three days and will often be given to the next student in the queue.
After accepting the offer of enrollment, students must obtain financial clearance. Self-funded students must pay an upfront payment of R4290 before registration. Students funded by the NSFAS will coordinate their payment through the Student Credit Management office, which will provide the financial clearance for the student. Those with bursary funding must have their information reviewed by the Financial Aid Office, who will then send clearance on through the Student Credit Management office.
What methods of payment are accepted?
UWC will accept payments in the form of cheques or bank transfers payable to “University of the Western Cape.” Electronic payments may be submitted to ABSA bank’s “UWC Student Deposits” account. The university also accepts direct deposits and will accept online credit card payments. In-person payment is suspended until virus conditions improve.
Once the financial clearance is completed, students may register for classes. Students may register through an online self-registration portal, or they may travel to the university in-person to participate in the assisted registration process. That said, UWC prefers students to register online.
To register online, students will log into the Student Portal at student.uwc.ac.za. The previously issued Student Number or a Passport/ID Number will be used to obtain access to the portal. You may need to upload a copy of your South African Identification Document to the portal in order to proceed. Once into the portal, you may find classes to register for.
How do I know which classes to choose?
Choosing your courses can feel overwhelming. UWC offers students access to a Curriculum Advising process, during which you will learn more about your selected programmes and learn how to choose the modules that are best for you. Students can access Curriculum Advising online.
After completing the online registration, students should configure their student email and other student accounts. Going forward, all relevant communications from the university will occur using the students’ new UWC email address.
Prior to the Coronavirus outbreak, UWC offered students an orientation programme and a first-year experience. These processes have largely moved online now until virus conditions improve. However, the online student orientation program does offer a number of highly useful interventions to assist students with the transition to university. UWC uses an online learning system called iKamva, and the university offers an orientation programme designed to teach you to navigate this software.
Other interventions offered by UWC include courses explaining how to maximize your use of the resources on iKamva, tips and tricks for using Gmail and the Google suite, including Sheets, Drive, Hangouts, and Docs. Students may also learn about video and audio editing, concept mapping, and other tools for success in the rigorous academic world of UWC.