The Global Citizenship Programme (GCP) is a programme of critical debate, voluntary service activities and reflection which engages students as thoughtful scholars and citizens who are keen to learn, think about, critique and respond to key contemporary issues.
The GC Programme offers four short-courses which are free and available to all UCT students and which they can complete at any point in their time at the institution. These courses are:
- Global Debates, Local Voices (GC1), a workshop series.
- Citizenship & Social Justice: Activism, Service and Social Change (GC2), a service learning course.
- Voluntary Community Service (GC3), self-organized direct community service.
- Active Citizenship through Deliberation and Dialogue (GC4), a co-learning partnership.
In addition to these three short-courses, the GC Programme also convenes a credit-bearing course located within the Faculty for Engineering and the Built Environment (EBE), but which is open to students from all faculties.
- Social Infrastructures (SI), a course on community engagement for emerging professionals
GC is an innovative learning opportunity that complements your formal academic curriculum and offers you an additional avenue through which you can explore your own voice and ideas in a challenging and creative space. The programme creates channels for students to meet like-minded peers and to engage with current issues and debates on global citizenship, leadership and social justice. Through this programme, UCT has demonstrated its serious commitment to enhancing the student experience and to producing graduates who are engaged citizens willing to think critically about these issues.
Values and Knowledge Underpinning the Programme
Values underpin all learning programmes although they are very seldom made explicit or viewed as an inherent part of the learning process. In UCT Global Citizenship the aim is precisely to make visible the values associated with critical scholarship, global citizenship and reflective civic engagement in order to advance our contribution to social justice. What does this mean for UCT Global Citizenship? From the outset we bring social justice into the framing of our questions and considerations and use this lens to think about whether and how we might be responsive to and responsible for, the world in which we live. Matters of global import have clear local impact and so UCT Global Citizenship is concerned both with ‘the global’ and its connections with ‘the local’. In all components, students are challenged to confront the centrality of power in local and global relationships and dealings, and consider issues of social justice.
The outcomes of the programme include a spirit of critical enquiry, the ability to engage in an internationalised working environment and to act responsibly as global and local citizens. UCT‘s strategic aim to contribute to South Africa‘s development challenges is also addressed by the commitment to expand the opportunity for students to engage in and reflect on service learning programmes and community engagement while at UCT.
In addition, this programme has an important role as an intellectual project in its own right, i.e. the programme is sound, credible and innovative in scholarly terms. It takes students beyond the confines of subject-specific knowledge, encouraging them to relate what they have learnt within their discipline to the broader challenges of local and global dynamics. As critical thinkers and analysts they develop their ability to make informed decisions and act on them, in the interest of social justice.
How can I get involved in the GCP?
Any registered UCT student in any faculty can take part in the GC programme. The short courses are open to all UCT students and can be done at any stage whilst you are at UCT. The credit-bearing Social Infrastructures course is housed within EBE but is open to all other Faculties, depending on their own rules. While we do have 1st year students completing GC courses, the courses are primarily aimed at senior undergraduate and early post-graduate students.