Strategic Partnerships

UWC’s internationalisation strategy is to partner with institutions across a wide spectrum of research areas and academic programmes, with the goal of deepened connections with institutions in long term sustainable relationships, that aim to create new knowledge, build on existing scholarship and collaboratively address the global challenges facing humanity.

UWC’s network of international partners ensures a flow of students and eminent scholars from other countries to enrich the intellectual engagement between the Global North and South. There is a strong and growing relationship with tertiary institutions in Africa, Europe and the Americas, as well as with China and the Asian-Pacific region. These affiliations lead to research partnerships, capacity-building and a flow to and from the University. UWC students, graduates and alumni have excelled in programmes abroad, and international students have so too excelled in programmes at UWC. 

The Nordic scholarly partnerships with the universities of Malmö, Uppsala, Lund and Karlstad have borne excellent fruit in the form of academic exchanges, innovative joint research and has expanded into Biosciences, Business Innovation in the Economic and Management Sciences, Arts, Dentistry, Social Sciences and Health Sciences.

South Africa-Sweden co-operation focuses on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This is embodied by the South African Sweden Universities Forum (SASUF), which brings together researchers, funders, administrators and management from both countries to engage and drive a joint research agenda in several thematic areas.

UWC’s African-centred identity and nature has been enhanced by partnerships across Africa, like with that of the Frantz Fanon University in Somaliland and the University of Ibadan in Nigeria. These institutions have joined existing partnerships in Southern and East Africa, West Africa and North Africa to jointly focus on addressing the global challenges of our time.

UWC/VUB academics and university leadership visiting the Zeitz MOCAA Museum in Cape Town. A strong partnership and joint PhD programme exists with the Centre of Humanities Research (CHR), the Faculty of Arts and the Western Cape CoLab at UWC.
UWC/VUB academics and university leadership visiting the Zeitz MOCAA Museum in Cape Town. A strong partnership and joint PhD programme exists with the Centre of Humanities Research (CHR), the Faculty of Arts and the Western Cape CoLab at UWC.

Tri-Continental Partnership

 The Tri-Continental Partnership is the trilateral partnership between the University of the Western Cape (UWC), the University of Missouri (UM) and Ghent University (UGent). The partnership between UWC and UM has existed for 34 years, while UGent and UWC have been engaging in collaboration for 18 years in the framework of the successful 10-year Programme on Dynamics of Building a Better Society (DBBS).

The three universities have decided to extend their bilateral connections into a trilateral partnership. A Memorandum of Agreement was signed in 2013 at the first trilateral meeting at UWC. As a follow-up, a very successful trilateral meeting was hosted by Ghent University in 2015. Key domains (Linguistics, Plant Sciences and Public Health) for collaboration were agreed upon, as well as some emerging domains (Astronomy, Neurosciences, Humanities and Urban Planning).

University of Missouri System

The cooperative agreement between UWC and the UM System was the first of its kind between a non-white South African university and a U.S. university.

Ghent University

Ghent University is a top 100 university and one of the major universities in Belgium. Our 11 faculties offer more than 200 courses and conduct in-depth research within a wide range of scientific domains. Ghent University Global Campus is also the first European university in Songdo, South Korea.


Our Network

Dear partners and students,

The International Relations Office at the University of the Western Cape extends our well wishes to you during these uncertain and unprecedented times. Given the current global COVID-19 pandemic, we wish to extend our solidarity with our university partners – with compassion. The University has taken the necessary decision to postpone all inbound and outbound international travel and engagement until further notice.

However, we remain committed to our international partners, students and researchers, as well as to the broader society, to utilise our connectedness to offer intellectual contributions that seek to bring a measure of insightful scientific rigour and empathy to all those affected by the crisis. It is together, with unity of purpose and with our diversity and compassion, that we can continue to work with solidarity in service of humanity.

Additional information can be found on the UWC main site

Yours sincerely,


Umesh Bawa

Director of International Relations