PUBLISHED: Wed, 10 Aug 2022 17:52:25 GMT
UCT Online High School
Brandcom Partner

Cambridge International qualifications are accepted at over 2,000 tertiary institutions across 160 countries, including top-ranking universities in the US, UK, Africa and across the globe.

Image credit: UCT Vice Chancellor, Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng – University of Cape Town

As Africa’s leading university, the University of Cape Town has chosen to shoulder the responsibility to be at the forefront of transformation on the continent — a challenge they willingly embrace. Their mission is simple: to unleash Africa’s potential to help create a fair and just society.

It is their belief that the most important tool every African needs is an affordable, quality education – one that will qualify them for employment or a university degree. This is the only way to close the inequality gap. It is a necessity, not only for the university sector, but for everybody in the country.

This is why they chose to change the face of education in South Africa by launching UCT Online High School in 2022 — the most affordable online private school in South Africa; becoming the first University on the African continent to extend its expertise and impact to the secondary schooling market through an innovative online modality. This progressive school is purpose-built to allow South African learners to work towards achieving their National Senior Certificate from anywhere in the country.

UCT Online High School places emphasis on impeccable support, with each learner having access to a Support Coach throughout their entire school career. The offering is tailored to the learner by providing Structured Flexibility – a framework which allows learners to work anytime from anywhere, within well-defined boundaries. By placing Individual Mastery right at the centre of their philosophy, UCT Online High School ensures that each learner masters every module before moving on to the next one. That way they don’t progress with gaps in their tree of knowledge.

As part of their initial offering, they also launched UCT Online High School’s Free Curriculum with support from the Michael & Susan Dell foundation. This entirely free online school platform allows any guardian, learner or educator to access their full CAPS (National Senior Certificate) curriculum — because money should not be a barrier to those wanting to learn.

A few months after its public launch in 2021, UCT Online High School was selected among the 12 Top Innovators inThe WorldClass Education Challenge at the World Economic Forum’s Sustainable Development Impact Summit 2021. A digital platform to crowdsource solutions for the world’s most pressing issues, as outlined by the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). From almost 400 submissions, 12 notable innovators were selected – these individuals and their organisations have worked alongside Deloitte professionals to help address the global education crisis. UCT Online High School made the final selection of Top Innovators in Africa, cementing its impact at home, and abroad.

A year, and some 5,000 CAPS learners later, they are immensely pleased to be able to offer an additional curriculum in the form of the Cambridge Assessment International Education — the most affordable Cambridge International qualification in Africa at R3,300 per month (within South Africa) and US$230 per month (outside South Africa)! Cambridge International is one of the world’s most prestigious international curriculums, recognised by over 2,000 tertiary institutions worldwide, including all major local universities. With nearly a million learners in 10,000 schools in 160 countries, a Cambridge International qualification is a powerful global passport to the future. As the most affordable fully accredited Cambridge International school in Africa, UCT Online High School is proud to be able to offer this qualification to learners in South Africa and beyond. Starting with South Africa’s closest neighbours, they aim to expand their reach to the rest of the African continent in the near future. And they’re only getting started.

Admissions for the UCT Online High School’s Cambridge Assessment International Education are now open, with classes commencing in January 2023, after which learners will be able to enrol at any time, from wherever they are in the world. This new curriculum offers the full bouquet of Lower Secondary, IGCSE, AS and A levels at R3,300 per month (within South Africa) and US$230 per month (outside South Africa), but for 2023 we will be launching lower secondary and IGCSE, making it the most affordable fully accredited Cambridge International school in Africa. To offer a full break down:

  • Lower Secondary (years 8 & 9, ages 12-14) provides learners with a broad curriculum, giving them a strong, well-rounded foundation.
  • Upper Secondary otherwise known as IGCSE (years 10 & 11, ages 15-16) is the most popular international qualification for 15 – 16 years olds and focuses on core academic and language development. Our first set of IGCSE exams will be written in November 2024.
  • Cambridge Advanced, the AS and A levels qualifications (Years 12 & 13, ages 17-18) is one of the strongest academic high school qualifications you can exit with, streamlining you into a focused career path. UCT Online High School is set to expand into AS/A levels in 2025.

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‘If I may just say what an honour it is to partner with Cambridge Assessment International Education, one of the world’s most prestigious institutions. Together we are providing access to a truly world-class education from the comfort of one’s own home — not just to learners in our own country, but to those throughout Africa too.’, says Yandiswa Xhakaza, UCT Online High School Director & Principal.

Christine Özden, Chief Executive of Cambridge Assessment International Education, says, ‘We are delighted to announce that UCT Online High School has joined our global community of Cambridge schools and we look forward to a long and productive relationship with them.

In their tireless quest to innovate and be at the forefront of creating an equitable and innovative education system on the continent, the online high school also announces the launch of an Adult Matric programme delivered entirely online. The Adult Matric programme provides a second chance for those who were unable, or never given the opportunity, to write their National Senior Certificate when they were young — because it’s never too late to enable a better future for ourselves and our families.

As per Youth Capital’s research, and at any given time, there are about 250,000 people working towards a matric certificate outside the full-time, in-school system.Since an average of 800,000 candidates write matric examinations each year, this means that about a third of the total matric cohort are ‘on the fringe’ or ‘non-traditional’ learners. Yet, as second-chancers, the educational journeys of these non-traditional learners often go unrecognised. Despite their grit and perseverance, second chance matrics are rarely reported on publicly. UCT Online High School is here to celebrate and support these learners, and the Adult Matric programme offers a viable and affordable alternative for adults to study online, and part-time, towards their matric certificate.

A matric certificate can transform young and old people’s futures alike, by signalling their knowledge and skills to employers, creating pathways to further education, and ultimately improving their chances of finding work, keeping a job, and earning a higher salary.

UCT Online High School isn’t just a school, it’s the backbone of an entire ecosystem which has been designed to service learners from a broad range of socioeconomic and academic means. They believe in a brighter future for all, and they’re doing everything that they can to make it happen. They’re calling on future changemakers, young and old, to join their innovative learning journey and make their future official.

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