UCT English Language Centre

Our Mission

To deliver high quality language teaching which enables our students to achieve their academic and professional goals.

To offer a flexible programme of study that is adaptable to our students’ needs

To provide outstanding customer service to our students and clients.

To develop a unique English as a Foreign Language pedagogy rooted in the African context.

To grow and support the English as a Foreign Language sector in South Africa.

Our Story

The English Language Centre was launched in 2015 by our Principal, Simon Harrison.  The brainchild of former Dean of Humanities, Professor Sahkela Buhlungu, this was the first time UCT had offered an English as a Foreign Language teaching programme, and ELC was one of the first university departments in Africa dedicated to teaching English as a Foreign Language.

Simon and Sakhela's vision was to develop a pedagogy of English as a Foreign Language Teaching which was rooted in the context of Africa and the Global South, while supporting the Faculty through its revenue generating operations.  In 2017 the ELC Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language was launched, a precursor to the upcoming Post-Graduate Certificate in TEFL; the first of its kind in South Africa.

The Centre has grown rapidly since it was launched, opening additional premises at Dover House in 2018 and 70 Wale Street in 2022, expanding to twenty-four classrooms by 2023. The Centre also works to support and advance the South African EFL sector through communities of practice with other Higher Education institutions and membership of EDUSA, the South African industry body for EFL.


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