UCT English Language Centre

Our Mission

At the UCT English Language Centre (ELC), our mission is encapsulated in the maxim: LIVE, LEARN, GROW. We are committed to creating an environment where students can thrive in every aspect of their journey with us.


Experience the vibrant culture of Cape Town and the rich heritage of the University of Cape Town.

At ELC, we believe that language learning is not confined to the classroom. Our mission is to provide students with opportunities to immerse themselves in real-life experiences, exploring diverse cultures and building lifelong connections. From social activities to cultural excursions, we ensure that our students live their learning journey to the fullest.


Achieve mastery of English with our exceptional language learning programs.

Our dedicated team employs innovative teaching methods tailored to meet the diverse needs of our students. At ELC, we are passionate about providing a supportive and engaging learning environment that fosters academic success. Our mission is to empower students with the skills and confidence to communicate effectively in English, opening doors to new academic and professional opportunities.


Develop personally and professionally in a nurturing environment.

Beyond language proficiency, we focus on the holistic growth of our students. Our mission is to inspire confidence, critical thinking, and cultural fluency. We offer resources and support to help students set and achieve their personal and professional goals. At ELC, we are committed to guiding our students on a path of continuous growth, preparing them to thrive in a globalized world.

At ELC, we are dedicated to making a lasting impact on our students' lives, helping them to live fully, learn passionately, and grow continuously.

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.


Book Now

Live Learn & Grow

Book Now


Learn & Grow