Founded in 1829 as the South African College, the University of Cape Town (UCT) is South Africa's oldest university, and is one of Africa's leading teaching and research institution. UCT was formally established as a university in 1918. Today, against the backdrop of a rapidly changing and diversifying democratic society, UCT is implementing an action guide on transformation looking at issues such as staff diversity, student equity and access, the curriculum, leadership and governance, and attitudes and behaviour. The total number of students was 21 562 students (15,413 undergraduates and 6,149 postgraduates) in 2006. Over 4000 of the students are international and come from about 97 different countries. There are more than 700 permanent or T3 full-time academic staff spread across the university's six faculties and the Graduate School of Business (GSB), and UCT is home to 23 A-rated researchers (academics who are assessed by their peers as being world leaders in their fields).
Climate Systems Analysis Group (CSAG) is hosted by the Environmental and Geographical Sciences Department at UCT. The CSAG is a multi-disciplinary research group with a focus on climate change. An explicit intent is to engage in climate change related research that is relevant to the developing world. Established in 1992, CSAG is now the leading climate change research grouping in Africa, while seeking to bridge the science-society divide with tailored climate services and stakeholder support activities. The group comprises about 35 members, including senior scientists, postdoctoral researchers, PhD students and administrative and technical support staff. CSAG has excellent national and international collaborative links, and provides input to key international scientific and policy-related programmes, including the IPCC.
Bruce Hewitson was appointed through the South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARChI). Research chairs appointed through this initiative are expected to contribute significantly towards helping universities realise their strategic research plans, and the initiative is intended to provide a base on which to consolidate and extend excellence in research. Bruce leads the CSAG at UCT. This is one of the largest climate research groups in Africa with a core focus on climate change, arguably one of the major long-term challenges facing the continent. The core research aim of the CSAG is to increase understanding of regional implications of climate change, and in building the relevant science-society linkages. Bruce is a climatologist with broad interests. He has been resident at UCT since 1992. His research interests include climate modeling and climate change. He is also interested in appropriate technology for Africa and scientific capacity building.
Within HEALTHY FUTURES, UCT (CSAG) is mainly responsible for: assessment and provision of downscaled climate change projections for the study region from past and ongoing projects; and high resolution regional climate projections for eastern Africa study area (WP4).