Volunteerism, social awareness, activism, and engaged citizenship are continuously promoted and emphasised as long-standing core values of UCT. The university has a long history of community development and is committed to the ethos of giving back. It offers several opportunities through its faculties and departments where both students and staff can take part in civic engagement and/or engaged scholarship initiatives.
As part of the UCT Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program, scholars are encouraged to participate in at least one of the numerous student-led community outreach initiatives. There are more than 100 student societies and organisations at UCT reflecting a wide range of interests, including academic, religious, cultural, social and political activities which any student can participate.