BY Fast Company 2 MINUTE READ

The University of Cape Town has partnered with Valenture Institute, an edutech startup to start an online high school. As a number of top Universities, such as Stanford’s Online High School, have now proven, the academic excellence of universities can be extended to high school students, and create new opportunities for a diverse group of learners to join an aspirational school.

On the announcement of this new initiative, UCT’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, said that “The University of Cape Town is committed to playing our part in addressing the systemic challenges facing our education system. As a result, we have taken the bold step to launch an innovative online high school in January 2022, where the academic excellence of UCT can be extended to high school learners across the country. The UCT Online High School will create a new opportunity for learners across South Africa to choose an aspirational school and unleash their potential.”

Valentine’s proprietary learning technology, analytics, and learner support model will be used in delivering the UCT Online High school platform. Valentine’s CEO, Robert Paddock had this to say about the partnership

“We’re delighted and humbled to partner with UCT on this ground-breaking initiative”.

This is not the first time an entity managed by Paddock partners with UCT. Before starting Valenture Institute, an online high school, Paddock started Get Smarter with UCT as one of the initial partners. Get Smarter was later acquired by one of the world’s leading online education providers. Recently Valenture Institute launched a brick-and-mortar to enhance its online high school experience to make it a hybrid education provider.

The UCT Online High School ecosystem has been designed to service South African learners from a broad range of socioeconomic means. The UCT Online High School offers a CAPS-aligned curriculum and enables learners in grades 8 – 12 in any corner of the globe the opportunity to study at a monthly fee of R2,095 per month, making it one of the most affordable private schools in the country.

Admissions for the UCT Online High School open on 21 July 2021, with classes commencing in January 2022, after which learners will be able to enrol at any time, from wherever they are in the world. Learners will benefit from the UCT Online High School’s supported self-discipline model, which allows learners to pace their own learning and get high quality 1:1 tutoring from expert teachers and support coaches whenever they need it. Learners will also be prepared with a unique range of university and career preparation services and offerings.

In addition, the entire curriculum will be made available for free in an interactive online platform called the Open UCT Online High School. Users of the free content will be issued a learner number to save their unique learning path and data, with unlimited logins permitted. Learners have full access to a self-paced curriculum where they can progress at their own pace through expert designed interactive notes, videos, animations, simulations, practise assignments, quizzes and more. The interactive content is intuitively organised, and easily searchable, making it an excellent resource for teachers and learners around the country to benefit from.

For more information on the UCT Online High School, please visit