UCT ICTs: Access Information and Communication Technology Services

uct icts

As a student at the University of Cape Town (UCT), you are able to access a wide range of information and communication technology services to support your academic endeavors.

Your user account (student number and 14-character password) is your key to using these services. Student computing labs are distributed across faculties and in some residences.

Some of these labs are managed for the faculty by UCT ICTS, while others are managed by faculty staff. A range of software is made available to students at no additional cost and can be downloaded from the school’s website.

Centralized, managed printers are located in these student computing labs and in document centers. Print requests are released by tapping or swiping your student card against a reader at the printer.

The university also hosts a student portal – Uct Vula – to which all students have access. Notes, videos, and additional learning material will be made available thereby lecturers.

Your two main points of contact with UCT ICTs will be via the student lab administrators or the staff at the Front Office located on Cissie Gool Plaza.

Getting connected for students

This service helps you to connect yourself to the wireless and the internet.

How to access the network drives

UCT hosts several network drives – such as an individual F: drive (personal storage space for each staff member and student) and the departmental G: drive (storage space for each department).

You can either access these drives by logging on to the network in a student lab on campus or if you want to use your own computer, access the drives via NetStorage.

Connect to the wireless and internet

To connect your laptop to the internet, follow the instructions on the Access the internet at the UCT page. To connect your laptop, mobile device, or tablet to the eduroam wireless network, follow the instructions on the Wireless page.

Connecting to ResNet

The residence network at the University of Cape Town is known as ResNet and consists of wired network points (in most student residence rooms) and wireless access. ResNet is logically separated from the rest of the UCT network.

Clarinus, Clarendon House, Exair, Rochester and Dullah Omar residences have wireless access only.

If you are in a residence and need to connect to the residence network, Resnet, follow the instructions on the Residence Networking page.

Access to services

As a student, your access to services, systems, and buildings at UCT is dependent on your application or student status.

Your physical access to buildings is related to your course enrolment and continues until 15 days after the course ends (to cover the exam period) or after you withdraw from the course.

Your access to various UCT systems begins when you apply and will be removed when you conclude your studies at the school.

This means that at the end of your course of study (either through dismissal, non-completion or successful graduation) you will no longer have access to UCT ICTS systems, apart from your email account, which you have for life.

Systems you have access to:

  • F: and G: network drives
  • PeopleSoft
  • NetStorage
  • eduroam wireless
  • printing services
  • email
  • Vula

Accessing services

A username and password combination is used to log on (authenticate) to the systems and services you will be using at the university. In most cases, you’ll use your student number (username) and your network password.

However, some systems use slightly different usernames or passwords and this can be confusing, so UCT ICTS have created a table as a guide.

Getting help

1. For support with UCT ICTS managed services (network drives, NetStorage, connectivity, and email) you can contact the university in a number of ways. You can:

  • Contact us on our Facebook page or on our Twitter account
  • Log a call online by navigating to https://uct.service-now.com/ess
  • Email at icts-helpdesk@uct.ac.za

2. For non-ICTS managed services (PeopleSoft, printing, and Vula), the service owners have separate helpdesks which are detailed below.

PeopleSoft: PeopleSoft is the online self-service student administration system used at UCT. For assistance, contact the SSS Helpdesk via email, telephone (X5227, or 4720) or log an online call.

Campus Copy and Print: UCT students have an array of print & copy services available to them through Nashua machines located within the various labs, libraries, and document centers on campus. These are managed by Nashua’s Campus Copy and Print solution.

If you have any problems, you can contact the Nashua Helpdesk between 08:00 and 16:30 on business days on 021 650 4813/ 021 650 4813 or email help@uct.nashuacapetown.co.za.

Vula: Vula is an online collaboration and learning environment used to support UCT courses as well as other UCT-related groups and communities.

Vula is not a UCT ICTS service, therefore, should you require additional information or have a query, you can either go to the Vula website or contact the Vula team via email help@vula.uct.ac.za or call on 021 650 5500.

Email for students

At registration, you will be provided with an email address in the format studentnumber@myuct.ac.za.

Your mailbox is hosted on Microsoft’s Office 365 cloud and includes a free copy of Microsoft Office for the duration of your studies.

Undergraduate, honors, masters, and doctoral students get a 50GB mailbox, an instant messaging (IM) client, and 1TB of secure cloud storage space on OneDrive.

Your Office 365 email address is supported on Windows, Mac & Linux, and is accessible using Safari, Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer.

Your myUCT email address is an ‘email address for life’, meaning that it will still be available after you graduate (should you not graduate, you will not retain your email address).

Your email address will change to firstname.surname@alumni.uct.ac.za once you graduate.

Access your mailbox

  1. Open a browser and go to https://outlook.com/myuct.ac.za.
  2. Sign in using your studentnumber@myuct.ac.za and your password.
  3. Your mailbox opens.

Server settings for your myUCT account

These email settings should be used when setting up IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) email clients on your desktop or mobile devices.

Incoming mail server settings

Username: Studentnumber@myuct.ac.za
Password: Your UCT Network password
Server: outlook.office365.com
Port: 993
Encryption method: SSL

Outgoing mail server settings

Username: Studentnumber@myuct.ac.za
Password: Your UCT Network password
Server Name: smtp.office365.com
Port: 587
Encryption method: TLS

Access OneDrive

  1. To download the app for your desktop, tablet, or phone, visit the OneDrive webpage.
  2. Sign in to the OneDrive website using your UCT email address and password.

Once you leave the university, you will no longer be able to access OneDrive. You will, therefore, need to move any data you had in this location to other storage.

Microsoft has provided step-by-step instructions on how to sync your saved data from OneDrive to your computer. Thereafter, you can easily move it either to another online storage solution or to an external hard drive.

UCT ICTS computer labs

Student computing labs are situated across campus and in residences for your convenience. Labs are equipped with computers that are installed with useful courses or faculty-relevant software.

Use your student card to access the labs and please abide by the rules and guidelines set out for lab use.

Note that certain labs are set aside for teaching purposes and can be booked by staff, during which time they will be unavailable to students.

There are many labs on campus and some of them are managed by UCT ICTS, under contract to the faculty. The following computing labs are managed by UCT ICTS:

  • Health Sciences student computing labs
  • Engineering & Built Environment (EBE) Labs
  • EBE – CAD and Studio Labs, City Planning and Landscape Architecture Labs
  • Science
  • Residence Labs

Find out more about the computer labs.

UCT mobile

UCT Mobile is an app for mobiles and tablets that brings all the UCT services and information you need together in one easy-to-use interface.

It allows you to search for and reserve library books, check the Jammie Shuttle timetable, check fee account balances, check your course and exam timetables, and your test and exam results.

The app is available for iOS and Android via the relevant app stores. If you have a different phone, you can still access the app through your mobile or pc browser at https://uct.ombiel.co.uk.

To install the app

Go to either the iTunes App Store or the Google Play store and search for UCT Mobile.
Select the UCT Mobile icon, click Install and the app will download and install.

If you use a different mobile operating system or don’t want to download the app, you can also access it from a web browser on your mobile device. Visit http://mobile.uct.ac.za/.

To get support

If you’d like to offer feedback or get support for the UCT Mobile app, you can:

  • send an email to uctmobile@uct.ac.za giving as much detail about your request as possible, including your contact name and phone number so that the school can get back to you.
  • send your feedback or report problems by tapping the tab in the top right corner of the app home screen and selecting Feedback.

Printing for students

Nashua is contracted to provide a network printing solution for students on campus. The Campus Copy & Print (CCP) service is available from all student labs and from the Document Centres on campus.

Before you can print, you need to load printing credits onto your student card via electronic web deposit or at cash boxes on campus. You can also print from your mobile phone or from the Nashua website.

You can find out about:

  • Uploading credits
  • Mobile printing
  • Managing your account
  • Green printing

and more on the CCP website.

For assistance with printing, please contact the Nashua Helpdesk on (021) 650 4813/15 or help@uct.nashuacapetown.co.za or visit one of the Document Centres.

Software for students

UCT pays for a number of software packages to be used under site licenses. This means that you are allowed to use the software for as long as you are a student and that you’ll need to remove it once you leave the University of Cape Town.

In addition to site-licensed software, the Downloads page offers other useful free software.

You are entitled to a number of site-licensed software packages which include research support software (such as EndNote and Nvivo), Statistical software (such as Statistica and SPSS), productivity software (Office 365), accessibility software (Read&Write), and more.

Standard software is also loaded onto computers in the student computing labs. Some faculties pay for specialized software to be made available in their labs so that students have access to it for specific courses. MATLAB, in the Science faculty, is one such example.

As a registered student, you are allowed to install Office 365 on up to 5 personal devices.

You also have access to Microsoft Azure for Students, a cloud-based platform that offers users a host of remote computing products and services.

By using the service, you can host your projects in the cloud and use the many tools available to build and develop.

How to get software

  1. Visit the Downloads page.
  2. Select the operating system you use.
  3. Select the type of software you are looking for.
  4. Select the application you want and install it.

Secure your computer

It is vital that you keep your computer secure – both physically (by keeping your machine securely locked away) and from virus and malware attacks.

Attacks like this can destroy your hard work and can also quickly spread to people on your contacts list and infect their machines as well.

In order to prevent this from happening, you first need to install and use a reputable anti-virus program, such as McAfee, which you must keep updated. McAfee is available at no cost to you and can be obtained from the Downloads section.

You also need to regularly accept all patches and updates to your software and operating system as soon as they are released by the vendors. Thirdly, you need to ensure your work is always backed up.

Click here for more information on Installing and updating McAfee for Mac, Windows, and Linux.

Your student account

Your UCT account consists of an alpha-numeric username and a password. Your account gives you access to a wide range of systems and services on campus, including wireless, Internet access, email, and more. Keep your account secured with a strong 14-character password.

Aside from a few cases, UCT passwords don’t expire. You will retain the same network password until you decide to change it.

However, if you have privileged access to some of the university’s critical systems, you are required to change your password every 90 days.

All passwords must be kept secret and must not be given anyone else – not even to a UCT ICTS staff member.

Password regulations

When choosing a password, please adhere to these requirements:

  • Your password must be at least 14 characters long, with no spaces.
  • Your password is not case sensitive.
  • Your password can include a mix of letters, special characters, and numbers.
  • Your password cannot include text that is easy to guess – such as “123”, “ABC” or your UCT username.
  • You cannot use a password that you have used in the past.

And because your password is critical for your access to UCT ICTs services:

  • Do not share your password with anyone.
  • Protect your password in the same way as you would your bank card PIN.
  • Never allow other people access to your email or network account – because you are liable for any email sent using your email address.

Manage your password

Use the Password Self-Service tool to manage your UCT ICT’s network password. Changes are reflected instantly and you don’t need to contact IT support to change or reset your password.

If you forget your password, reset it using a one-time password (OTP) token that will be sent to your mobile phone or alternate email address.

Self-training resources

Online learning gives you the freedom to learn at your own pace from your desk at work, from home or anywhere that you have access to the Internet.

UCT offers staff and students access to a range of online training resources, some of which require a site license (lynda.com, Microsoft IT Academy) while others are free to the world (Adobe TV, Khan Academy, and Coursera).

Adobe TV

Adobe TV has the online resources you need to improve your Photoshop, Acrobat, InDesign, and Dreamweaver skills.


Coursera is a social entrepreneurship company that partners with top universities around the world to offer you free online courses.

Khan Academy

The Khan Academy is a non-profit organization offering you more than 4,000 video tutorials in a range of subjects.


Access a wide range of high-quality instructional videos taught by recognized industry experts.

Microsoft Imagine Academy

Access a range of Microsoft application courses, ranging from basic computing to using the software, managing websites, and creating applications.

These are the services UCT ICTs provide to you as a student.

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