02 OCTOBER 2019
UCT GSB launches state-of-the-art academic conference centre
The UCT Graduate School of Business (UCT GSB) launches its state-of-the-art academic conference centre on the GSB campus this week. The centre will enhance the school's ability to convene thought leadership conferences and host sizeable international delegations.
With an increasing need for large events focused on research and academic themes, the limited scale of existing facilities hampered the UCT GSB’s ability to host modern conferences on the more than 100-year-old heritage site. The academic conference centre is specifically planned to conform to the requirements of a technologically advanced era in academic and research circles.
“This is a fantastic new venue that is going to be an asset not just to the business school and the university, but to the City of Cape Town more broadly. In this space, we want to significantly raise the level of academic engagement on issues pertinent to the business success of South Africa and the African continent,” said Associate Professor Kosheek Sewchurran, interim director of the UCT GSB.
UCT Vice-Chancellor, Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng added, “We will host many luminaries from our continent and further afield and we expect to engage in numerous challenging and stimulating conversations and debates as we collectively seek to develop wise and relevant responses to the many challenges facing this country, this continent and indeed the world.”
The venue has been designed on three levels; the basement houses an auditorium with a seating capacity of 250 people, making it suitable for larger seminars and big groups. On the ground and first floors there are several multi-purpose flat venues which can operate either as independent spaces accommodating around 70 people, or the entire area can be opened out to cater for bigger functions, which can host up to 300 people. There are also a number of smaller breakaway rooms for delegates for smaller gatherings. The entire facility has a capacity of 750 to 900 people at any one time.
The conference centre will be available for hire by outside parties - its location in the Waterfront precinct offering obvious attractions - and the GSB is also offering naming rights opportunities on the building and on specific venues. The centre will be operated by Marriott hotels.
Financing for the R130 million centre was organised via the Development Bank of Africa and other stakeholders.