Rankings of universities in South Africa

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Location of South Africa

Rankings of universities in South Africa are largely based on international university rankings, since there are no South African rankings as of yet.

These international university rankings indicate that South Africa's university system is the strongest on the continent: it is home to five of the six highest ranked African universities,[1] including the two campuses consistently ranked as academically strongest in Africa, University of Cape Town and University of the Witwatersrand,[2] which are situated in South Africa's two most prominent cities (Cape Town and Johannesburg, respectively).

Highly cited international university rankings[edit]

In part because of the inherent difficulty of ranking complex educational institutions, there are an expanding number of competing international university ranking schemes, each with a different emphasis. Three of the most prominent are the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, QS World University Rankings, and the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU, sometimes referred to as the "Shanghai Rankings").

Times Higher Education World University Rankings[edit]

The 2013–2014 edition of the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings ranked the top South African universities as follows:[3]

SA Rank World Rank University
1 126 University of Cape Town
2 226–250 University of the Witwatersrand
3 301–350 University of Stellenbosch

QS World University Rankings[edit]

The 2013 edition of the QS World University Rankings ranked the top South African universities as follows:

SA rank World rank University Arts & Humanities Engineering & IT Life Sciences & Medicine Natural Science Social Sciences
1 145[4] University of Cape Town 108 282 142 254 112
2 313[5] University of the Witwatersrand 144 274 391 210
3 387[6] University of Stellenbosch 231 320 345 271
4 471–480[7] University of Pretoria 292 270
5 501–550[8] University of KwaZulu-Natal 332 392

Previous years' world rankings are as follows (before 2010 the ranking was known as the Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings):

SA rank University 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
1 University of Cape Town 257 200 176 146 161
2 University of the Witwatersrand 322 282 319 321 360
3 University of Stellenbosch
4 University of Pretoria 509 469 501–600 401–500 451–500
5 University of KwaZulu-Natal 484 487 401–500 501–600 501–550

ARWU/Shanghai[edit]

The Academic Ranking of World Universities has ranked the top South African universities as follows:

SA rank University 2013[9] 2012[10] 2010[11] 2009[12] 2008[13] 2007[14] 2006[15] 2005[16] 2004[17] 2003[18]
1 University of Cape Town 201–300 201–300 201–300 201–302 201–302 203–304 201–300 203–300 202–301 251–300
2 University of the Witwatersrand 301–400 301–400 301–400 303–401 303–401 305–402 301–400 301–400 302–403 451–500
3 University of KwaZulu-Natal 401–500 401–500 401–500 402–501 402–503 403–510 401–500 401–500 404–502 451–500
4 University of Pretoria 403–510 401–500 401–500 404–502 401–450

Note: These are the only ranked South African universities.

International Rankings for Additional Context[edit]

University Ranking by Academic Performance (URAP)[edit]

URAP, which is a newer ranking scheme based solely on quantitative measures of academic productivity, includes data for a larger number of global universities, and thus gives some sense of the relative standing of more South African institutions. The 2013-2014 edition of URAP ranked the top South African Universities as follows:[19]

SA Rank World Rank University
1 231 University of Cape Town
2 339 University of the Witwatersrand
3 411 Stellenbosch University
4 444 University of KwaZulu-Natal
5 473 University of Pretoria
6 788 University of Johannesburg
7 984 University of the Western Cape
8 1086 University of the Free State
9 1098 Rhodes University
10 1452 Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
11 1604 Tshwane University of Technology
12 1627 University of South Africa
13 1700 University of Limpopo

Business-oriented rankings[edit]

Several international rankings schemes focus on the placement of graduates in business settings.

Times Higher Education Alma Mater Index[edit]

This is another THE ranking which aims to measure the real world success of a University's alumni by ranking Universities according to the number of their graduates that are currently CEOs of Fortune Global 500 companies. The global number one for 2013 is by a considerable margin, Harvard University. The only African Universities that appear on the Global top 100 are the University of the Witwatersrand and the University of Cape Town. The 2013 South African rankings are as follows:[20]

SA Rank World Rank University
1 24 University of the Witwatersrand
2 79 University of Cape Town

Tredence-Emerging Global Employability University Ranking[edit]

This is a global ranking of universities by the perceived quality of their graduates by top employers around the world. The only African university in the top 150 is the University of the Witwatersrand. The 2013 ranking is as follows:[21]

SA Rank World Rank University
1 139 University of the Witwatersrand

Additional context on South African higher educational institutions[edit]

2010 Centre for Higher Education Transformation report[edit]

A 2010 report by Centre for Higher Education Transformation identified 3 different university clusters in South Africa, grouped according to function. The input variables used to group universities were:

  • Percentage of headcount enrolment in science, engineering and technology
  • Masters and doctoral enrolments
  • Student to staff ratios
  • Permanent staff with doctoral degrees
  • Private and government income
  • Student fee income

The output variables were:

  • Student success rates
  • Graduation rates
  • Weighted research output units per permanent staff member

The Red cluster constitutes the top research-intensive universities. The Blue cluster consists of institutions focused primarily on technical training, while the Green cluster includes institutions which show characteristics of both missions. The clusters are:[22]

Red Cluster Green Cluster Blue Cluster
University of the Witwatersrand University of the Free State Vaal University of Technology
Stellenbosch University University of KwaZulu-Natal Central University of Technology
University of Cape Town North-West University Durban University of Technology
University of Pretoria University of Fort Hare Mangosuthu University of Technology
Rhodes University University of Limpopo Tshwane University of Technology
University of the Western Cape Cape Peninsula University of Technology
University of Johannesburg University of Venda
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Walter Sisulu University
University of Zululand

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.urapcenter.org/2013/region.php?rcode=AF
  2. ^ "World Rankings - Africa 2013-14". University Ranings. Times Higher Education. Retrieved 18 October 2013. 
  3. ^ "World Rankings - Africa 2013-14". University Rankings. Times Higher Education. Retrieved 18 October 2013. 
  4. ^ "University of Cape Town". Top Universities. QS Quacquarelli Symonds. 10 September 2013. Retrieved 10 September 2013. 
  5. ^ "University of the Witwatersrand". Top Universities. QS Quacquarelli Symonds. Retrieved 10 September 2013. 
  6. ^ "University of Stellenbosch". Top Universities. QS Quacquarelli Symonds. Retrieved 10 September 2013. 
  7. ^ "University of Pretoria". Top Universities. QS Quacquarelli Symonds. Retrieved 10 September 2013. 
  8. ^ "University of KwaZulu-Natal". Top Universities. QS Quacquarelli Symonds. Retrieved 20 September 2011. 
  9. ^ "South Africa Universities in Top 500 - 2013". Academic Ranking of World Universities. Retrieved 29 November 2013. 
  10. ^ "South Africa Universities in Top 500 - 2010". Academic Ranking of World Universities. Retrieved 15 September 2010. 
  11. ^ "South Africa Universities in Top 500 - 2010". Academic Ranking of World Universities. Retrieved 15 September 2010. 
  12. ^ "South Africa Universities in Top 500 - 2009". Academic Ranking of World Universities. Retrieved 26 February 2010. 
  13. ^ "South Africa Universities in Top 500 - 2008". Academic Ranking of World Universities. Retrieved 26 February 2010. 
  14. ^ "South Africa Universities in Top 500 - 2007". Academic Ranking of World Universities. Retrieved 26 February 2010. 
  15. ^ "South Africa Universities in Top 500 - 2006". Academic Ranking of World Universities. Retrieved 26 February 2010. 
  16. ^ "South Africa Universities in Top 500 - 2005". Academic Ranking of World Universities. Retrieved 26 February 2010. 
  17. ^ "ARWU 2004". Academic Ranking of World Universities. Retrieved 26 February 2010. 
  18. ^ "ARWU 2003". Academic Ranking of World Universities. Retrieved 26 February 2010. 
  19. ^ "URAP - University Ranking by Academic Performance". Top Universities. Informatics Institute of Middle East Technical University. Retrieved 15 November 2013. 
  20. ^ "THE Alma Mater Index:Global Executives 2013". University Rankings. Times Higher Education. Retrieved 11 September 2013. 
  21. ^ "Global Employability University Ranking 2013". University Ranings. Emerging. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  22. ^ McGregor, Karen (23 May 2010). "SOUTH AFRICA: New university clusters emerge". University World News. Retrieved 11 June 2010. 

See also[edit]