Avatar photo

By Cornelia Le Roux

Digital Deputy News Editor

Global ‘report card’: These SA universities pass with flying colours

UCT are top of the class in Africa again, according to an annual global ranking scale. Take a look at the rest of SA's best universities.

Every year, the Centre for World University Rankings (CWUR) ranks top universities and compares the institutions globally.

Only the top 2 000 universities worldwide received a global ranking this year after the CWUR evaluation of more than 20 000 institutions.

The 12 South African tertiary institutions featured on the list, were in the top 10% of global universities with the University of Cape Town (UCT) ranked best in Africa and in the top 1.4% worldwide.

ALSO READ: Cape Peninsula university halts all operations amid student protests

UCT tops list of African universities

According to the ranking scale, UCT is followed by the  University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) with Stellenbosch University completing the top three. University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) and the University of Pretoria are ranked fourth and fifth respectively.

UCT spokesperson Elijah Moholola said factors, such as research output, high-quality research, influence, and citations, are used to rank the institutions.

View the full list here:

1. University of Cape Town

UCT ranks first in our country and continent for the second year in a row, ranking 267 in the world and the top 1.4% globally.

2. University of the Witwatersrand

Wits was placed second in South Africa, sporting a rank of 290 and in the top 1.5% in the world.

3. Stellenbosch University

Stellies rounds out the top three in South Africa, ranking 450 and in the top 2.2% globally.

4. University of KwaZulu-Natal

UKZN earned fourth place locally with a ranking of 478 in the world; the top 2.4%.

5. University of Pretoria

The University of Pretoria makes the top five countdown, shining in the top 2.8% globally at a position of 557.

6. University of Johannesburg

Coming in at number six is UJ, with a 628 world ranking that’s also in the top 3.1% of global varsities.

7. North-West University

North-West University is seventh in South Africa and number 887 in the world (top 4.4% worldwide).

8. University of the Free State

UFS is in position eight with a rank of 1 160 in the top 5.7% of all universities.

9. University of the Western Cape

UWC fills the ninth spot with a 1 188 ranking in the top 5.8% worldwide.

10. Rhodes University

Rounding off the top 10 list, Rhodes boasts a ranking of 1 300 and a global position in the top 6.4%.

11. University of South Africa (Unisa)

Unisa placed 11th with a ranking position of 1 338 in top 6.6% worldwide.

12. Nelson Mandela University

NMU earned the 12th position for South Africa’s top universities, ranking 1 658th globally and in the top 8.1% worldwide.

ALSO READ: Outrage over lavish spending on Unisa’s Vice-Chancellor’s residence and vehicle

Harvard tops global list… again

For the 12th year in a row, Harvard University has been ranked the best university in the world, followed by two other United States (US) institutions – Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Stanford University.

England’s Cambridge and Oxford universities were placed fourth and fifth, while the rest of the top 10 features private US universities.

ALSO READ: Fort Hare killings: Court hears of R5m hit on VC’s head as bail hearing resumes

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits