The top 16 universities in South Africa ranked

 ·4 Aug 2017

A new university ranking focusing on academic quality has been released, highlighting the performance of 16 South African universities among 2,500 higher education institutes (HEI) across the world.

The University Ranking by Academic Performance (URAP) differs from other widely published rankings by not precluding the lower-end of institutions, particularly in developing nations.

“Most ranking systems cover up to top 500 universities around the world, which mostly represents institutions located in developed countries. Universities from other countries around the world also deserve and need to know where they stand among other institutions at global and national levels,” the group said.

The ranking is based on six academic performance indicators. Since URAP is an academic performance based ranking, publications constitute the basis of the ranking methodology, it said. Both quality and quantity of publications and international research collaboration performance are used as indicators.

The overall score of each HEI is based on its performance over several indicators, including current scientific productivity, research impact, research quality and international acceptance.

Data is gathered from Web of Science and other sources which provide lists of HEIs, the group said.

The University of Cape Town, as on many other ranking lists, is the top university in the country, followed by Wits, UKZN and Stellenbosch University.

The latest ranking includes 16 South African universities, making it the most comprehensive global university ranking in the country to date. This number however, is down from the prior year with the University of Fort Hare dropping off.

Most local institutions have slipped down the global list in 2017, with UCT losing three spots from 2016, and Wits down four places. The UKZN remained stable, but Stellenbosch University dropped 13 places.

SA # Global University Score
1 240 University of Cape Town 342.23
2 316 University of the Witwatersrand 331.10
3 369 University of KwaZulu Natal 326.01
4 418 Stellenbosch University 322.04
5 459 University of Pretoria 318.88
6 706 University of Johannesburg 308.77
7 796 North West University 306.28
8 906 University of the Western Cape 303.45
9 1061 Rhodes University 293.79
10 1081 University of the Free State 290.56
11 1121 University of South Africa (Unisa) 285.79
12 1311 Nelson Mandela University 238.96
13 1511 Tshwane University of Technology 184.55
14 1904 University of Limpopo 92.16
15 11907 Cape Peninsula University of Technology 91.98
16 1924 Durban University of Technology 87.95

Read: University fees in 2017: how much it costs to study in South Africa

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