These 8 South African universities are ranked among the top 1,000 in the world

 ·6 Sep 2017

Update: The table has been updated with the correct, official scores from the Times Higher Education.

Times Higher Education (THE) has released its university ranking for 2017/18, listing the top global tertiary institutions – including eight from South Africa.

The Times Higher Education university rankings is based on performance across five main indicators: teaching, research, citations, international outlook and industry income.

The ranking puts a strong focus on reputation, considering hundreds of thousands of data points on more than 1,500 leading global research universities, selected for analysis on the strength of their record in international research and on their global academic reputation.

The reputation part of the score is based on the THE’s Academic Reputation Survey, which draws on more than 20,000 survey responses from senior scholars from more than 140 countries. All results are audited by PwC.

2017 marks the first year that over 1,000 universities were assessed and ranked by the group.

In South Africa, the University of Cape Town remains the top-ranked university in the country, followed by Wits and Stellenbosch, and the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). These four universities are the only local institutions to be ranked within the top 500, with UCT being the only SA university in the top 200.

# University Global rank Score*
1 University of Cape Town 171 54.4
2 University of the Witwatersrand 251-300 45.6
3 Stellenbosch University 351-400 41.4
4 University of KwaZulu Natal 401-500 37.2
6 University of Pretoria 601-800 29.8
5 University of Johannesburg 601-800 29.0
7 University of the Western Cape 601-800 27.1
8 University of South Africa 801-1000 16.5

*Note: Previous scores listed in the table were not calculated correctly and have been updated with the official scores. 

Globally, the University of Oxford has maintained its top spot for the second year in a row, while the University of Cambridge has jumped up two places,  supplanting the California Institute of Technology and Stanford University, which tied for third.

According to the THE, one reason for the movement is that Cambridge’s research income and research quality improved in 2017, while Caltech and Stanford were hurt by drops to their PhD-to-bachelor’s ratios.

Caltech also received a much more modest rise in its research income per academic staff member compared with the other three institutions, it said.

Despite the UK stealing the crown, US universities still have the highest representation among the top 200 global universities, with 62 institutions ranked. The UK follows with 31 universities in the top 200, Germany with 20 and the Netherlands with 13.

You can view the full rankings on the Times Higher Education website.

Read: Wits trumps UCT for the second time in global university ranking

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