While more established and traditional learning institutions generally sit top of global university rankings – including the likes of Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard and Princeton – a number of ‘younger’ institutions are beginning to show their worth, especially in the fields of science and technology.
These universities are reflected in a new ranking the Times Higher Education World University, which includes a South African institution among the top 100.
THE’s 2018 Young University Rankings reveal the best universities under 50 years old, assessing them across teaching, research, international outlook and their work with industry.
The top ‘young’ university is Hong Kong’s University of Science and Technology, which has replaced the 2017 winner, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, in Switzerland. The former university was only founded in 1991, making it far newer than say Oxford which is approaching an existence of 1,000 years.
As its name suggests, HKUST focuses heavily on providing students with a high-quality education within the realms of science and technology. Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University, also founded in 1991, rounds out the top three.
The University of KwaZulu-Natal is ranked 83rd – having formed in 2004 as a result of the merger between the University of Durban-Westville and the University of Natal.
The two KwaZulu-Natal universities were among the first batch of South African institutions to merge in 2004 in accordance with the government’s higher educational restructuring plans that will eventually see the number of higher educational institutions in South Africa reduced from 36 to 21. Confirmed by a Cabinet decision in December 2002, the mergers are the culmination of a wide-ranging consultative process on the restructuring of the Higher Education Sector that began in the early 1990s.
The University of Johannesburg is ranked inside the top 150. It came into existence on 1 January 2005 as the result of a merger between the Rand Afrikaans University (RAU), the Technikon Witwatersrand (TWR) and the Soweto and East Rand campuses of Vista University.
Top 10 youngest universities
|1||Hong Kong University of Science and Technology||Hong Kong||1991|
|2||École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne||Switzerland||1969|
|3||Nanyang Technological University||Singapore||1991|
|4||Paris Sciences & Lettres – PSL University||France||2010|
|6||Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)||South Korea||1971|
|7||City University of Hong Kong||Hong Kong||1984|
|8||Pohang University of Science and Technology||South Korea||1986|
|9||Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna||Italy||1987|
|10||University of Alabama at Birmingham||United States||1969|
|83||University of Kwazulu-Natal||South Africa||2004|
|101-150||University of Johannesburg||South Africa||2005|