The latest edition of the QS World University Rankings by Subject has been released, ranking South African universities with engineering, tech and science courses that are among the best in the world.
The QS ranking identifies which subjects universities are particularly strong in relation to international competitors, looking specifically at academic reputation and research output.
Research citations, along with the results of major global surveys of employers and academics are also used to rank the universities.
Looking specifically at the fields of engineering, tech and science, six South African universities stand out for having some of the best courses in the world for these subjects.
The University of Cape Town carries the distinction of being the highest-ranked in all but one of the subject fields, with the University of Witwatersand and the University of Pretoria being the only South African universities ranked in the mineral and mining engineering field.
This is also the field where South Africa performs the best within the engineering sector, with Wits and UP ranking 15th and 33rd in the world here.
No South African universities were ranked in the subjects of structural and civil engineering and petroleum engineering, however.
Engineering – Chemical
|1||University of Cape Town||201-250|
|3||University of Pretoria||251-300|
|4||University of Witwatersrand||251-300|
|5||University of Johannesburg||351-400|
Engineering – Electrical and Electronic
|1||University of Pretoria||301-350|
|3||University of Cape Town||351-400|
Engineering – Mechanical
|1||University of Cape Town||251-300|
|2||University of Pretoria||251-300|
|4||University of Witwatersrand||401-450|
|5||University of Johannesburg||451-500|
Engineering – Mineral and Mining
|1||University of Witwatersrand||15|
|2||University of Pretoria||33|
|1||University of Cape Town||451-500|
|2||University of Pretoria||501-520|
|3||University of Witwatersrand||501-520|
|1||University of Cape Town||351-400|
|2||University of Pretoria||501-550|
Physics and Astronomy
|1||University of Cape Town||251-300|
|2||University of Witwatersrand||401-450|
|3||University of Johannesburg||451-500|
|4||University of KwaZulu-Natal||451-500|
|1||University of Cape Town||401-450|
|2||University of Johannesburg||451-500|
|4||University of KwaZulu-Natal||501-550|
|5||University of Witwatersrand||501-550|
|6||University of Pretoria||551-600|
Nine of South Africa’s universities were ranked in the QS global rankings for 2022, led by the University of Cape Town, which ranked 226th, overall.
UCT placed well ahead of the University of the Witwatersrand, while the University of Johannesburg climbed the rankings, pipping Stellenbosch University to third spot.
|University||2022 ranking||2021 ranking|
|University of Cape Town||226||220|
|University of the Witwatersrand||424||403|
|University of Johannesburg||434||439|
|University of Pretoria||601-650||561-570|
|University of KwaZulu-Natal||801-1000||801-1000|
|University of the Western Cape||1001-1200||1001+|
The QS ranking is based on a mix of survey responses and hard data across six indicators, compiled and weighted to formulate a final score.
Over 80,000 academics and 40,000 employers contributed to the rankings through the QS global surveys, while QS said it analysed 99 million citations from 10.3 million papers, and 1,000 institutions were ranked.
The ranking’s biggest indicator, accounting for 40% of the total score, is based on academic reputation.
Academic reputation is measured using a global survey, in which academics were asked to identify the institutions where they believe the best work is currently taking place within their field of expertise.
The indicators and scores are:
- Academic reputation (40%)
- Employer reputation (10%)
- Student-to-faculty ratio (20%)
- Citations per faculty (20%)
- International faculty ratio (5%)
- International student ratio (5%)