The University of the Western Cape (UWC) has done it again. It has been ranked in the top 800 universities globally by Times Higher Education (THE) for the sixth year running. Udubs placed seventh in South Africa and 13th on the African continent.
The THE Global Impact Rankings help universities worldwide through analysis and benchmarking. THE prides itself on having the “most rigorous and trusted rankings of universities”.
These rankings are to universities what FIFA rankings are to football-mad nations. It’s due reward for hard work. According to THE, 1,662 universities from 99 countries were evaluated.
In addition to placing in the top 800, UWC is ranked joint 107th in the Emerging Economies University rankings this year. That is UWC’s highest position since joining the rankings in 2017.
Speaking from London, Ellie Bothwell, the rankings editor at THE, explained: “In the latest 2022 edition, the university (UWC) achieved particularly high scores for citation impact and international outlook. It has lower scores in the areas of teaching environment and research environment, but its performance in those two areas is at its highest level ever.”
UWC, a vibrant intellectual space, has excelled in several of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) areas, including No Poverty and Reduced Inequalities. UWC now ranks in the top 200 globally for these goals.
“It (UWC) is ranked in all 18 of our Impact Rankings tables – in the tables for each of the 17 SDGs, as well as the overall ranking – indicating its strong commitment to helping tackle the world’s greatest challenges and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Bothwell.
UWC’s Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tyrone Pretorius, could not be prouder.
“It’s quite significant. The latest rankings speak directly to UWC’s commitment to quality education and making a meaningful difference in the world. We are already one of the finest institutions in South Africa, and to know that we are world-class is just a feather in the cap. We are well on track to meet our Sustainable Development Goals,” he said. “And it’s not just about approaching those goals on a theoretical level. We look at the challenges facing society from all angles and then put in the hard work to make a meaningful difference. It’s part of UWC’s genetic make-up. It's what we live and breathe.”
THE use stringent metrics by which they measure universities’ performance. They use indicators to gauge a university’s strengths against its core value missions, analysing policies and initiatives. Institutions must provide evidence in support. THE then looks at examples that demonstrate best practices.
Bothwell also mentioned: “The Impact Rankings are inherently dynamic: they are growing rapidly each year as many more universities seek to demonstrate their commitment to delivering the SDGs by joining our database; and they allow institutions to demonstrate rapid improvement year-on-year by introducing clear new policies, for example, or by providing clearer and more open evidence of their progress. Therefore, we expect and welcome regular change in the ranked order of institutions (and we discourage year-on-year comparisons) as universities continue to drive this urgent agenda.”
Prof Pretorius added: “The top 800 in the world is a good place to be. It’s a genuine reflection of the work we put into achieving greatness. But we’re not resting on our laurels. There are so many more exciting programmes in the pipeline. And those will obviously match our efforts to always strive for better. We are so proud of the incredible strides we are making. The education we provide is all-encompassing. Teaching, learning, research, innovation, real solutions to real life challenges and issues. And with every graduate from our fine institution, we are staying true to our promise to change the world.”