UCT ranks 116th globally, still Africa’s top university

UCT rises to 116th place globally, maintaining its spot as Africa's top university. Picture Leon Lestrade.

UCT rises to 116th place globally, maintaining its spot as Africa's top university. Picture Leon Lestrade.

Published Jul 8, 2024


The University of Cape Town (UCT) has once again been named the top university in Africa in the 2024–2025 US News Best Global Universities rankings. UCT moved up to 116th place globally from 125th last year, showing its ongoing improvement in academics and research.

This achievement comes after UCT entered the top 100 in the 2024 Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings, where it ranked 77th worldwide. These rankings highlight UCT’s growing reputation for research and global influence.

Professor Jeff Murugan, UCT’s acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Internationalisation, said these rankings show the university's dedication to advancing important areas of knowledge. “UCT’s leading research in health sciences showcases the strength and depth of our long history of research reputation and excellence,’’ he said.

UCT excelled in various disciplines, with standout performances in infectious disease (24th globally) and public health (44th), among others. Ten subjects secured positions within the top 200. These rankings underscore UCT's role in shaping global research and its contributions to Africa's development.

Professor Digby Warner, director of UCT’s Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine (IDM), noted that while rankings are important, they don't tell the whole story of UCT’s impact. He emphasised the importance of continuing to build local research capacity to improve health outcomes.

“University ranking lists need to be viewed with caution. That said, the prominent position achieved in the infectious disease category is a pleasing acknowledgement of the global impact local researchers – many of whom are based in the IDM – are making in tackling important health problems of direct relevance in our setting.

“Rather than complacency, though, this accolade really serves as motivation for us to redouble our efforts in developing and applying world-leading indigenous clinical and scientific research capacity that can transform health interventions and outcomes,’’ he said.

The rankings focus on research output, academic reputation, and international collaboration. They show UCT’s commitment to excellence in education and research. UCT leads in addressing societal challenges in Africa, especially in health sciences, playing a key role in shaping future advancements.


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