The University of Pretoria said it has improved its international standing and ranking by strengthening its position among the top universities of the world. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - The University of Pretoria (UP) on Friday said it has improved its international standing and ranking by strengthening its position among the top universities of the world.

Latest Shanghai Rankings - Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) 2019 show that UP is now South Africa’s third ranked university.

Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the UP, Prof Tawana Kupe, said despite the institution not having many researchers in the top 20 list of outcomes, it has upped its rating by rising to being ranked among some of the top ranked universities with highly cited researchers. 

UP’s Prof M Wingfield is a top researcher and is currently ranked among South Africa’s top 50 of the most highly cited researchers. 

The university's researchers were recognised by the web of science group and were noted among the world-class researchers selected for their exceptional research performance.

Kupe said the QS world university rankings rate the top tertiary institutions around the world against several indicators, including academic reputation, employer reputation, number of citations per academic staff, student-to-academic staff ratio, and number of international students. 

Ranked at position 232 globally on the employer reputation indicator, UP is placed firmly among the world’s top universities as an employer of choice. 

UP also improved its rankings in citations per academic staff member, while the ranking for international academic staff also showed an improvement, compared to the previous year.

"The aim of improving our ranks is to ensure that we provide high quality education and cutting-edge knowledge that transforms lives, communities and sectors, our society and the African continent and makes a contribution to the world," said Kupe.

The UP has the third highest number of international students in South Africa. 

This ranking is important because it places the university as among the top universities of the world, with a notable record of academics with international acclaim. 

Kupe said international rankings were critical to the testimony of the provision of high quality education and therefore, "continuously improving our rankings is our reason to believe for our 55 000 strong students, who #ChooseUP".  

The university vice-chancellor and principal said it takes these rankings "very seriously in our quest to provide quality graduate who go out to change and transforms lives".

African News Agency (ANA)