The University of Cape Town. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)
The University of Cape Town. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)

QS World University Rankings: These are the top universities in SA

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Jul 6, 2020

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Cape Town - The 17th edition of the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings report is out and a number of South African Universities have been ranked on the list. 

The 2021 edition is, however, a particularly poignant one and a reflection of the higher education sector before the global pandemic. 

"We know this pandemic will have painful and wide-reaching effects on our sector and the uncertainty faced by students and institutions alike will be keenly felt," the report said. 

The report also noted the record-breaking figures for internationalization metrics and faculty student ratio. "This may not be seen again for some years to come."

"The research intensity of recent years may be difficult to sustain under the financial pressure now weighing on institutions. In short, the 2021 WUR will likely be a resetting of the trajectory of rankings, looked on in future both as a reminder of the good times and a setpoint to reach for once more."

"These rankings are, whilst useful for faculty, administrators and policy makers, designed with students at their heart. Now more so than ever, the weight of uncertainty faced by students on where to place their time, effort and money for a world-class education is palpable."

The report also added that  with campuses closed, learning ported online and time differences almost an anachronism, the need for objective guidance and independent insights remains strong. 

Choosing where to study is a complicated and highly personal endeavor, and the report hopes to play a part in making this decision easier. 

The QS ranking looks at a number of indicators when accessing a university. 

These are: career outcomes, diversity, employer reputation, profile and thought leadership. 

The top 6 SA universities: 

  • University of  Cape Town ranked 220
  • University of The Witwatersrand ranked 403
  • University of Johannesburg ranked 439
  • Stellenbosch University ranked 456
  • University of Pretoria ranked 561
  • University of Kwazulu-Natal and Rhodes University tied at 801

The University of Pretoria’s Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) has once again been ranked in the top 60. This is the 4th edition of the ranking and the second time that GIBS has been ranked among the top 161 schools globally. 

You can download the full report here!

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