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Nine of SA’s 26 universities score well in world rankings

Graduates throw their graduation mortarboards into the air in celebration. Nine of South Africa’s 26 universities have been ranked among the top institutions in the world. Picture: Reuters

Graduates throw their graduation mortarboards into the air in celebration. Nine of South Africa’s 26 universities have been ranked among the top institutions in the world. Picture: Reuters

Published Jun 21, 2022

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Pretoria - Nine of South Africa’s 26 universities have been ranked among the top institutions in the world in the 2023 QS World University Rankings.

The rankings, published earlier this month, assessed more than 1 400 universities on eight key indicators, to effectively capture university performance and help guide prospective students.

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According to the indicators, academic reputation accounted for 40% of the overall score, looking at the teaching and research quality provided at the various world universities.

More than 130  000 expert opinions were collected from the higher education space, resulting in the ranking being the largest survey of academic opinion in the world.

In terms of employment reputation, the group looked at how institutions prepared students for successful careers, and those which provided the most competent, innovative, and effective graduates. Second, the faculty-to-student ratio was taken into account as institutions were assessed on how they were able to provide students with meaningful access to lecturers and tutors, as well as taking into account the total number of academic citations in papers produced by a university in a five-year period.

The institutions were also ranked according to their ability to attract quality students and staff from across the world in terms of their global outlook, as strong international institutions were said to provide a multinational environment, building international sympathies and creating global awareness.

In this year’s rankings, South Africa’s top performer was the University of Cape Town, which came in at 237 alongside King Saud University in Saudi Arabia.

The University of Johannesburg came in at 412, followed by Wits at 428, and Stellenbosch University at 454.

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The University of Pretoria managed to secure its spot at 591-600, followed by Rhodes University, which was placed in the 801-1000 rank.

The University of KwaZulu-Natal, North-West University, and the University of the Western Cape were also included within the 801-1000 spot and between 1001 to 1200.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States took the number one spot, followed closely by the University of Cambridge, while third place went to Stanford University.

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