Two Tshwane universities make great strides in latest international rankings report
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Pretoria - In spite of having to contend with an overhaul of traditional teaching and learning within the higher education sector as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, two universities in the City of Tshwane have made great strides in the latest international rankings report.
The University of South Africa (Unisa) and the University of Pretoria (UP) reportedly improved their positions in the 2022 Times Higher Education Emerging Economies University Rankings.
The list includes only institutions in countries classified by the London Stock Exchange’s Group as “advanced emerging”, “secondary emerging” or “frontier”.
Universities are judged on 13 performance key indicators including teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook, even though these were said to have different weightings to reflect the development priorities of universities in emerging economies.
According to the recent report due to its scholastic efforts, Unisa had moved into the segment of 201–250 from its 251–300 ranking in 2021.
Professor Puleng LenkaBula, the Unisa Principal and Vice-Chancellor said the recent boost was a clear indication that the institution was on the right path as an engaged university practising engaged scholarship of undeniable quality as measured against global standards.
“Given that a record of over 698 universities from 50 countries and regions were evaluated, the university is proud of its ranking and its significant upward movement compared to 2021.”
“It is significant that the Emerging Economies Ranking uses the same performance indicators as the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, measuring teaching, research, research impact, industry income and international outlook."
As for the University of Pretoria, its law programme has been ranked the best in Africa according to the 2022 Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings.
The report indicated that UP’s law programme was ranked as the best and first in South Africa and Africa and 60th in the world.
The recent performance of the law programme was according to the institution a marked improvement from the 2021 band of 101 -125 and 90th in 2020 report.
Meanwhile, the institution’s veterinary science programme has also been ranked first in South Africa and the continent, with this being the fifth consecutive year that the programme has held this position.
UP Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Tawana Kupe said the ranking was an acknowledgement of the work that goes into making academic programmes a success.
“The past 20 months have been challenging for us all, and especially for those of us in higher education, as we had to come up with innovative ways to keep the academic programming going, despite the challenges posed by the pandemic,” he said.
“This result is an affirmation that while we had to migrate to remote emergency online teaching and learning, the quality of our academic programme was not sacrificed. I wish to offer my heartfelt thanks to all our staff members, who have continued to produce quality work despite the challenges we faced.”
The Dean of UP’s Faculty of Law, Professor Elsabe Schoeman, said having the faculty’s programme ranked number one in Africa and in the top 100 globally was proof of the quality and commitment of staff and students.
“True to its vision and mission, the Faculty of Law at the University of Pretoria continuously strives to improve its international recognition as a leader through relevant legal research, education, academic cross-pollination and collaboration,” she concluded.