The 2022 Best Global Universities rankings, published by US News & World Report, includes a list of the top 13 tertiary learning institutions in South Africa, six of which are ranked among the top 500 in the world.
The overall ranking includes 1,750 top institutions, an increase from nearly 1,500 last year, and is spread across more than 90 countries, an increase from 86 last year.
The rankings place a special emphasis on universities' research output as well as the reputations associated with that research, both locally and globally.
Publications, citations, and international collaboration are examples of bibliometric indicators. Each subject ranking has its own methodology that is based on academic research performance and reputation in that particular field.
The 13 indicators the group looks at (and their weightings) are:
- Global research reputation – 12.5%
- Regional research reputation – 12.5%
- Number of publications that are among the 10% most cited – 12.5%
- Percentage of total publications that are among the 10% most cited – 10%
- Publications – 10%
- Normalised citation impact – 10%
- Total citations – 7.5%
- International collaboration – 5%
- Percentage of total publications with international collaboration – 5%
- Number of highly cited papers that are among the top 1% most cited in their respective field – 5%
- Percentage of total publications that are among the top 1% most highly cited papers – 5%
- Books – 2.5%
- Conferences – 2.5%
In 2021/22, South Africa's universities mostly rose in the global rankings, with 13 institutions remaining among the top 1,500. Nine universities improved their global standing, while four fell in the rankings.
The University of Cape Town remains the top university in the country, but in Africa, it has dropped from 103rd to 109th place.
UCT is followed by the University of the Witwatersrand, which finished 212th, down from 192nd the previous year.
Other universities that have dropped in the rankings include the University of KwaZulu Natal (371st) and the University of Johannesburg (417th).
All of the other universities on the list improved, with Stellenbosch University rising from 321st in 2020/21 to 317th. The University of the Western Cape remained in 729th place.
Notably, Tshwane University of Technology rose in the rankings to now be among the top 1,000.
Of the 13 universities ranked in South Africa, six ranked within the global top 500.
The Top Universities in South Africa are as follows:
- Rank 109 - University of Cape Town
- Rank 212 - University of Witwatersrand
- Rank 317 - Stellenbosch University
- Rank 371 - University of Kwa-Zulu Natal
- Rank 417 - University of Johannesburg
- Rank 434 - University of Pretoria
- Rank 510 - North-West University
- Rank 729 - University of the Western Cape
- Rank 851 - University of South Africa
- Rank 855 - Rhodes University
- Rank 925 - University of the Free State
- Rank 954 - Tshwane University of Technology
- Rank 1225 - Nelson Mandela University
South Africa remains a global educational powerhouse, making it a popular destination for foreign talent to learn and develop within its well-established walls. If studying in South Africa appeals to you, contact a New World Immigration consultant today to determine your best first steps towards developing your future in Mzansi.