SA Universities Ranked First In The Continent

Despite SA’s political fallouts and government policies educational policies that at most times are not favourable for a successful educational system, South Africa’s universities are still mentioned as the best Universities in Africa

In the full 2017/18 QS World University rankings — published by Quacquarelli Symonds, an organisation specialising in education and study abroad- ranked two SA universities as the best universities in Africa.

While the University of Cape Town (UCT) emerged Africa’s best, Western Cape’s Stellenbosch became the second best.

Unlike in the 2016/17 rankings where UCT dropped 20 places, to 191st worldwide, the University avoided a further slide in the latest rankings. It also made it as a leading tertiary institution on the Africa continent.

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For Stellenbosch University its a steady upward climb in recent years as the university boosted in its ranking. In the 2017/18 QS World University rankings, the university rose from being ranked in the 401-410 band in 2015 to now being ranked 361st in the world and second on the continent.

Interestingly, the University of Pretoria also made it’s as one of the best universities in Africa as it saw a slight climb from being in 551-600 band to the 501-550 band in the latest rankings.

The University of Witwatersrand, Rhodes University,  and the University of KwaZulu-Natal all took turn in dropping in the rankings. According to the ranking, Wits University dropped from 359th to 364th, Rhodes dropped into the top 700 from being in the top 551-600 band and KZN University

University of Johannesburg, North-West University and the University of the Western Cape all remained stable in their rankings.

In sum, African universities remained fairly underrepresented in the rankings, with only the University of Cape Town managing to hold its own in the top 200.

The QS rankings were based on academic reputation, employer reputation, citations per faculty, student-to-faculty ratio, the proportion of international faculty, and proportion of international students. MIT earned a perfect overall score of 100.

However, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) leads the way of the global ranking of over 950 of the best universities in the world. It was also ranked the world’s top university in 12 of 46 disciplines ranked by QS, as announced in March of this year.

MIT was ranked the best in the following QS subject areas: Architecture/Built Environment; Linguistics; Computer Science and Information Systems; Chemical Engineering; Civil and Structural Engineering; Electrical and Electronic Engineering; Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering; Chemistry; Materials Science; Mathematics; Physics and Astronomy; and Economics.

It also ranked among the top five institutions worldwide in another seven QS disciplines: Art and Design (No. 2), Biological Sciences (No. 2), Earth and Marine Sciences (No. 5), Environmental Sciences (No. 3), Accounting and Finance (No. 2), Business and Management Studies (No. 4), and Statistics and Operational Research (No. 2).

United Kingdom Universities have also seen a slide, with 51 of 76 British universities falling at least one place, according to QS ranking determined by mixed survey responses and hard data across six different indicators.

 Read Also: University Rankings: SA Universities Among World Best In These Subjects

The institution gathered its report from contributions from more than 70 000 academics and 30 000 employers.

Academic reputation, which is measured using a global survey, in which academics were asked to identify the institutions where they believe the best work is currently taking place within their field of expertise, remains the biggest contributor to scores.

The indicators and scores are:

  • Academic reputation (40%)
  • Employer reputation (10%)
  • Student-to-faculty ratio (20%)
  • Citations per faculty (20%)
  • International faculty ratio (5%)
  • International student ratio (5%)

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