The Center for World University Rankings (CWUR) published its 2023 Global 2000 list and the University of Cape Town (UCT), which continues to be the greatest university in Africa, is ranked at 267, up three spots from previous year.
CWUR releases the largest academic ranking of global universities. Out of the 20,531 institutions assessed, only the top 2,000 received a ranking, which places UCT in the top 1.4% of universities globally.
“UCT has once again proven its excellence in higher education by performing well in this prestigious world rankings. As a leading research-intensive institution, we will continue to strive for excellence, and to remain at the forefront of cutting-edge discovery and impact,” says Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Internationalisation, Professor Sue Harrison.
This ranking uses seven indicators grouped into four areas:
- Education, measured by the number of a university’s alumni who have earned significant academic achievements, relative to its size (25%).
- Employability, measured by the number of its alumni who have held top executive positions in the largest global companies, relative to the size of the university (25%).
- Faculty, measured by the number of faculty members who have received top academic distinctions (10%).
- The research component, which counts for 40%, includes the following criteria:
- Research output, measured by the total number of research articles (10%)
- High-quality publications, measured by the number of research articles appearing in top-tier journals (10%)
- Influence, measured by the number of research articles published in highly-influential journals (10%)
- Citations, measured by the number of highly-cited research articles (10%).
UCT’s highest ranked indicator is quality of education, which at 182nd position was down four places from last year. The alumni employment indicator (placed 224th) performed well and continued its climb, moving up 13 places compared to last year, which was also up 23 places on the previous year. The research performance indicator (ranked 245th) improved by five places compared to last year.
How other South African universities ranked
The University of Witwatersrand was ranked 290th globally and was the second-best-placed university in the nation. Although Stellenbosh University was ranked as the third-best university in South Africa, it fell nine spots to 450th in the world.
The fourth- and fifth-ranked universities in South Africa were the University of KwaZulu-Natal (478) and the University of Pretoria (557), respectively.
The University of Johannesburg (628), North-West University (887), University of the Free State (1160), University of Western Cape (1188), and Rhodes University (1300) were also included in the top 10 South African universities.
"The University of Johannesburg is pleased with the outcome of the latest CWUR World University Rankings. This is testament that our academic efforts are bearing fruit, once again with this global recognition. This also demonstrates UJ’s commitment to excellence and its dedication to providing high-quality education and research opportunities," said the university's Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Letlhokwa Mpedi.
The sole difference in the local ranking from the previous year is that Rhodes University surpassed the University of South Africa.
Although the global rankings of seven of the 12 South African universities fell, none of the universities' overall scores did, with nine of the 12 universities improving their rankings.
View the CWUR 2023 Global 2000 list.