Home South African UCT still tops Africa university rankings, Wits and Stellenbosch in 2nd and...

UCT still tops Africa university rankings, Wits and Stellenbosch in 2nd and 3rd place


UCT remains the best university in Africa, according to the Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings 2024, moving to within the top 12% internationally.

UCT heads Africa’s university rankings. File picture: Armand Hough, African News Agency (ANA)

CAPE TOWN – UCT has moved up 64 places to be ranked 173rd in the world by the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings 2024 released on Wednesday.

UCT remains the best university in Africa, according to QS, moving to within the top 12% internationally.

The top five universities in Africa are: UCT in 173rd place, University of Witwatersrand at 264, Stellenbosch University at 283, University of Johannesburg at 306, and University of Pretoria at 323.

UCT said its improved performance of 64 places can be largely attributed to the change in methodology introduced in this edition of the rankings, which now takes into consideration the university’s international collaborations, excellent graduate employment rates and successful alumni, and evaluates UCT’s contribution to social and environmental impact.

“UCT is delighted to record such an impressive jump in the rankings,” said Vice-Chancellor Emeritus Professor Daya Reddy.

“We are particularly pleased to see this new recognition of our international collaborations, for which UCT ranked in the top 50 institutions globally, together with recognition in the new category of social and environmental impact.

“Both are critical to our mission to create and teach the best of knowledge and in so doing to contribute towards addressing complex and critical challenges facing our country, our continent and the world at large. The introduction of employment outcomes is also especially welcome in a country like South Africa, where higher education institutions have a critical role to play in addressing the vital need to increase employment opportunities.”

In addition to the traditional six performance indicators, QS included three new indicators to evaluate universities in this 20th edition of their world rankings. Together, the nine performance indicators (with weightings) are: academic reputation (30%), citations per faculty member (20%), employer reputation (15%), employment outcomes (5%), faculty-to-student ratio (10%), international faculty ratio (5%), international student ratio (5%), international research networks (5%) and sustainability (5%).

A total of 1,500 institutions from around the world were ranked, including 11 from South Africa.

UCT was placed 38th of all ranked institutions in the new employment outcomes indicator, which reflects the ability of institutions to ensure a high level of employability for their graduates and nurture future leaders to go on and make an impact in their respective fields.

UCT ranked 49th in the new international research network indicator, which assesses the richness and diversity of an institution’s international research partnerships.

UCT’s performance in the reputation indicators remained within the top 200. The employer reputation indicator was in 164th position and the academic reputation indicator at 190th position. Both these reputation indicators are based on global surveys: the employer reputation indicator is based on responses from employers asked to identify the institutions from which they source the most competent and innovative graduates, and the academic reputation indicator is a collation of expert opinions in higher education regarding universities’ teaching and research quality.

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