uct rankings

World University Rankings: UCT tops as best African tertiary in 2021

Published by Andile Sicetsha

The University of Cape Town (UCT) has kept its prestige as the highest-ranked higher learning institution in Africa, following the release of the World University Rankings 2020/21 list.

World University Rankings: What metrics do they look at?

This list was compiled and published by the Centre for World University Rankings (CWUR). The rankings are updated every year to assess the quality of education, alumni employment, quality of faculty, and research performance in every university it recognises throughout the world.

In weighing each institution’s quality standards, CWUR scores each institution out of 100, based on these four metrics:

Quality of Education

This is measured by the number of a university’s alumni who have won major academic distinctions relative to the university’s size (25%)

Alumni Employment

Measured by the number of a university’s alumni who have held top executive positions at the world’s largest companies relative to the university’s size (25%)

Quality of Faculty

Measured by the number of faculty members who have won major academic distinctions (10%)

Research Performance

  • Research Output: Measured by the total number of research papers (10%)
  • High-Quality Publications: Measured by the number of research papers appearing in top-tier journals (10%)
  • Influence: Measured by the number of research papers appearing in highly influential journals (10%)
  • Citations: Measured by the number of highly-cited research papers (10%)

UCT rankings: Where do they rank in the world?

Harvard University dominates the list in first place with a perfect score of 100. Eight of the Top 10 universities are situated in the US, with UK’s Cambridge and Oxford nestled in fourth and fifth place, respectively.

UCT is the highest-ranked African institution at number 268, with an impressive score of 77.3. The Cape Town tertiary beats 275-ranked Wits University by a decimal percentage point (77.2).

Stellenbosch University is the third-highest ranked (429) South African tertiary with an overall score of 75.0.

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