The University of Pretoria (UP) has excelled in the 2022 Shanghai Rankings. The rankings are made up of the 2022 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), also known as the Shanghai Ranking and the Global Ranking of Academic Subjects (GRAS).
ARWU, the organisation that ranks the world’s top 1 000 institutions annually, ranked UP third in South Africa, fourth in Africa, and in the 401-500 band in the world. Universities are ranked by several academic or research performance indicators, including alumni and staff winning Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals, highly cited researchers, papers published in Nature and Science, papers indexed in major citation indices, and the per capita academic performance of an institution.
A summary of UP’s performance indicators compared with 2021 in South Africa is as follows:
- UP is a joint second with Stellenbosch University in highly cited researchers (score declined from 10.3 in 2021 to 9.7 in 2022);
- UP is ranked third in papers indexed in science citation index-expanded and social science citation index (score improved from 35.1 in 2021 to 35.8 in 2022);
- UP is ranked fourth in papers published in Nature and Science (score improved from 5.4 in 2021 to 6.1 in 2022); and
- UP is ranked fourth in per capita academic performance of an institution (score improved from 14.7 in 2021 to 15.2 in 2022). UP’s overall score also improved in 2022 compared with 2021.
In total, 18 universities from Africa featured in the 2022 ARWU, with South Africa and Egypt having the most representatives, nine and seven, respectively.
With reference to the Global Ranking of Academic Subjects, UP is ranked in 12 subject areas and is uniquely featured in three subjects in South Africa. UP improved its rank in Mechanical Engineering to the 201-300 range in 2021; and in Ecology (151-200 in 2022 vs. 201-300 in 2021). Also, UP’s score per subject improved in six subjects compared with 2021. A summary of UP’s results is as follows:
Ranked first in South Africa and Africa:
- Veterinary Science (51-75)
- Mechanical Engineering (151-200)
- Finance (151-200)
- Economics (201-300)
Ranked second in South Africa and Africa:
- Ecology (151-200)
- Biological Sciences (301-400)
Ranked first in South Africa:
- Energy Science and Engineering (301-400)
Ranked second in South Africa:
- Agricultural Sciences (301-400)
UP Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Tawana Kupe congratulated the University community for achieving these remarkable results. “I am incredibly proud of the UP community for this outstanding performance.”
He added that the rankings make it possible to evaluate complex information according to various combinations of factors. “Nowadays, the university ranking has a significant impact on reputation as well as student enrolment. This milestone confirms the quality of teaching and learning at UP, which produces socially impactful research to find solutions for the world’s most pressing issues.”
Prof Kupe reminded the UP community that the institution does not chase after rankings. Instead, it is ranked highly in response to the relevance of the work it does and the communities it serves.