University of Pretoria improves in three of four broad subject rankings in 2020 QS World University Rankings

Posted on March 09, 2020

The University of Pretoria (UP) has improved its overall ranking in three of the four broad subject areas that the institution was ranked in, according to the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020.

The rankings, which were released earlier this month, noted that UP is the domestic leader in the fields of Theology, Divinity and Religious Studies, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, and Veterinary Science. Social Sciences and Management is UP’s strongest field according to the ranking.

UP also managed to improve its ranking in eight subjects:

  • Computer Science and Information Systems ranked in the 451-500 band;
  • Chemical Engineering ranked in the 301-350 band;
  • Agriculture and Forestry ranked in the 51-100;
  • Chemistry ranked in the 451-500 band;
  • Accounting and Finance ranked in the 151-200 band;
  • Economics and Econometrics ranked in the 251-300 band;
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering ranked in the 251-300 band; and
  • Law ranked in the 201-250 band.

To compile the 2020 QS World University Rankings by Subject, the team analysed over 22 million papers, producing close to 200 million citations. 1 368 institutions were ranked across 48 subjects in five subject areas, creating over 15 500 published entries. The five subject areas ranked were: Life Sciences and Medicine, Engineering and Technology, Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences. UP was ranked in four of these subject areas, with Natural Sciences excluded.

According to QS, its rankings are based on four main indicators: global surveys of academics and employers, citations per paper, and the H-Index, with the index being the measure of the productivity and impact of the work published by the institution’s scientists and scholars. The ranking also noted that UP qualified for consideration in 46 of the 48 subjects ranked by QS, with 18 of the university’s subjects being ranked globally.

Professor Tawana Kupe, Vice-Chancellor and Principal, said UP is pleased with the course rankings. “UP is proud to be a research-intensive, innovative African university. And this improvement of the institution in our overall rankings is one of the steps we take to achieve our goal of providing African solutions to global problems. Our institution’s ranking in particularly the subject of Electrical and Electronic Engineering speaks directly to the fact that UP produces 28% of South Africa’s engineers. We will continue improving the quality of our courses, as the attainment of excellence is a non-negotiable.”

UP’s Mathematics was ranked for the first time in the 401-450 band. The university ranked second nationally in six subjects, third nationally in four subjects, and fourth nationally in five subjects.

- Author Masego Panyane

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