UP ranked second best university in SA and Africa on uniRank global list

Posted on August 25, 2021

The University of Pretoria (UP) has been ranked number two in South Africa and Africa in uniRank’s list of the top universities on the continent. uniRank is the leading international higher education directory and search engine, and features the reviews and rankings of more than 13 000 universities and colleges in 200 countries.

UP’s Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Tawana Kupe said it is gratifying to see the institution constantly improving. “UP is a leading research-intensive university in Africa, and to be recognised by uniRank is a privilege. Such rankings only propel us to do and achieve more. Ultimately, we would like to be a leading African global institution.”

The University also featured in the Shanghai Ranking consultancy’s recently released 2021 Global Ranking of Academic Subjects (GRAS), which assesses over 4 000 universities globally in 54 subject areas. UP was ranked in the top 500 universities globally and is the top in South Africa in computer science and engineering, veterinary science, and finance.

The University ranked in the top 70 in the world for sport science schools and departments; this ranking focuses on the performance of more than 300 universities with sport-related units.

UP is ranked second in SA in the following subjects by the Times Higher Education (THE Rankings): accounting and finance, and biological sciences; joint first in SA (Impact Rankings): SDG9 (industry innovation and infrastructure); and joint first in SA: SDG17 (partnerships for the goals).

The Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) was first published in 2003. This ranking is commonly known as the Shanghai Ranking, because the agency responsible for the ranking is based in Shanghai, China. More than 1 800 universities are ranked by ARWU every year and the top 1 000 universities are published on the World University Rankings table.

“In terms of rankings by subjects, UP improved significantly in SA compared to the previous year. Also, at the international level, for example, UP is currently in the top 50 in the world for the veterinary sciences subject group (Shanghai Global Ranking by Subject),” says Dr Hossein Masoumi Karakani of UP’s Department of Statistics.

Dr Karakani says each university is unique in its mission and purpose, and each ranking has its niche, methodology, data sources and indicators.

“The latest ARWU ranking results are an indication that UP is on track with its pursuit of becoming a leading research-intensive university as the criteria used for these rankings rely on research indicators (60%),” according to Dr Mxolisi Masango, Deputy-Director: Department of Institutional Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Institutional Research and Analytics.

This also shows an improvement in the quality and impact of research produced by UP academics, which has a wide impact as shown by the citations, he said. “Deliberate strategies and interventions implemented by UP in supporting our academics, improving the quality of our education offering and research excellence are slowly bearing fruit.”

- Author Xolani Mathibela

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