UP Ranks 323rd in 2024 QS World University | University of Pretoria

Posted on June 28, 2023

The University of Pretoria (UP) has made significant progress in the 2024 Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings (WUR), and is now ranked at the 323rd position worldwide, a notable improvement from its previous ranking of 591-600 in the 2023 rankings.

“This move up the rankings is the most significant compared to the improved positions of other South African universities ranked in the top five in Africa. We are extremely proud of UP’s elevated standing which helps to entrench our position as a globally competitive university, rooted in Africa,” said Professor Themba Mosia, UP’s Interim Vice-Chancellor and Principal. “The addition of three new indicators – Sustainability, Employment Outcomes, and International Research Network – together with a recalibration of weights assigned to the other existing weighted indicators (Academic Reputation, Employer Reputation, Faculty to Student Ratio, Citations per Faculty, International Faculty and International Students) has led to a more accurate evaluation of universities’ performance measured against the nine performance indicators,” he said.

UP is ranked number one in South Africa in three of the nine indicators: Employer Reputation (155 in the world), International Research Networks (26), and Sustainability (158). UP achieved a significant milestone by securing the 26th position in the world for its International Research Network (IRN), which is in line with UP’s strategy of increasing the extent and diversity of its international research collaborations.

The QS overall ranking score is calculated by summing up the weighted scores for each indicator and normalising that against the highest-performing institution, which receives a score of 100. UP achieved a notable increase in its overall score by 55% from 2023 to 2024. UP improved its global ranking across four of nine indicators: Employer Reputation, International Research Network, Employment Outcomes, and Sustainability.

Commitment to producing skilled graduates

Forty-two of the ranked universities are in Africa, of which 11 are in South Africa. The top five in Africa are also South African (University of Cape Town, University of Witwatersrand, Stellenbosch University, University of Johannesburg, and University of Pretoria), and all showed an improved global position.

Securing a position within the top 200 globally in Employer Reputation and Sustainability aligns with the results of the THE Impact Rankings, where UP secured an overall ranking of 69th and ranked 4th on SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth). The correlation between these indicators highlights UP’s commitment to producing skilled graduates and making a positive impact on society and the environment.

UP ranked third in SA in Employment Outcomes, securing a place in the top 150 globally at position 104. This indicator highlights the University’s success in fostering a high level of employability among its graduates, as well as nurturing future leaders who make substantial contributions in their respective fields. The University ranked fourth and joint fourth in Academic Reputation and Citations Outcomes, respectively.

UP experienced a slight decrease in its global ranking across three of nine indicators: Academic Reputation, Citations per Faculty, and International Faculty. These are areas where UP is seeking to address challenges through a strategic approach and collaborative endeavours, all of which fall in line with the institution’s overall objectives.

“It is also crucial to remember that, when it comes to Citations per Faculty, while valuable, they should not be the exclusive measure of research impact,” Prof Mosia said. “Other factors, such as the calibre of publications, accolades, collaborations, and societal impact, are also important considerations in gaining a holistic evaluation of the research contributions of faculty members.

“The overall enhanced recognition, however, affirms that we are on track towards achieving our vision for the University of Pretoria to be a leading research-intensive university in Africa, recognised internationally for its quality, relevance, and impact, and also for developing people, creating knowledge, and making a difference locally and globally.”

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