University of Pretoria domestic leader in four subjects in 2021 QS World University Rankings

Posted on March 09, 2021

The University of Pretoria (UP) is the domestic leader in the fields of Electrical and Electronic Engineering; Mathematics; Accounting and Finance; and Theology, Divinity and Religious Studies. This is according to the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021.

The rankings, which were released earlier this week, noted that UP has improved in two of the four broad subject areas that the institution was ranked in, thereby maintaining the institution’s strong performance. Social Sciences and Management is still UP’s strongest field according to the ranking.

UP also managed to improve its ranking in three subjects:

  • Accounting and Finance ranked in the 101-150 band;
  • Education ranked in the 201-250 band; and
  • Law ranked in the 151-200 band.

UP’s Mineral and Mining Engineering was ranked at position 48 and among the top 50 for the first time in 2021. The university ranked second nationally in six subjects, third nationally in four subjects, and fourth nationally in two subjects.

To compile the 2021 QS World University Rankings by Subject, the team analysed over 13.9 million papers, producing close to 81 million citations. Furthermore, 1 453 institutions were ranked across 51 subjects in five subject areas, creating over 16 981 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 had 18 of its subjects ranked globally.

Prof Tawana Kupe, Vice-Chancellor and Principal, said UP is encouraged by these rankings. “The COVID-19 pandemic has created a situation where higher education institutions needed to come up with quick, innovative and effective solutions. UP’s consistently strong performance in the QS WUR is as a result of the institution being a proudly research-intensive, innovative African university. These results are encouraging and reinforce to me that the institution is moving in the right direction. We will continue improving the quality of our courses, as the attainment of excellence is a non-negotiable.”

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