Thirteen of South Africa’s 26 public universities made it into the top 2000 best universities in the world, according to the latest Center for World University Rankings’ (CWUR) list for 2020/21.
However, there was no room for historically black universities in the list.
The CWUR evaluated 20 000 universities, of which only the best 2 000 received a ranking.
The University of Cape Town (UCT) came out top in South Africa and the continent, as well as 268th overall.
It was followed by the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), which ranked second in the country and Africa and 275th in the world.
University of Stellenbosch came in third and 429th in the globe, while the University of KwaZulu-Natal was ranked 4th in the country and 477th in the world.
University of Pretoria came in at 5th nationally and was ranked at position 578 globally.
University of Johannesburg, came in at 6th nationally and at number 706 internationally, while North-West University was ranked 7th in South Africa and number 922 in the world.
The University of the Western Cape (UWC) was ranked 8th nationally and number 1158 in the globe.
“This recognition is a great honour – but perhaps not a surprising one,” said Vivienne Lawack, UWC’s acting rector and vice-chancellor.
“The University produces world-class research into matters big and small, from anthropology to astrophysics, from xenophobia to zoology,” she added.
University of the Free State took position 9th locally and came in at number 1200 in the world. It was followed by Rhodes University which was ranked at number 10 in South Africa Africa and 1295 internationally.
Unisa came in at 11th position in the domestic rankings and 1409 in the world rankings, while Nelson Mandela University was ranked 12th in the country and 1655 in the world.
Tshwane University of Technology rounded off the list for South Africa’s universities, taking 13th position in the country and 1936 in the world.
The leading three universities according to the new CWUR list were the same as last year: Harvard University followed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University (all in the United States).