Development Studies at UCT in Global Top 10 for a Third Year Running

08 March 2017 | Story by Newsroom


The University of Cape Town (UCT) is ranked 10th in development studies in the 2017 QS World University Rankings by Subject, released on Wednesday 8 March 2017. The universities of Sussex, Harvard and Oxford have taken the first three places. Two other South African universities were ranked in the top 50, with the University of Witwatersrand at 18th (tied with the University of Sydney) and Stellenbosch University at 42nd (tied with Griffith University).

For the fourth year in a row, UCT features in the top 50 (47th) for geography.

The university ranks in the top 100 in a further nine subjects: anatomy and physiology, anthropology, archaeology, architecture/built environment, education, English language & literature, law, sports-related subjects, and theology, divinity and religious studies.

Sustainable development a critical issue 

UCT has remained in the top 10 of development studies since the category was launched three years ago. The subject refers broadly to the interdisciplinary field of social science research that focuses on issues emerging from – and often unique to – developing countries (such as poverty and inequality).

Sustainable development is a critical issue for Africa: it is the fastest urbanising region in the world, and the continent that will be most affected by climate change.“Development studies has never been more topical,” says Professor Edgar Pieterse, director of the African Centre for Cities at UCT.

Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, deputy vice-chancellor (research and internationalisation), adds: “We need students who can engage with our issues and complex development problems. Development studies is about producing graduates who are relevant for our context.”

UCT's strength in development studies highlights the breadth and depth of research in this field, and brings together a number of interdisciplinary strategic research groups such as the Poverty and Inequality Initiative, the African Centre for Cities and the African Climate and Development Initiative. An online hub has been created to pull together information about postgraduate courses related to development across the university.

Story by Jess Oosthuizen.

UCT Research and Innovation

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