UCT remains the top university in Africa in the 2018 Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings, which were released on 8 June.
Three other African universities were included in the top 400: Stellenbosch University (361), the University of the Witwatersrand (364) and The American University in Cairo (395).
“It is encouraging that UCT is holding firm in the current uncertain climate of the higher education system in South Africa, and in a highly competitive global arena,” said Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Internationalisation.
“While rankings are an imperfect measure of the quality of a university, it remains important for the country and the continent that we continue to produce excellent research and teaching, and are seen to do so.”
QS uses six indicators to build a university’s overall score: academic reputation, employer reputation, citations per faculty, faculty-to-student ratio, international staff ratio and international student ratio.
UCT’s performance across these indicators was varied, but its strongest showing was in the academic reputation indicator, which is based on a global survey. This is by far the most heavily weighted indicator (40% of the overall score) and suggests that UCT’s international reputation among leading academics remains steady.
UCT rose 43 places in the employer reputation indicator, which is based on the views of employers from around the world on which institutions produce the best graduates. Some of this improvement can be attributed to a shift in weighting of international and domestic employers: previously, QS applied a weighting of 70% for international responses and 30% for domestic ones, but a new refinement has shifted this ratio to 50:50. This is because a larger proportion of responses is now from domestic employers who typically have a better knowledge of local institutions.
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