UCT rises in CWUR rankings

18 October 2017 | Story Carolyn Newton. Photo Je’nine May.
Students celebrate their achievements at the first of the ceremonies held during the May 2017 graduation season.
Students celebrate their achievements at the first of the ceremonies held during the May 2017 graduation season.

The University of Cape Town has climbed six places in the 2017 Center for World University Rankings (CWUR) to position 259.

The University of the Witwatersrand has dropped 5 places, but remains the top university in South Africa in this ranking; UCT continues to be placed second in the country.

The CWUR publishes the only global university rankings that measure the quality of education and training of students as well as the prestige of the faculty members and the quality of their research without relying on surveys and university data submissions.

The rankings, which started out rating the top 100 universities in the world, quickly expanded to list the top 1 000 out of more than 27 000 degree-granting institutions of higher education across the globe, making them the largest academic rankings of global universities.

UCT’s rankings have improved in each of the five indicators used to assess the quality of research: publications in reputable journals, publications in highly influential journals, international patent filings, citations and broad impact (measured by the university’s h-index – a measure of productivity and citation impact). These indicators contribute 25% of the score. UCT leads all other South African Universities on four of these indicators with Stellenbosch University ranking first on the patents indicator.

The CWUR has a further three heavily weighted indicators: quality of education, alumni employment and quality of faculty, which together comprise the remaining 75% of the total score.

The quality of education and quality of faculty indicators are measured by the number of alumni and faculty members who have won international awards, prizes and medals from a narrowly prescribed list. The alumni employment indicator measures the number of alumni who have held chief executive officer positions in the world’s top companies (on the Forbes Global 2000 list) relative to the university’s size.

UCT’s score dropped slightly in each of these three areas, and is ranked second to the University of Witwatersrand on the first two and ranked first on the third.

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