The University of Cape Town (UCT) has been ranked top in Africa and 237th in the world by the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings 2023. UCT shares the position with King Saud University (Saudi Arabia) and the University of Ottawa (Canada).
“UCT is pleased to continue to be recognised as a top-tier and globally competitive university,” said UCT Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Internationalisation Professor Sue Harrison.
“Although rankings cannot offer us a complete measure of the quality of a university, they are a way to highlight the excellent research and teaching being done in the country and on the continent.”
UCT remains the best university in Africa, according to QS, moving up 0.7 percentage points to be within the top 16.7% internationally. This is despite a slight drop of 11 places compared with last year’s rankings. This is due to the relative nature of rankings and the increase in the number of universities rated by QS this year: 1 422 institutions from around the world, 124 more than last year, were ranked, including nine from South Africa.
“UCT is pleased to continue to be recognised as a top-tier and globally competitive university.”
This year, QS used its usual six weighted performance indicators and two new unweighted indicators to evaluate universities in its world rankings. The six weighted performance indicators are: academic reputation (40%), employer reputation (10%), citations per faculty member (20%), faculty-to-student ratio (20%), international staff ratio (5%) and international student ratio (5%). The two new unweighted indicators are international research network and employment outcomes.
The international research network indicator reflects the ability of institutions to diversify the geography of their international research network by establishing sustainable research partnerships with other institutions. The employment outcomes metric combines the graduate employment rate (proportion of graduates not pursuing further study in employment within 12 months of graduation) and the alumni outcomes index (graduate alma maters from over 150 high-achiever lists).
UCT scored above 90% for these new indicators and ranked 64th and 53rd in the world, respectively.
UCT’s next best performance was for the employer reputation indicator, which jumped up 61 places from the previous year to 166th. UCT’s performance in the academic reputation indicator remained steady, moving down just four places to 190th.
Both reputation indicators are based on global surveys: the employer reputation indicator is based on responses from employers asked to identify the institutions from which they source the most competent and innovative graduates, and the academic indicator is a collation of expert opinions in higher education regarding universities’ teaching and research quality.
Leading the QS world rankings for the 11th consecutive year is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States), followed by the University of Cambridge (United Kingdom) and Stanford University (United States).
UCT’s development studies is 9th worldwide
UCT continues to perform well in the QS World University Rankings by Subject. In the most recent rankings, released earlier this year, development studies at UCT was ranked ninth in the world and a further four subjects featured in the top 100. These were anthropology, architecture/built environment, geography and medicine. An additional 10 subjects ranked in the 101–150 range.
View the complete QS World University Rankings 2023.
Read more about the methodology used by the QS World University Rankings.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Please view the republishing articles page for more information.
As we look back on 2022, we celebrate some of the stories that were popular with readers of the UCT News website during the year.
The Hasso Plattner d-school Afrika at UCT hosted the prestigious d.confestival, the first design thinking event of its kind in Africa.13 Jan 2023 - 4 min read Readers’ Choice 2022
UCT researchers were honoured for their research at the NRF awards, while others were added to the NRF’s list of A-rated scholars.12 Jan 2023 - 9 min read Readers’ Choice 2022
UCT is one of the best places in the world for development studies, according to the subject rankings from Quacquarelli Symonds.12 Jan 2023 - 2 min read Readers’ Choice 2022
UCT was ranked 237th in the world by the Quacquarelli Symonds university rankings.11 Jan 2023 - 3 min read Readers’ Choice 2022
UCT’s Faculty of Science graduation walk of celebration.11 Jan 2023 Readers’ Choice 2022
UCT’s Faculty of Humanities graduation walk of celebration.11 Jan 2023 Readers’ Choice 2022
UCT was been ranked among the top 100 universities in five subject areas by ShanghaiRanking’s Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2022.09 Jan 2023 - 3 min read Readers’ Choice 2022
UCT doctoral student Mweete Debra Nglazi’s research showed that obesity in SA women of childbearing age is due to a lack of physical activity and increased consumption of unhealthy food.09 Jan 2023 - 5 min read Readers’ Choice 2022
Master’s graduate Dr Joshua Fieggen was one of four UCT alumni to receive a 2023 Rhodes Scholarship.09 Jan 2023 - 5 min read Readers’ Choice 2022
UCT researcher Dr Katherine Antel has received two international awards for work in HIV-associated lymphoma.06 Jan 2023 - 3 min read Readers’ Choice 2022
UCT Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng said design thinking and interdisciplinary research foster habits of collaboration, creative confidence and a trial-and-error mindset.05 Jan 2023 - 5 min read Readers’ Choice 2022
UCT’s Forest Hill Residence launched the innovative “You Have the Drive” programme to help students acquire their driver’s licences.05 Jan 2023 - 7 min read Readers’ Choice 2022
The 2020 and 2021 Student Leadership Awards recognised the outstanding contributions made by student leaders and organisations in an online ceremony.04 Jan 2023 - 6 min read Readers’ Choice 2022
UCT remained the top university on the continent according to ShanghaiRanking’s 2022 Academic Ranking of World Universities.03 Jan 2023 - 3 min read Readers’ Choice 2022
Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng lauded VC Excellence Award winners at a COVID-19-delayed event held at Glenara.30 Dec 2022 - 4 min read Readers’ Choice 2022
UCT leadership and staff gathered at the Table Bay Hotel on 25 October for a celebration dinner in honour of the 2022 UCT retirees.30 Dec 2022 - 7 min read Readers’ Choice 2022
UCT is among the top 60 most international universities in the world, according to the 2022 list released by Times Higher Education.29 Dec 2022 - 3 min read Readers’ Choice 2022
UCT’s Associate Professor Amshuda Sonday’s promotion to the professoriate took effect on 1 January 2022.29 Dec 2022 - 6 min read Readers’ Choice 2022
Associate Professor Shannon Morreira’s promotion to the professoriate marked a full-circle moment for her academic career at UCT.28 Dec 2022 - 8 min read Readers’ Choice 2022
Employees owe a duty of care to safeguard their colleagues from COVID-19 harm, wrote UCT’s Pierre de Vos.28 Dec 2022 - >10 min read Readers’ Choice 2022
UCT researchers excelled among the University of Stanford’s Top 2% Scientists in the World.23 Dec 2022 - 2 min read Readers’ Choice 2022
UCT Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng wished the matric class of 2022 well as they wrote their final exams.23 Dec 2022 - 3 min read Readers’ Choice 2022
In April, UCT was ranked the best university on the African continent and 270th worldwide, according to the Center for World University Rankings.22 Dec 2022 - 2 min read Readers’ Choice 2022
The three-day First-Year Campus Reception programme took place in the Sports Centre on upper campus.22 Dec 2022 - 1 min read Readers’ Choice 2022
UCT soars 23 places to land at 160th globally in the latest international university rankings published by Times Higher Education.21 Dec 2022 - 3 min read Readers’ Choice 2022
UCT’s executive said farewell to the SRC at a dinner hosted by VC Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng on 16 November.21 Dec 2022 - 8 min read Readers’ Choice 2022