The University of Cape Town (UCT) has been placed in the top 201–300 band of universities, according to the recently published ShanghaiRanking’s 2022 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU). This is the best ranking for a university in South Africa and on the continent.
First published in 2003, ARWU assesses more than 2 500 universities and publishes the best 1 000.
“UCT continues to be ranked the top university on the continent, reflecting – and highlighting for the international community – the excellence of our researchers and research,” said Professor Sue Harrison, the deputy vice-chancellor for Research and Internationalisation.
“We recognise that these rankings, and others like it, do not reflect the full breadth and depth of research and learning being undertaken at universities worldwide. There are many aspects critically important to institutions in the Global South that are not counted in this ranking and which our UCT values drive us to prioritise. That being said, we are excited to rank well across a wide range of indicators, including this one.”
“UCT continues to be ranked the top university on the continent, reflecting the excellence of our researchers and research.”
ARWU uses six indicators to rank universities, one of which is based on the list of Highly Cited Researchers published annually by Clarivate Analytics. With three researchers in the most recently published list – Emeritus Professor William Bond, Professor Vicki Lambert and Associate Professor Darren Martin – UCT achieved the top score in the country for this indicator, which contributes 20% to the final ARWU score.
The other five indicators used by ARWU are the number of alumni winning Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals (10%), the number of staff winning Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals (20%), papers published in Nature and Science (20%), papers indexed in major citation indices (20%), and the per capita academic performance of an institution (10%).
Harvard University topped ARWU for the 20th consecutive year. Stanford University was in second place again and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology came in third position.
ShanghaiRanking’s subject rankings
During July, ShanghaiRanking’s released its Global Ranking of Academic Subjects and placed UCT among the top 100 universities in five subject areas.
Of these, UCT performed best (24th globally) in environmental science and engineering. This is because of a prestigious award in the field conferred on Dr Jackie King (now retired from UCT) in 2019.
Oceanography at UCT ranked between 51 and 75. Clinical medicine, mining and mineral engineering, and public health were placed in the 76–100 range.
For its subject rankings, ShanghaiRanking’s lists more than 1 800 universities across 96 countries in 54 subjects. UCT was ranked in 21 of these.
View the complete ShanghaiRanking’s 2022 ARWU.
Read about the ARWU methodology.
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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.
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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
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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
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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