UCT subject rankings success

18 October 2018 | Story Supplied. Photo Robyn Walker. Read time 3 min.
Law, social sciences and education at UCT have been rated among the top 100 in the world when the subjects are compared against other higher education institutions globally.
Law, social sciences and education at UCT have been rated among the top 100 in the world when the subjects are compared against other higher education institutions globally.

The University of Cape Town (UCT) has been rated in the top 100 in the world in three subjects – law, social sciences and education – in the 2019 Times Higher Education Rankings by subject.

Law was ranked in 77th place globally, social sciences in 89th place, while education shares the 95th spot with Finland’s University of Jyväskylä. For both law and education, this marked the first time the subjects have featured.

Social sciences, meanwhile, rose significantly through the rankings, after being named in the 101–125 category last year. Exact positions over 100 are not specified.

Business and Economics also did well, featuring in the rankings for the first time, in the 176–200 band.

The rankings for the three subjects were released on 17 October, with other subject announcements set to be made on 31 October (Arts and Humanities), 7 November (Life Sciences; Physical Sciences; Psychology; Clinical, Pre-clinical and Health), and 29 November (Engineering and Technology and Computer Science).

The latest announcements follow the news in September that UCT jumped 15 places from 171st to 156th position in the 2019 THE World University Rankings, prompting UCT executive director of communication and marketing, Gerda Kruger, to note that the honour confirmed the university as a research-intensive institution pioneering new methods of teaching and learning, while remaining a destination of choice for international students.

The latest ratings are based on the same 13 indicators as for the overall rankings. Grouped in five categories, the methodology is recalibrated to suit the individual fields.

Across all fields, however, the most heavily weighted indicators are teaching (the learning environment) and research (volume, income and reputation), following by citations (a measure of research influence), international outlook (referring to staff, students and research), and industry income (as a measure of innovation).

Welcoming the latest results, Kruger said it is always encouraging to see recognition for UCT’s particular strengths in teaching and learning.

“Social sciences, for example, comprises geography, sociology, politics and international studies (including development studies), all of which are strong at UCT.

“Development studies has in fact been consistently ranked around the top 10 in the world in the last three years in another world university ranking (Quacquarelli Symonds),” she said.

Also in September, it was announced that UCT had maintained its top position in Africa for graduate employability, and stood at 18th in the world for graduate employment (in work after one year), according to the 2019 QS Graduate Employability Rankings.

The university’s position as the leading African university in terms of graduate employability put UCT just outside the top 100 institutions globally.


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