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South Africa’s Best And Worst Rated Universities For 2022

Both UCT and UP have dropped a few spots on the global ranking scale. Meanwhile, Vaal University of Technology has the lowest rating of the group and is ranked 21st in South Africa.


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The battle between UCT and Wits has a clear winner, but a number of South African universities are on the decline.

The official list of South Africa’s top universities has been made public, and it makes for an interesting read. The University Ranking by Academic Performance (URAP) index compiled a table of 21 Mzansi tertiary education facilities, including both the highest and lowest ranked institutions.

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It’s important to understand how the URAP system works prior looking into the list. Academic experts evaluate universities based on a number of key criteria, including the impact of their research and the quality of their published articles:

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“The URAP ranking system’s focus is on academic quality. URAP has gathered data about 3,000 Higher Education Institutes (HEI) in an effort to rank these organizations by their academic performance. The overall score of each HEI is based upon its performance over several indicators.”

“Since URAP is an academic performance-based ranking, publications constitute the basis of the ranking methodology. Both quality and quantity of publications and international research collaboration performance are used as indicators – as are research impacts, scientific productivity, and international acceptance.”

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According to this scale, the University of Cape Town is the best university in South Africa. Wits is then far behind, with UKZN rounding out the top three. Stellenbosch University is ranked fourth, and the University of Pretoria is ranked fifth. That, however, does not tell the whole story.

Below is the full list of the Universities:

  1. University of Cape Town / UCT – ranked 240th globally.
  2. Witwatersrand University – ranked 323rd globally.
  3. University of KwaZulu-Natal / UKZN – ranked 358th globally.
  4. Stellenbosch University – ranked 377th globally.
  5. University of Pretoria – ranked 474th globally.
  6. University of Johannesburg – ranked 592nd globally.
  7. North West University – ranked 611th globally.
  8. University of the Western Cape – ranked 886th globally.
  9. Free State University – ranked 927th globally.
  10. University of South Africa / UNISA – ranked 948th globally.
  11. Rhodes University – ranked 1 130th globally.
  12. Durban University of Technology – ranked 1 256th globally.
  13. Tshwane University of Technology – ranked 1 367th globally.
  14. Nelson Mandela University – ranked 1 474th globally.
  15. Cape Peninsula University of Technology – ranked 2 053rd globally.
  16. University of Limpopo – ranked 2 068th globally.
  17. Fort Hare University – ranked 2 292nd globally.
  18. University of Venda – ranked 2 340th globally.
  19. Sefako Makgotho Health Sciences University – ranked 2 445th globally.
  20. University of Zululand – ranked 2 738th globally.
  21. Vaal University of Technology – ranked 2 947th globally.
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Thato Motaung for SurgeZirc SA
Thato Motaung for SurgeZirc SA
SurgeZirc SA is proud to have Thato Motaung as a valuable member of our team. With his expertise in both technology and sports, Thato brings a unique perspective to our publication. Thato is a talented writer with a passion for all things tech and sports.
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