25 OCTOBER 2019 | STORY SUPPLIED. PHOTO JE’NINE MAY.
The University of Cape Town (UCT) has been ranked 121st globally – and top in South Africa and on the continent – in the sixth edition of the US News Best Global Universities rankings.
The Best Global Universities rankings differ from most other widely recognised world university rankings because they focus solely on research. The methodology measures a university’s global and regional research reputation and academic research performance, using indicators such as publications, citations (the number of times a publication is referred to) and international collaboration.
Despite a slight improvement in the university’s overall score this year, UCT dropped seven places to 121st position. This is because scores are ranked which means performance is relative; if other institutions show better improvement in their scores, they displace their counterparts downwards in the rankings.
This year, 1 500 universities – up from 1 250 last year – were assessed by US News.
In the Subject rankings, released simultaneously, UCT ranked in the top 100 globally for three subjects: immunology (56th), microbiology (72nd), and social sciences and public health (73rd).
Another nine subjects were ranked in the top 200: clinical medicine (110th), plant and animal science (113th), cardiac and cardiovascular systems (120th), environment/ecology (134th), arts and humanities (165th), geosciences (163rd), psychiatry/psychology (127th), space science (165th), and physics (152nd).
Cardiac and cardiovascular systems – in which UCT was ranked 120th – is one of six new subject areas introduced by US News this year. This brings the total number of subjects they rank to 28.
Each has its own methodology based on academic research performance and reputation, and is tailored to the different publication characteristics of that field.
Rankings of the year
UCT has done very well in global rankings this year. Just last month, the university climbed 20 places to 136th position in the 2020 Times Higher Education World University Rankings.
UCT leads in Africa in all the five major world university rankings, the other three being Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings, ShanghaiRanking’s Academic Ranking of World Universities, and the Center for World University Rankings
<!– University of Cape Town News embed article –>
https://www.news.uct.ac.za/article/embed/js/-2019-09-12-uct-leaps-up-in-world-rankingsUCT leaps up in world rankings
In more good rankings news, UCT has been ranked the best university on the continent in the 2020 US News Best Global Universities rankings.
12 SEPTEMBER 2019 | STORY LISA BOONZAIER. PHOTO JE’NINE MAY. Read time 4 min.
“UCT’s performance helps to reinforce the message that our teaching and learning and our research are of the highest standards,” said UCT VC Mamokgethi Phakeng.
The University of Cape Town (UCT) has jumped up 20 places to 136th position in the latest 2020 Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings, which were published on Wednesday, 11 September.
This puts UCT in the top spot in the country, as well as on the continent.
“It is encouraging to see UCT demonstrate such excellence in international rankings,” said UCT Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, “particularly given the incredibly competitive, global arena we operate in and the enormous challenges we face in terms of declining national funding and the imperative to transform our institution.
“As a university, we continue to view university rankings with caution. Because they attempt to compare universities that exist in a range of contexts – cultural, financial, historical, social and political – rankings are inherently imperfect, particularly when it comes to developing countries.
“Despite this, UCT’s performance helps to reinforce the message that our teaching and learning and our research are of the highest standards.”
“It is encouraging to see UCT demonstrate such excellence in international rankings, particularly given the incredibly competitive, global arena we operate in.”
The THE World University Rankings, published once a year, assess almost 1 400 institutions worldwide. To do this, the THE uses 13 performance indicators grouped into five areas: teaching (30%), research (30%), citations (30%), international outlook (7.5%) and industry income (2.5%).
Results by category
In the area of teaching – the learning environment – UCT’s scores increased, with the university jumping up 35 places.
In the research category, UCT ranked 177th globally, and its research reputation survey score, which is part of this category, increased once again. This is clear evidence of UCT’s growing reputation among leading international academics.
“UCT is well-known for its research excellence; this is evidence that our teaching and learning is strengthening.”
UCT’s citations category score, which measures the number of times a piece of research is cited, also improved: we moved up 35 places to 121st globally.
In the international outlook category, UCT ranked 160th worldwide – a drop of 22 places from its previous ranking. This was mostly due to a decline in the numbers of international students studying at UCT, particularly in the Semester Study Abroad programme. UCT has put in place a programme to increase these numbers again as it views the international students and staff as an incredible asset to institutional life and the diversity of our campus. International staff numbers continue to grow at UCT and collaboration with international partners is flourishing.
UCT’s strongest performance remains in the industry income category, in which it ranked 78th despite a drop of 18 places. This reflects the large contribution of the university’s research to industry.
Top in Africa in five major rankings
Having recently been placed top on the continent in the ShanghaiRanking’s Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) 2019, these THE results mean that UCT remains in the lead for Africa in the five major world university rankings: THE, ARWU, Quacquarelli Symonds, Centre for World University Rankings and US News Best Global Universities Rankings.
Read more about the THE World University Rankings 2020 methodology.