The University of the Witwatersrand and University of Johannesburg (UJ) feature in the top 500 universities of the year according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities.
The list, compiled by Shanghai Ranking Consultancy, saw Wits University retain its status as the best university in Africa. Wits trumped Cairo University from Egypt and the University of Cape Town (UCT) to take the number one spot.
Zeblon Vilakazi, deputy vice-chancellor of Wits said, “We believe that as a university we should not be driven by ranking systems. Rather, our focus should be on building a nationally responsive and globally competitive institution.”
This is the first time UJ has featured in the top 500 list and top 5 universities in South Africa. UJ’s Prof. Ihron Rensburg said, “Not only was this UJ’s first appearance in this ranking system, but the university finds itself ranked highly in relation to its peer South African universities.
“This is a tremendous accomplishment and recognition for UJ, and it has been accomplished on our own terms of substantial access and success for the poorest in our nation, the significant transformation of our academic community, alongside the active pursuit of global teaching and research excellence.”
Nationally, UCT came second, Stellenbosch University third, UJ fourth and the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal placed fifth.
Vilakazi highlighted that these rankings should demonstrate the strength of the South African higher education system and the high quality of research emerging from South Africa.