Category Archives: University and College

UCT ranks highest in Africa in the World University Rankings

Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings


The University of Cape Town (UCT) is once again the top educational institution in Africa according to the recent QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) World University Rankings for 2013/14.

This year UCT is ranked at 145 globally, up nine places from last year.  The top ranking university globally is Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) followed by Harvard University and University of Cambridge.

QS is the leading global career and education network serving ambitious professionals who are looking to continue with their education in both their personal and professional development.

“The QS World University Rankings are based on four key pillars: research, teaching, employability and internationalisation. The methodology consists of six indicators: academic reputation (40 percent); employer reputation (10 percent); faculty student ratio (20 percent); citations per faculty (20 percent); international students (5 percent); and international faculty (5 percent),” according to the company.

The best South African universities have all improved in their ranking in this year’s annual report. The University of Witwatersrand (Wits), the number 2 South African University,  moved up 50 places to 313. Seven South African universities were included in this years annual QS World University Rankings, and 3 of these were ranked in the top 400 globally.

This year, the Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings surveyed over 3000 universities globally and included 800 in the final rankings table.

In addition to the pillars and methodology, the company studies over 62000 academic responses and over 27000 employer responses in order to arrive at their results. This makes it the largest survey of academic institutions in the world.

For the very first time, Rhodes University and the University of Johannesburg was included in this years survey and were placed in positions 551-600 and 601-650 categories respectively.

Given the extent and broad nature of the survey, only the top 400 universities are given specific positions. Thereafter, universities are placed in bands  given that the differences in performance of the universities in each band is not significant enough to say that one is better than the other within the specific group.

From the research undertaken, Quacquarelli Symonds revealed that the success of UCT is driven by the strong performance for research citations. This means that the university is producing work and research that is of global importance and impact.

The head of research at Quacquarelli Symonds also stated that by developing world class universities is critical for developing nations and will assist South Africa to realize and achieve its enormous potential for economic growth in the foreseeable future. From this years survey and rankings, it is evident that the country’s top educational institutions are a lot more visible globally, especially UCT who is producing a significant number of ” high-impact research.”

UCT spokeswoman Patricia Lucas stated that they are extremely proud of the university and its improvement over the last year. She also commented that South African’s can now see that they can receive a world class education without having to leave the borders of the country.

To view global ranking – click here


SA University in world top 100 in 8 subjects offerings

2013 QS Subject Rankings 1


South Africa’s University of Cape Town (UCT) has been rated in the top 100 of universities throughout the world with regards to eight of its subject areas, as reported by the latest Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings.

When it comes to education and training it placed 32nd and at the same time has been included in the top 100 for earth and marine sciences, politics, psychology, law and legal studies, history and archaeology, geography and English language and literature.

In a statement released by the university the the spokesperson was quoted as saying that the university has been regarded as being one of the leading universities on the continent of Africa while the consistent performance in the world rankings answers the question concerning the the university’s unconditional commitment to quality research and the reality that the education on offer is is of the highest quality.

The most recent QS World University Ranking by subject is the third time the research has been undertaken. Over 2800 universities ended up being evaluated whilst 678 of these acquired a ranking position.

Nineteen subjects of the UCT’S curriculum  were contained in the 30-subject ranking, with agriculture, civil engineering and politics being rated for the very first time.

UCT’s deputy vice chancellor, Danie Visser, explained the fact that the actual methodology of the QS survey is substantially influenced by how other academics and employers imagine and think of a specific university. Mr Visser explained that the university was incredibly pleased by the fact that the university had successfully registered internationally as well as placed in the top 100 in eight subject areas as well as in the top 200 in 19 different areas.

QS Surveys in addition takes into account citations per faculty, staff-student ratio as well as the level of internationalization by the proportion of international students and faculty.

“Since UCT’s research impact is above the world average in many areas and because we have a very good proportion of international students, these indicators would tend to boost our scores,” Visser said.


2013 QS Subject Rankings 2


South Africa boasts the top 2 Universities in Africa


Based on the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings, South Africa features the leading two universities in Africa, along with the only African university which is rated in the top 200 globally. The QS World University Rankings rate roughly 23 500 colleges and universities throughout the world.

This past year, the University of Cape Town (UCT) moved up 2 places to 156th and continues to be Africa’s top-ranked university. The University of the Witwatersrand jumped 36 places in this years rankings to 363. The 3rd best African university is the American University of Cairo which came in at position 39.

The next-highest ranking South African institutions include the University of Stellenbosch, the University of Pretoria, and the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
SA needs to invest in high-level research

Nhlanhla Cele, director of strategic planning at the University of the Witwatersrand, explained to the SA Press Association the fact that South Africa found it necessary to follow the lead of other nations like China, the US, Australia and the UK and make investment and spending money on high-level research and education a top priority. If the country wants to compete in the global arena then we will have to increase our financial commitment. South African institutions need to concentrate on global competitiveness, local transformation and skills development, high level research and top end graduates stated Cele.

Rankings are essential mainly because they, without a doubt, establish a perception about a particular university. In the event that top students, academics and researchers are seeking globally as to where they would most like to study or work, they normally use the leading ranking systems as a key factor of reference.


Studying abroad is on the rise

Based on the rankings, significantly more students are choosing to study abroad more than ever before.

A significant trend evident in the latest QS World University Rankings is definitely the significant surge in the volume of international students in the world’s highest ranked universities. The total figure has grown by 10 percent at the top 100 universities; the most significant surge in the history of the rankings. And it’s not merely the top end universities either. Based on the research, on average, universities ranked in the top 700 currently host approximately 4% more international students.

Based on data from international trade and research organization OECD, approximately 4.1-million students studied abroad in 2010, a growth of 0.4-million from the previous year. It is predicted that the figure could possibly increase to seven-million by the year 2020.



World’s top 100 universities 2012 based on reputation

Once again Harvard has been ranked as the number 1 university according to the latest data  put together by The Times Higher Education and Thomson Reuters which is based on their reputations. Overall, UK universities have slipped several places whilst China has showed remarkable improvements.  The University of Cape Town, for another year, is still the top listed of Universities in Africa.

Higher education can have a life-changing impact in terms of social mobility and earning capacity.

The US for another year running has the most reputable universities in the world based the global reputation ranking.

An interesting fact to observe are the subtle changes from the previous years list. While several UK institutions have fallen in rank, China has improved in their overall performance and is expanding its higher education system faster than the majority of other countries in the world.

The latest results and trends trends has not changed the overall results of the countries producing the most reputable universities.  America still has the largest number of higher quality universities, followed by the UK.

The list and data is compiled by 17,554 leading academics originating from 149 countries who have rated campuses globally according to how good they thought their research and teaching were.

Given the sky rocketing tuition fees, there is an ever increasing competitiveness amongst student applicants to fight for limited spaces at the top universities whilst the reputation of the institution continues to be a major focus for prospective students.



To view complete list click here


South African business schools rated the best in Africa


South African business schools continue to keep shining and are generally thought by many as capable of producing employable MBA graduates in Africa and the Middle East, based on the latest Quacquarelli-Symonds (QS) report on the World’s top 200 business schools.

In the most recent QS Global 200 Business Schools Report, which rates schools from around the globe determined by MBA employers’ and recruiters’ views, UCT GSB was ranked in first place, the University of Stellenbosch third, and the University of Witwatersrand fifth.

At the same time the American University in Cairo (second place), and the Suliman S. Olayan School of Business in Beirut (fourth) were among the top five.

The most recent QS Global 200 Business Schools Report is made up of 82 schools in North America, 67 schools in Europe, 36 schools in Asia-Pacific, 10 schools in Latin America and 5 schools in Africa and the Middle East.

The report is compiled using the thoughts and opinions of MBA employers, no other piece of MBA research encompasses this sort of geographically diverse set of schools. In 1999, only 15 schools beyond the borders of North America and Europe appeared in the research, as compared to 51 schools in the most recent report.



This signifies the widening global perspective that MBA employers are developing, as the globalization of business exposes a dependence on international managers with local talents.

Director of the GSB, Professor Walter Baets, acknowledges the value of multiple top ratings and states that it demonstrates that the school has positioned itself in a manner that remains relevant locally and internationally.

“The UCT GSB is delighted concerning this ranking. Once again it testifies to the high quality of our programmes, the remarkable impact we have on students and the exceptional quality of our MBA in particular,” says Baets. “The ratings also show that the country is putting out world class business leaders who can compete with the best in the world. What makes the business schools in South Africa unique is being located in an emerging economy that is characterised by complexity and diversity.”

As outlined by Baets, UCT GSB’s mission has been to differentiate itself as a business school with formidable and distinctive capabilities in emerging market business education and applied research.

“Our aim for some time now has been to always ensure that all our programmes are relevant in the context of new global business, in the context of new leadership development and in the context of emerging economy business,” says Baets. “This is further encouragement for us that Africa is able to develop its own models of business schools that will be more relevant to the local context without sacrificing internationalism. We don’t need Harvard in Africa we need something better.”

Marketing Manager at the GSB, Cherry Burchell, suggests that this ranking will go a long way towards expanding the belief that the GSB is the most desirable business school in the South Africa as well as on the continent, particularly when put together with the school’s NRF ratings, FT rankings and EQUIS accreditation from the European Foundation for Management Development.



As indicated by Burchell, South Africa stands to gain from the international interest which will be generated by having three local universities’ business schools within the top five of the entire continent by way of encouraging investors and international students.

At the same time, the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB) has also ranked in the top three business schools. As indicated by Professor John Powell, director of the USB, the university has demonstrated year-on-year improvements, ascending from fifth to third place in this survey in a matter of two years. “We are very proud to have been selected in a report that rates business schools worldwide focusing solely on MBA employers’ and recruiters’ views of MBA graduates, as it benchmarks us against the best in the world.”

As stated by Powell, the USB has enhanced its initiatives to position the business school on the global map as well as in the hearts and minds of corporate leaders throughout the world. The School continues to be widely recognised with numerous awards, including an A-rating together with a Five Palms award by EDUNIVERSAL. The USB continues to be ranked in the top 100 leading business schools in the world at number 65, based on the Aspen Institute’s 2010-11 edition of its annual Beyond Grey Pinstripes survey – the only African representative within this exclusive list.

To view full report and country rankings – click here