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South African universities ranked best African institutions of higher learning

The Centre for World University Rankings has released its 2018 ranking. It shows that the University of Witwatersrand located in Johannesburg has lost the Top African University title after four years to the University of Cape Town.

The University of Cape Town (UCT) has been ranked the top university in Africa by the Centre for World University Rankings (CWUR). UCT was ranked 191th in the world, placing it in the top 200 globally. It left quite a gap between itself and the second top university, Stellenbosch University, at position 361. Stellenbosch was ranked slightly ahead of Wits, which took third position at 364 internationally.

On the list of about 950 universities, only 18 African universities made the rankings, with South African universities dominating the top 10. Wits was followed by Pretoria, placing 6th; University of Johannesburg, placing 7th; Rhodes University, placing 9th; and University of KwaZulu-Natal, placing 10th.

CWUR’s rankings grade universities on seven main factors: quality of teaching, alumni employment, quality of faculty, research output, quality publications, influence and citations. The ranking focuses on measurable data, specifically how many university alumni and faculty members have won international awards and currently hold top executive jobs.

Read: Top 10 African universities: QS world university rankings

In the 2018/19 list, 18 000 institutions of higher education were evaluated but only the best 1 000 research-intensive universities received a ranking. Aside from an overall ranking, universities are also ranked by subjects or areas of study to help prospective students find the leading universities in a particular field.

In this regard, Wits was still able to place in two areas: Mineral and mining engineering ranked 15th out of 50. However, it was outranked again in Development Studies by the University of Cape Town, ranked 11th, whereas Wits placed 19th out of 50 in the same field.

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