Four South African universities have made it to the top five in world rankings of the best universities on the African continent.
According to the fourth annual World Top 20 Project’s Global Universities Rankings, the University of Cape Town leads the pack, followed by the University of the Witwatersrand, Stellenbosch University and the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
The rankings form part of the international World Top 20 Project, a brainchild of New Jersey Minority Education Development – a nonprofit organisation established in 1995.
The project monitors and ranks more than 200 nations’ education systems to enhance student development. Its mission is to ensure that every child on the planet has an opportunity to reach their full potential by being; able to access quality education in a safe and nurturing environment.
Our local universities were among 500 tertiary institutions chosen this year because, according to the study, they “improve their nation’s attainment and achievement levels towards establishing a knowledge-based workforce for the 21st century, and promote social skills that positively affect community development”.
Universities were grouped into eight regions: Africa, Asia, The Caribbean, Central America, Europe, Oceania, North America and South America.
None of the South African universities made it to the top 20 in the world.
The criteria that were; used to conclude that these were; the best universities in Africa included looking at the quality of innovation, as well as at research; publications, facilities, teaching, employability and social responsibility.
The scores obtained were also matched with those of other different rankings, such as US News & World Report (Best Global Universities), The Times Higher Education (World Reputation Rankings), QS Top Universities (World University Rankings) and Center for World University Rankings.
Two primary-level indicators – economics and social affairs – were; used in the methodology of the study to rank these universities.
To calculate each university’s score, two tables were; created to measure its economics and social affairs indicators; with criteria base scores tallied from a scale set of five values, ranging from excellent to poor.
Each criteria value was; given a score based on data collected by researchers from the universities’ database; and educational publications. Then the average of the first indicator was; calculated and then combined with the second indicator to arrive at a total, which was; divided for the final average score.