Universities in South Africa
- Rankings & Reviews -

South Africa
23 out of 24
  • Universities in South Africa
  • Ranked in at least one ranking
23
  • Different Rankings list
  • Universities in South Africa
  • (17 institution and 6 subject rankings)
16
  • Global Rankings rank
  • Universities in South Africa
  • Among TOP 200

For business studies see our separate ranking of business schools in South Africa

Latest ranking updates related to universities in South Africa
  • 18 Mar, 2021: Scimago Institutions published most recent results of Scimago Institutions Rankings - Universities. Includes 21 universities from South Africa.
  • 04 Mar, 2021: Publication of QS World University Rankings By Subject (Engineering - Civil & Structural). University of Cape Town with highest ranking among universities in South Africa ranked #10.
  • 01 Mar, 2021: THE Times Higher Education, UK published most recent results of THE Emerging Economies University Ranking - Times Higher Education. Includes 11 universities from South Africa.
  • 30 Jan, 2021: 4icu published most recent results of UniRank 4icu - Top English-Speaking Universities. University of Cape Town achieves position 160.

Highest subject rankings of universities in South Africa

Anthropology
#3 
University of the Witwatersrand
Veterinary Science
#49 
University of Pretoria
Agriculture & Forestry
#66 
University of Stellenbosch
Environmental Sciences
#124 
University of Cape Town
English Language & Literature
#201 
University of Johannesburg
Engineering - Electrical & Electronic
#251 
University of Pretoria

Rankings of universities in South Africa 2021

#1

University of Cape Town

Student satisfaction: 3.7 / 5.0 (1789 reviews)
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  • #1 
  • #155 
THE World University Rankings - Times Higher Education
[Published 24 August, 2020]
  • #1 
  • #220 
QS World University Rankings
[Published 10 June, 2020]
  • #1 
  • #275 
Scimago Institutions Rankings - Universities
[Published 18 March, 2021]


#2

University of the Witwatersrand

Student satisfaction: 3.8 / 5.0 (1094 reviews)
  • #2 
  • #201 
THE World University Rankings - Times Higher Education
[Published 24 August, 2020]
  • #2 
  • #403 
QS World University Rankings
[Published 10 June, 2020]
  • #2 
  • #327 
Scimago Institutions Rankings - Universities
[Published 18 March, 2021]


#3

University of Stellenbosch

Student satisfaction: 4.4 / 5.0 (1622 reviews)
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  • #3 
  • #251 
THE World University Rankings - Times Higher Education
[Published 24 August, 2020]
  • #4 
  • #456 
QS World University Rankings
[Published 10 June, 2020]
  • #4 
  • #357 
Scimago Institutions Rankings - Universities
[Published 18 March, 2021]


#4

University of KwaZulu-Natal

Student satisfaction: 4.1 / 5.0 (93 reviews)
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  • #4 
  • #351 
THE World University Rankings - Times Higher Education
[Published 24 August, 2020]
  • #7 
  • #801 
QS World University Rankings
[Published 10 June, 2020]
  • #5 
  • #395 
Scimago Institutions Rankings - Universities
[Published 18 March, 2021]


#5

University of Johannesburg

Card image

  • #7 
  • #601 
THE World University Rankings - Times Higher Education
[Published 24 August, 2020]
  • #3 
  • #439 
QS World University Rankings
[Published 10 June, 2020]
  • #6 
  • #453 
Scimago Institutions Rankings - Universities
[Published 18 March, 2021]


#6

University of Pretoria

Student satisfaction: 4.5 / 5.0 (237 reviews)
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  • #8 
  • #601 
THE World University Rankings - Times Higher Education
[Published 24 August, 2020]
  • #5 
  • #561 
QS World University Rankings
[Published 10 June, 2020]
  • #3 
  • #338 
Scimago Institutions Rankings - Universities
[Published 18 March, 2021]


#7

University of the Western Cape

Student satisfaction: 4.1 / 5.0 (80 reviews)
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  • #9 
  • #601 
THE World University Rankings - Times Higher Education
[Published 24 August, 2020]
  • #8 
  • #1001 
QS World University Rankings
[Published 10 June, 2020]
  • #9 
  • #527 
Scimago Institutions Rankings - Universities
[Published 18 March, 2021]


#8

North-West University

  • #6 
  • #501 
THE World University Rankings - Times Higher Education
[Published 24 August, 2020]
  • #9 
  • #1001 
QS World University Rankings
[Published 10 June, 2020]
  • #7 
  • #470 
Scimago Institutions Rankings - Universities
[Published 18 March, 2021]


#9

Durban University of Technology

Student satisfaction: 4.0 / 5.0 (74 reviews)
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  • #5 
  • #401 
THE World University Rankings - Times Higher Education
[Published 24 August, 2020]
  • #12 
  • #562 
Scimago Institutions Rankings - Universities
[Published 18 March, 2021]
  • #9 
  • #1250 
Nature Index - Top Academic Institutions
[Published 04 May, 2020]

#10

University of South Africa

Student satisfaction: 3.1 / 5.0 (170 reviews)
  • #10 
  • #1001 
THE World University Rankings - Times Higher Education
[Published 24 August, 2020]
  • #8 
  • #525 
Scimago Institutions Rankings - Universities
[Published 18 March, 2021]
  • #8 
  • #921 
US News: Best Global Universities
[Published 19 October, 2020]


#11

Tshwane University of Technology

Student satisfaction: 4.3 / 5.0 (546 reviews)
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  • #11 
  • #1001 
THE World University Rankings - Times Higher Education
[Published 24 August, 2020]
  • #15 
  • #575 
Scimago Institutions Rankings - Universities
[Published 18 March, 2021]
  • #11 
  • #1044 
US News: Best Global Universities
[Published 19 October, 2020]


#12

Rhodes University

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  • #6 
  • #801 
QS World University Rankings
[Published 10 June, 2020]
  • #11 
  • #560 
Scimago Institutions Rankings - Universities
[Published 18 March, 2021]
  • #9 
  • #925 
US News: Best Global Universities
[Published 19 October, 2020]


#13

University of the Free State

Student satisfaction: 4.1 / 5.0 (79 reviews)
  • #10 
  • #543 
Scimago Institutions Rankings - Universities
[Published 18 March, 2021]
  • #10 
  • #949 
US News: Best Global Universities
[Published 19 October, 2020]
  • #8 
  • #1211 
Nature Index - Top Academic Institutions
[Published 04 May, 2020]


#14

Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University

Student satisfaction: 2.4 / 5.0 (832 reviews)
  • #16 
  • #586 
Scimago Institutions Rankings - Universities
[Published 18 March, 2021]
  • #12 
  • #1254 
US News: Best Global Universities
[Published 19 October, 2020]
  • #11 
  • #1411 
Nature Index - Top Academic Institutions
[Published 04 May, 2020]


#15

University of Venda

Student satisfaction: 4.1 / 5.0 (95 reviews)
  • #14 
  • #573 
Scimago Institutions Rankings - Universities
[Published 18 March, 2021]
  • #15 
  • #2938 
Nature Index - Top Academic Institutions
[Published 04 May, 2020]
  • #17 
  • #2397 
URAP World Ranking - University Ranking by Academic Performance
[Published 03 December, 2020]

#16

University of Limpopo

Student satisfaction: 3.9 / 5.0 (69 reviews)
  • #18 
  • #600 
Scimago Institutions Rankings - Universities
[Published 18 March, 2021]
  • #16 
  • #3324 
Nature Index - Top Academic Institutions
[Published 04 May, 2020]
  • #14 
  • #2131 
URAP World Ranking - University Ranking by Academic Performance
[Published 03 December, 2020]

#17

University of Fort Hare

Student satisfaction: 4.0 / 5.0 (29 reviews)
  • #13 
  • #566 
Scimago Institutions Rankings - Universities
[Published 18 March, 2021]
  • #18 
  • #4057 
Nature Index - Top Academic Institutions
[Published 04 May, 2020]
  • #16 
  • #2362 
URAP World Ranking - University Ranking by Academic Performance
[Published 03 December, 2020]

#18

Cape Peninsula University of Technology

Student satisfaction: 3.1 / 5.0 (456 reviews)
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  • #19 
  • #606 
Scimago Institutions Rankings - Universities
[Published 18 March, 2021]
  • #19 
  • #4307 
Nature Index - Top Academic Institutions
[Published 04 May, 2020]
  • #15 
  • #2132 
URAP World Ranking - University Ranking by Academic Performance
[Published 03 December, 2020]

#19

Walter Sisulu University

Student satisfaction: 3.7 / 5.0 (5 reviews)
  • #17 
  • #592 
Scimago Institutions Rankings - Universities
[Published 18 March, 2021]
  • #17 
  • #3851 
Nature Index - Top Academic Institutions
[Published 04 May, 2020]
  • #21 
  • #3837 
Webometrics Ranking Web of Universities
[Published 01 January, 2021]

#20

University of Zululand

Student satisfaction: 4.4 / 5.0 (29 reviews)
  • #21 
  • #621 
Scimago Institutions Rankings - Universities
[Published 18 March, 2021]
  • #18 
  • #2764 
URAP World Ranking - University Ranking by Academic Performance
[Published 03 December, 2020]
  • #19 
  • #3591 
Webometrics Ranking Web of Universities
[Published 01 January, 2021]

#21

Vaal University of Technology

Student satisfaction: 4.2 / 5.0 (64 reviews)
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  • #20 
  • #616 
Scimago Institutions Rankings - Universities
[Published 18 March, 2021]
  • #18 
  • #3381 
Webometrics Ranking Web of Universities
[Published 01 January, 2021]

#22

Central University of Technology

Student satisfaction: 4.0 / 5.0 (21 reviews)
  • #20 
  • #3597 
Webometrics Ranking Web of Universities
[Published 01 January, 2021]

#23

Mangosuthu University of Technology

Student satisfaction: 4.3 / 5.0 (33 reviews)
  • #23 
  • #9466 
Webometrics Ranking Web of Universities
[Published 01 January, 2021]

#24

Milpark Business School, Milpark Education


South Africa Key Facts for International Students

Time: GMT +2

Telephone country code: +27

  • Religion:
  • Pentecostal  8%
  • Catholicism  7%
  • Methodist  7%
  • Dutch Reformed  7%
  • Anglican  4%
  • Other Protestant  40%
  • Atheist, agnostic and unclassified  15%
  • Other religions: Islam, Hinduism  12%
  • Largest cities in South Africa:
  • 1. Cape Town: 3,500,000
  • 2. Durban: 3,100,000
  • 3. Johannesburg: 2,000,000
  • 4. Soweto: 1,700,000
  • 5. Pretoria: 1,600,000

Largest international airport in South Africa:

Oliver Reginald Tambo International (JNB): 20.692.780 Passengers/Year; 7 Terminals; 21 km. from Johannesburg city center

Map with location of universities in South Africa

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FAQ

University of Cape Town ranks #1 in South Africa in our meta ranking composed of 96 university rankings.

Among all universities in South Africa University of Cape Town is listed in the largest number of rankings. See all 26 rankings where University of Cape Town is listed.

University of the Witwatersrand is ranked best in South Africa for Social Studies & Humanities (Anthropology). See all rankings for the University of the Witwatersrand.

University of Pretoria is ranked best in South Africa for Medicine & Health (Veterinary Science). See all rankings for the University of Pretoria.

University of Stellenbosch is ranked best in South Africa for Agriculture (Agriculture & Forestry). See all rankings for the University of Stellenbosch.

University of Cape Town is ranked best in South Africa for Natural Sciences (Environmental Sciences). See all rankings for the University of Cape Town.

University of Johannesburg is ranked best in South Africa for Languages & Literature (English Language & Literature). See all rankings for the University of Johannesburg.

University of Pretoria is ranked best in South Africa for Engineering (Engineering - Electrical & Electronic). See all rankings for the University of Pretoria.

Ranking publishers

4icu

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British Quacquarelli Symonds, UK

Criteria used in ranking -QS World University Rankings:
Academic Reputation 40%
Employer Reputation 10%
Faculty/Student Ratio 20%
Citations per faculty 20%
International Faculty Ratio 5%
International Student Ratio 5%

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Criteria used in ranking -QS Employability Rankings:
Employer reputation 30%
Alumni outcomes 25%
Partnerships with Employers per Faculty 25%
Employer/Student Connections 10%
Graduate employment rate 10%

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Criteria used in ranking -QS 50 under 50:
Based on the QS World University rankings methodology, the top 50 universities that are under 50 years old.

Academic Reputation 40%
Employer Reputation 10%
Faculty/Student Ratio 20%
Citations per faculty 20%
International Faculty Ratio 5%
International Student Ratio 5%

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Criteria used in ranking -QS University Rankings BRICS:
Academic reputation 30%
Employer reputation 20%
Faculty/student ratio 20%
Staff with a PhD 10%
Papers per faculty 10%

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CWUR Center for World University Rankings

Criteria used in ranking -CWUR Center for World University Rankings:
Research Performance 40%
Quality of Education 25%
Alumni Employment 25%
Quality of Faculty 10%

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Centre for Science and Technology Studies, Leiden University, Netherlands

Criteria used in ranking -CWTS Leiden Ranking:
Academic research publication

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NTU ranking

Criteria used in ranking -NTU Performance Ranking of Scientific Papers:
Research excellence 40%
Research impact 35%
Research productivity 25%

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Criteria used in ranking -NTU Africa:
Research productivity 25%
Research impact 35%
Research Excellence 40%

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Nature Index

Criteria used in ranking -Nature Index - Top Academic Institutions:
Article count (AC)
Fractional count (FC)
Weighted fractional count (WFC)

RUR Ranking Agency (Moscow, Russia)

Criteria used in ranking -RUR World University Rankings:
Teaching 40%
Research 40%
International Diversity 10%
Financial Sustainability 10%

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Criteria used in ranking -RUR Reputation Ranking:
Teaching Reputation 50%
Research Reputation 50%

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Criteria used in ranking -RUR Research Performance Ranking:
Normalized citation impact (Citations of research publications from all university authors compared with world averages) 20%
Citation per papers 20%
Papers per academic and research staff 20%
International research reputation 20%
Share of research publications written in international co-authorship 20%

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Scimago Institutions

Criteria used in ranking -Scimago Institutions Rankings - Universities:
Research 50%
Innovation 30%
Societal 20%

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ShanghaiRanking Consultancy

Criteria used in ranking -ARWU Academic Ranking of World Universities - ShanghaiRanking:
Alumni winning research prizes 10%
Staff winning research prizes 20%
Research paper publications 20%
Papers published in Nature and Science 20%
Papers indexed in Science Citation Index-Expanded and Social Science Citation Index 20%
Per capita academic performance 10%

view methodology

THE Times Higher Education, UK

Criteria used in ranking -THE World University Rankings - Times Higher Education:
Teaching 30%
Research (volume, income and reputation) 30%
Citations 30%
International outlook (staff, students, research) 7.5%
Industry income (knowledge transfer) 2.5%

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Criteria used in ranking -THE Global University Employability Ranking - Times Higher Education:
Employability (survey) 100%

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Criteria used in ranking -THE World's Most International Universities - Times Higher Education:
Proportion of international students 25%
Proportion of international staff 25%
Proportion of journal publications with one or more international co-authors 25%
University’s international reputation 25%

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Criteria used in ranking -THE Emerging Economies University Ranking - Times Higher Education:
Teaching 30%
Research (volume, income and reputation) 30%
Citations 20%
International outlook (staff, students, research) 10%
Industry income (knowledge transfer) 10%

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Criteria used in ranking -Young University Rankings:
Teaching 30%
Research (volume, income and reputation) 30%
Citations 30%
International outlook (staff, students, research) 7.5%
Industry income (knowledge transfer) 2.5%

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Urap

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Us News

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Webometrics

Criteria used in ranking -Webometrics Ranking Web of Universities:
Visibility 50%
Excellence 35%
Transparency 10%
Presence 5%

view methodology