THE University of Cape Town has retained its spot as the continent’s top university, tying at 155th among more than 1 500 institutions in the 2021 Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings published on Wednesday.
The World University Rankings, published once a year, assesses institutions worldwide across 13 performance indicators in five areas: teaching (30%), research (30%), citations (30%), international outlook (7.5%) and industry income (2.5%).
Improved scores in key categories
UCT’s strongest performance remains in the industry income category (knowledge transfer), reflecting the substantial and continued contribution of the university’s research to industry.
The research category (volume, income and reputation) also saw an improvement in the research reputation survey score, indicating UCT’s growing reputation among leading international academics, and in the ratio of papers to academic staff score.
The citations category (research influence) score, which measures the number of times a piece of research is cited, also improved.
Scores increased too in the teaching category (the learning environment): both in the ratio of students to academic staff and the ratio of international income to academic staff.
In the international outlook category (international staff, students and research collaborations) the co-authorship score improved, evidence that UCT’s collaboration with international partners is flourishing.
UCT top in Africa in four of the five major rankings
Earlier this year, UCT also took the continent’s top place in the Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings and in the Centre for World University Rankings. UCT is also Africa’s top university on the US News Best Global Universities rankings, the most recent of which were issued in 2019 and the next are expected in October 2020.
n terms of top 200 representation, the United Stated dominates with 59 spots, while the United Kingdom is next with 29 followed by Germany with 21.
Overall, European representation is in a steady decline, losing nine places in the last five years as a result of China, Australia, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Canada all gaining positions.
“We have observed the rise of Asia in the world rankings for several years now, but this year marks a major milestone, as mainland China’s Tsinghua University disrupts the traditional domination of Western universities at the top of the table, breaking into the top 20 for the first time, and as mainland China doubles its representation in the top 100,” said Times Higher Education chief knowledge officer Phil Baty.
“This new ranking provides further clear evidence of a shift in the balance of power in the global knowledge economy from the established higher education systems in the west to those in parts of the East.”