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Wits climbs on university rankings

- By Schalk Mouton

Wits University has climbed in the Time Higher Education (THE) global university rankings for 2015-2016 and remains the second highest-ranked university in South Africa.

The University climbed from the 251-275 bracket of universities to the 201-250 bracket, out of 800 institutions worldwide.

The World University Rankings are generated from five pillars, each of which represents a key area of higher education excellence: teaching, research, citations, industry income, and international outlook.

The pillars are blended in the following proportions: teaching 30%, research 30%, citations 30%, international outlook 7.5% and industry income 2.5%. 

Wits increased its performance on all five the criteria, improving teaching from 22.3 to 26.2, research from 21.7 to 31.5, citations from 67.3 to 76.0, industry income from 94.8 to 99.7 and international outlook from 66.3 to 68.4.

According to Wits Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Adam Habib, the University’s focus is on building a nationally responsive and globally competitive institution.

“Wits University is mindful of the fact that many ranking systems use different methodologies, and their results must therefore be approached with a level of measured circumspection,” says Habib.

“We believe that as a University we should not be detracted by such ranking systems. Our focus should instead be on building a nationally responsive and globally competitive institution, one that is both demographically diverse and cosmopolitan. Should we do this well, we would be responsive to our mandate of producing socially conscious and globally competitive professionals and citizens for the 21st century. This is our primary focus, and if we do this well, it will be evident in the results of the more established and relevant ranking systems.”