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Wits jumps 62 places in global ranking

- Wits University

Latest US News Best Global University rankings was released this week.

Wits University is ranked second in Africa and in position 222 globally in the 2016/17 US News & World Report Best Global Universities (BGU) rankings announced this week.

With an overall score of 61.4 points, Wits has jumped 62 places from the 2015/16 BGU rankings.

According to US News: “Universities located in African countries, including South Africa, Egypt and Uganda, have been numerically ranked based on their positions in the overall Best Global Universities (BGU) rankings. Each institution was evaluated based on its research performance and its ratings by members of the academic community around the world and in the region.”

The BGU ranks US institutions as well as those in 60 other countries based on 12 indicators that measure the institutions academic research performance and their global and regional reputations. The BGU rankings focus specifically on institutions’ academic research and reputation overall and not on their separate undergraduate or graduate programs.

“We are truly appreciative of this recognition and it bears testament to the high quality research done by our researchers, scientists and students,” says Professor Zeblon Vilakazi, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research at Wits.

Wits also commended fellow South African universities – Cape Town, KwaZulu-Natal, Stellenbosch, Pretoria, Johannesburg and the Western Cape – that were all ranked among the top 10 best universities in Africa according to the BGU rankings.

Several global university rankings are published annually with BGU but one of them. In August this year, the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), also known as the Shanghai rankings, placed Wits among the top 1% of all universities in the world, and on the threshold of making it into the top 200.

Vilakazi says rankings are only one indicator and does not solely determine the quality of education at universities.

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

“We believe that as a university we should not be driven by these ranking systems. At Wits our focus is on research and teaching to build a nationally responsive and globally competitive institution that undertakes work that is necessary to South Africa, the continent of Africa, and the rest of the globe,” Vilakazi says.