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Wits among top 300 in the world

- Wits University

The University retains top spot in Africa in the latest ShanghaiRanking.

The 2017 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) released this week, places Wits at 230 in the 201-300 overall ranking category, making it the highest ranking university in Africa. In total, more than 4000 universities were ranked this year and the best 500 universities are published.

In June this year, Wits was also ranked in the ARWU’s ShanghaiRanking's Global Ranking of Academic Subjects (GRAS) 2017 and had three subjects ranked in the TOP100 subject list and 9 others in the TOP500 list.

Subject rankings

Category Subject Wits ranked
Natural Science Mathematics 401-500
  Physics 301 - 400
  Earth Sciences 151-200
  Geography 76-100
  Ecology 201-300
Engineering Mechanical Engineering 151-200
  Mining & Mineral Engineering 41
Life Sciences Biological Sciences 301-400
  Human Biological Sciences 201-300
Medical Sciences Clinical Medicine 101-150
  Public Health 51-75
Social Sciences Education 201-300

Globally competitive

“At Wits our research output has increased substantially in the last few years. This achievement is a culmination of work done over many years by our researchers. We are truly appreciative of this recognition, and we are particularly appreciative of our researchers, scientists, students and alumni to whom these accolades really belong,” says Professor Zeblon Vilakazi, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research at Wits.

He added that Wits is, however, 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. “For this reason and others, we believe that as a university we should not be driven by ranking systems. Rather, our focus should be on building a nationally responsive and globally competitive institution. This means concentrating on research and teaching, and embedding the institution in the work that is necessary to South Africa, the continent of Africa, and the rest of the globe,” Vilakazi says.

Noting the ranking of the Universities of Cape Town, Stellenbosch and KwaZulu-Natal that have also ranked among the top 500 universities, Vilakazi says it demonstrates the strength of the South African higher education system and bears testament to the high quality of research emanating from South Africa.

About the ARWU Rankings

The 2017 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) is released by ShanghaiRanking Consultancy. Since 2003, ARWU has been presenting the world Top 500 universities annually based on transparent methodology and third-party data. This year, in addition to the top 500 universities, ShanghaiRanking announces the list of universities ranked between 501 and 800 as ARWU World Top 500 Candidates.

Universities were ranked in 52 subjects across natural sciences, engineering, life sciences, medical sciences, and social sciences. ARWU adopts six objective indicators to rank world universities, including the number of alumni and staff winning Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals, the number of Highly Cited Researchers, the number of articles published in journals of Nature and Science, the number of articles indexed in Science Citation Index - Expanded and Social Sciences Citation Index, and per capita performance.