Stellenbosch University (SU) has yet again achieved a remarkable feat by jumping 171 places on the latest QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) World University Rankings and making it into the top 300 tertiary institutions in the world for the first time.
Most significantly, SU performed outstandingly in the citations per faculty category (number of academic citations in papers produced by a university in a five-year period) by achieving the highest score (59,9) of all South African universities. Since citations are a well-understood and widely accepted measure of research strength, this indicator assesses the relative intensity and volume of a university’s research.
In the 2024 version released on Tuesday 27 June, SU is ranked at number 283, compared to last year when it was placed at 454. This is the institution’s best position on the QS rankings since 2011 when it was ranked for the first time. In terms of the latest rankings, SU occupies the third position in South Africa (and in Africa) – one up from last year.
“The fact that SU attained the highest citation score shows that the research conducted at our institution is world-class with high impact. SU’s vision is to be Africa’s leading research-intensive university, and this confirms that we are progressing in achieving that vision. It means that we are on course with our strategy, called Vision 2040. We are indeed proud that our cutting-edge research does not only make a real societal impact in our country and on the African continent, but it is also regarded as excellent globally,” says Prof Hester Klopper, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Strategy, Global and Corporate Affairs at SU.
The 20th edition of the QS rankings, which is regarded as one of the three top university ranking systems globally, features 1 500 institutions across 104 locations and is the only ranking of its kind to emphasise employability and sustainability.
SU also improved in the categories of academic reputation (the quality of teaching and research), employer reputation (preparing students for successful careers/providing the most competent, innovative, and effective graduates) and international research network (an institution’s ability to initiate cross-border research partnerships with other universities).
For the 2024 edition of the QS rankings, institutions were assessed across the following nine categories (or indicators): academic reputation, employer reputation, faculty-student ratio (the learning and teaching environment of an institution), citations per faculty, international faculty ratio (the ratio of international faculty staff to overall staff), international students ratio (the ratio of international students to overall students), international research network, employment outcomes (an institution’s ability to ensure a high level of employability for their graduates) and sustainability (the environmental and social impact made by an institution’s research and alumni). International research network, employment outcomes and sustainability are new metrics.
In March 2023, SU was also among the leading higher education institutions in the world on the QS World University Rankings by Subject.
Over the last few years, SU has been consistently ranked among the best tertiary institutions in the world on various global university rankings including the QS World University Rankings, the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and the Times Higher Education Emerging Economies University Rankings.
- Photo by Stefan Els