Center For World University Rankings: SA Universities Among World Best In These Subjects

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Despite the very many challenges facing various South Africa’s universities, they still stand as some of the best so far according to the 2016 world Center for World University Rankings (CWUR).

In its inaugural subjects ranking, the CWUR featured South African Universities as among the best in the 227 subjects covering all academic disciplines in the sciences and social sciences.

Some of these courses where South African universities are best at are Anthropology, Area Studies, Mycology (the scientific study of fungi), and Ornithology (the scientific study of birds). Wits University was ranked as the top university in South Africa for the year 2016 ranking.

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Wits university also ranked highest on the list for South Africa, at 176th with a score of 48.11. It however, went down from its position in 2014 and 2015 where it was ranked 114th and 149th respectively.

Other universities in the top rank include: University of Cape Town, Stellenbosch University, University of KwaZulu Natal and University of Pretoria.

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The Center for World University Rankings list was determined by looking at how many university alumni and faculty members won international awards, and who currently hold top executive jobs. Looking at the list, the universities are ranked relative to the top university, which scores 100.0 points.



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The universities in United States topped the list occupying the top 10 best universities with Harvard University retaining the top list as the best in the world, followed by Standford, and MIT.

Institutions with the most Top-10 placements worldwide are:

  1. Harvard University, USA (112 Top-10 subjects)
  2. University of Toronto, Canada (66 Top-10 subjects)
  3. University of Michigan, USA (57 Top-10 subjects)
  4. University of Pennsylvania, USA (54 Top-10 subjects)
  5. Johns Hopkins University, USA (51 Top-10 subjects)
  6. University of California, Berkeley, USA (50 Top-10 subjects)
  7. Stanford University, USA (48 Top-10 subjects)
  8. University of Oxford, United Kingdom (47 Top-10 subjects)
  9. University of Washington, USA (45 Top-10 subjects)
  10. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA (41 Top-10 subjects)

The Center for World University Rankings believes its still the only global university ranking that checks the quality of education and training of students in every universities in the world

It also claims to be the only ranking that measures the prestige of the faculty members and the quality of their research, without relying on surveys and university data submissions.

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Here is the full breakdown of its indicators:

  • Quality of Education – [25%] – the number of a university’s alumni who have won major international awards, prizes, and medals relative to the university’s size;
  • Alumni Employment – [25%] – the number of a university’s alumni who currently hold CEO positions at the world’s top companies relative to the university’s size;
  • Quality of Faculty – [25%] – the number of academics who have won major international awards, prizes, and medals;
  • Publications – [5%] – the number of research papers appearing in reputable journals;
  • Influence – [5%] – the number of research papers appearing in highly-influential journals;
  • Citations – [5%] – the number of highly-cited research papers;
  • Broad Impact – [5%] – the university’s h-Index;
  • Patents – [5%] – the number of international patent filings.