Recently released Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2016/2017 sees South Africa’s Outstanding Universities falling off the ladder of top best universities.
The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2016-2017 shows South African universities have been greatly hit by series of what could be termed avoidable challenges ranging from poor financing and incessant rioting.
The recent clash between students and the state’s Higher education and training board might have contributed to the sudden drop in the once regarded top world best universities.
The minister, Blade Nzimande on Monday, had put to a final end the era of free education for all students announcing that universities will have to determine their own fee increases for 2017, but any increase must not exceed 8%.
The fee increase came in response to growing calls by SA universities for the government to come to their financial aid ahead of the 2017 academic session.
Several universities around the country have suspended academic activities in this effect as students went out en mass protest against the fee increase.
Students are demanding free education at tertiary level and have taken to the streets and campuses in protest.
The protest, which is not the first of its kind in the state, has seen a number of school properties torched and students forced to retire home until calm is restored.
The 2016/17 Times Higher Education World University sees SA’s top best university, University of Cape Town dropping 20 places though it still stands the country’s best.
This is seconded by The University of Witwatersrand which is the only local institution to improve on its previous ranking.
Times Higher Education World University ranking also pointed out that SA universities had dropped as a result of lack of funding. This it said, had led to the top ranked UCT dropping to 191st worldwide, while second place Wits dropped 28 places to 359th.
The University of Pretoria, Rhodes University, and University of KwaZulu-Natal all dropped down the ranking.
However, the varsity ranking shows Stellenbosch University climbed back into the top 400 – to 395th place‚ while the University of Johannesburg was stable from the 2015 ranking.
North West University and the University of the Western Cape both ranked outside the top 700 institutions.