The University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) has been ranked the second best academic institution in Africa and 222nd globally according to the 2016/17 Best Global Universities (BGU) ranking by publisher US News & World Report.
Wits scored 61.4 points, up 62 places from its 2015/16 global ranking. The University of Cape Town was ranked first in Africa with a score of 68.2 ranking it 112th in the world.
The BGU ranks US institutions as well as those in 60 other countries based on 12 indicators, which measure the institutions’ academic research performance and their global and regional reputations.
African universities were ranked based on their positions in the overall 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.
Wits deputy vice-chancellor for research Professor Zeblon Vilakazi said the university was appreciative of the recognition.
“It bears testament to the high-quality research done by our researchers, scientists and students,” he said.
In August, the Academic Ranking of World Universities, 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.
However, Vilakazi said rankings were only one indicator and did not solely determine the quality of education at universities.
He added that the ranking system results must 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,” he said.