University rankings

A good way to start researching which university to go to is to look at university rankings or league tables. League tables of South African universities are largely based on international university rankings, because there have not as yet been published any rankings specifically for South Africa.

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The January 2010 edition of the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities ranked South African universities as follows:

SA rankWorld rankUniversitySizeVisibilityRich filesScholar
1317University of Cape Town322343293451
2531University of Pretoria457104672163
3549Stellenbosch University732971414229
4688University of the Witwatersrand1536969646222
5997Rhodes University139612581276567
61014University of KwaZulu-Natal12171507926681
71032University of the Western Cape113313941072805
81290University of South Africa108023862291144
92095University of the Free State2399384415611035
102179University of Johannesburg337844511929407
112300Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University3245178531733341
123023North-West University698038264640845
133954Cape Peninsula University of Technology6108551144781807
144050Durban University of Technology512366775784978
155662Tshwane University of Technology6769640339886261
165882University of Zululand8540825555532160
176302University of Fort Hare5571643758678563
187520Vaal University of Technology6394891462006825
197846Central University of Technology6301865771048563
208027Monash University South Africa8169736581409750

2010 Centre for Higher Education Transformation report

The Red cluster constitutes the top research-intensive universities, green the middle and blue scoring the lowest. The clusters in alphabetical order are:

Red ClusterGreen ClusterBlue Cluster
University of Cape TownUniversity of the Free StateCape Peninsula University of Technology
University of PretoriaUniversity of KwaZulu-NatalCentral University of Technology
Rhodes UniversityNorth-West UniversityDurban University of Technology
University of StellenboschUniversity of Fort HareMangosuthu University of Technology
University of the WitwatersrandUniversity of LimpopoTshwane University of Technology
University of the Western CapeVaal University of Technology
University of JohannesburgUniversity of Venda
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan UniversityWalter Sisulu University for Technology and Science
University of Zululand


The Academic Ranking of World Universities has ranked the top South African universities as follows (These are the only ranked South African universities):

SA rankUniversity20102009200820072006200520042003
1University of Cape Town201–300201–302201–302203–304201–300203–300202–301251–300
2University of the Witwatersrand301–400303–401303–401305–402301–400301–400302–403451–500
3University of KwaZulu-Natal401–500402–501402–503403–510401–500401–500404–502451–500
4University of Pretoria403–510401–500401–500404–502401–450

For comparison, here is the  top 10 universities in the world according to the ARWU in 2010:

1Harvard University
2University of California, Berkeley
3Stanford University
4Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
5University of Cambridge
6California Institute of Technology
7Princeton University
8Columbia University
9University of Chicago
10University of Oxford
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