In spite of disputes about race and transformation, Stellenbosch University (SU) is cranking out research at such a rate that it climbed 88 places on a worldwide university ranking released on Tuesday.
It came in at 302 on the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings 2015/2016, compared to 390 in 2014. It was second in South Africa and Africa after the University of Cape Town (ranked 171), after being third in 2014.
The QS ranked 891 universities according to six performance indicators: academic reputation, employer reputation, staff-student ratio, research citations per paper, international faculty ratio, and international student ratio.
“The main reason for SU’s climb up the rankings has been our research output and impact measured not only in terms of the number of papers but also citations,” Professor Eugene Cloete, Vice Rector: Research and Innovation, said in a statement.
Cloete said research output increased because of the emphasis on research and innovation at SU and talented, hard-working academic staff.
Sixty-two percent of SU’s academic staff had doctorates and an average of 1 100 Master and 230 PhD degrees were awarded per year over the last three years.
Overall, the world’s top three universities are the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard, and Cambridge.
According to the QS World University Rankings by Subject released in April, SU counts among the world’s elite institutions in 10 of the 36 subjects, including biological sciences, chemistry and mathematics. In agriculture and forestry SU was ranked first.
The top 10 universities in the world are:
1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
2. Harvard University
3= University of Cambridge
3= Stanford University
5. California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
6. University of Oxford
7. University College London (UCL)
8. Imperial College London
9. ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology)
10. University of Chicago. News24