The University of Cape Town (UCT) remains the top university in the country and on the continent in the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) BRICS University Rankings 2018. UCT is ranked 19th, five places down from its position in the previous year.
This ranking of the top universities in the five BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – attempts to track progress made by universities in nations that share certain key socio-economic dynamics.
Eight indicators are used to create the BRICS rankings:
- academic reputation (30%) – based on a global survey of academics’ perceptions regarding the best institutions in terms of research
- employer reputation (20%) – based on a global survey of employers’ views on the institutions providing the best professionals
- faculty/student ratio (20%)
- faculty staff with PhDs (10%)
- papers per faculty (10%)
- citations per paper (5%) – to estimate the impact and quality of scientific work
- international faculty (2.5%)
- international students (2.5%).
UCT performed best in the academic and employer reputation indicators, which together make up half the weighting. The university ranked 12th in the academic reputation indicator, which suggests that UCT’s international reputation among leading academics remains steady, and climbed four places in the employer reputation indicator to 13th position. The institution also fared well in the international faculty and student indicators.
Twelve other South African universities are included in the top 300, with the University of the Witwatersrand (36th) taking 2nd place in Africa and the University of Pretoria (38th) up into 3rd.
Chinese universities continue to dominate the rankings, making up almost a third of the institutions featured and taking seven of the top 10 places. Tsinghua University has retained the top spot with Peking University following in 2nd and Fudan University in 3rd.