University Of Pretoria QS Ranking

University Of Pretoria QS Ranking

The University of Pretoria (UP) significantly improved its standing in the QS World University Rankings 2020 released on Wednesday. UP improved its global position in two of the six indicators, thus placing it among the top 52% universities in the QS rankings and among the top five South African universities.

The QS World University Rankings rate the top tertiary institutions around the world against several indicators, including academic reputation, employer reputation, the number of citations per faculty, the student-to-faculty ratio, and the number of international students. Ranked at position 232 globally on the Employer Reputation indicator, the University of Pretoria is placed firmly among the world’s top universities as an employer of choice. UP also improved its rankings in citations per faculty member, while the ranking for international faculty also showed an improvement compared to the previous year.

UP also improved in the overall rankings, moving up to the 501–550 range from the 561–570 range last year. Considering there are approximately 26 000 universities globally, this improved ranking positions the University of Pretoria among the top performing universities in the world, stated the QS body. 

This rating puts UP among some of the highly rated and top international academic institutions from the world’s economic giants such as Japan, China, Germany, US, India and Australia.

Professor Tawana Kupe, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Pretoria said, “The University of Pretoria is committed to quality and world-class academic standards, which make us a university of choice in South Africa, delivering both top academics as well as top graduates, both at undergraduate and post-graduate level. We are very pleased with these results, as this is critical in displaying our intention to be the number one university in Africa and among the top leading universities in the world.”

“UP is not only showing a marked improvement among its international peers, but also in South Africa. UP still has the second-highest number of staff members with PhDs (after UNISA), which clearly highlights the emphasis that our university places on the quality of education and research. In terms of our international university member associations, the University of Pretoria is ranked among the top 50 universities in terms of the BRICS Universities League, according to the 2019 QS BRICS University Rankings. UP’s ranking on graduate employability also depicts the emphasis that we place on improving the employability of our students. Consequently it is now, more than ever, very important for the University of Pretoria to constantly improve visibility and high-quality academic outputs,” Prof Kupe said.

“It has become very clear that as academic institutions continue to advance in what has become a very highly competitive environment, rankings are an important measure of quality of education and outcomes, including employability.  The aim of improving our ranks is to ensure that we provide high-quality education and cutting-edge knowledge that transforms lives, communities and sectors, our society and the African continent, and makes a contribution to the world. The University of Pretoria has the third-highest number of international students in South Africa. This means that the University of Pretoria now competes at the highest international levels for consideration, in terms of top students, top academics, and canvassing funding support. We are therefore very proud of all our dedicated staff and students for making this ranking possible,” concluded Prof Kupe.

Times Higher Education World University Rankings

The 2023 edition of the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings ranked the top South African universities as follows:

SA Rank World Rank University
1 171 University of Cape Town
2 251-300 University of the Witwatersrand
3 351–400 Stellenbosch University
4 401-500 University of KwaZulu-Natal
5 375 University of Pretoria
6 601-800 University of Johannesburg
7 601-800 University of the Western Cape
8 801-1000 University of South Africa

QS World University Rankings

SA rank World rank University Arts & Humanities Engineering & IT Life Sciences & Medicine Natural Science Social Sciences
1 141 University of Cape Town 108 294 100 220 116
2 318 University of the Witwatersrand 148 249 204 280 800000
3 390 Stellenbosch University 237 268 356 283
4 471–480 University of Pretoria 283 349 241
5 501–550 University of KwaZulu-Natal 366
SA rank University 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
1 University of Cape Town 257 200 176 146 161æ
2 University of Witwatersrand 322 282 319 321 360
3 Stellenbosch University
4 University of Pretoria 509 469 501–600 401–500 451–500
5 University of KwaZulu-Natal 484 487 401–500 501–600 501–550


The 2015 Academic Ranking of World Universities has ranked the top South African universities as follows:

SA rank University 2014 2013 2012 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003
1 University of Cape Town 201–300 201–300 201–300 201–300 201–302 201–302 203–304 201–300 203–300 202–301 251–300
2 University of the Witwatersrand 201–300 301–400 301–400 301–400 303–401 303–401 305–402 301–400 301–400 302–403 451–500
3 Stellenbosch University 401–500 401–500 401–500 401–500 402–501 402–503 403–510 401–500 401–500 404–502 451–500
4 University of KwaZulu-Natal 401–500

Note: These are the only ranked South African universities.

Center for World University Rankings (CWUR)

The 2015 edition of CWUR ranked the top South African Universities as follows:

SA Rank World Rank University
1 149 University of the Witwatersrand
2 248 University of Cape Town
3 401 University of KwaZulu-Natal
4 500 Stellenbosch University
5 678 University of Pretoria

International Rankings for Additional Context

University Ranking by Academic Performance (URAP)

URAP, which is a newer ranking scheme based solely on quantitative measures of academic productivity, includes data for a larger number of global universities, and thus gives an alternative view of the relative standing of more South African institutions. The 2016-2017 edition of URAP ranked the top South African Universities as follows:

SA Rank World Rank University
1 240 University of Cape Town
2 316 University of Witwatersrand
3 369 University of KwaZulu-Natal
4 418 Stellenbosch University
5 459 University of Pretoria
6 706 University of Johannesburg
7 796 North-West University
8 906 University of the Western Cape
9 1061 Rhodes University
10 1081 University of the Free State
11 1121 University of South Africa
12 1311 Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
13 1511 Tshwane University of Technology
14 1904 University of Limpopo
15 1907 Cape Peninsula University of Technology
16 1924 Durban University of Technology

Business-oriented rankings

Several international rankings schemes focus on the placement of graduates in business settings.

Times Higher Education Alma Mater Index

This is another THE ranking which aims to measure the real world success of a University’s alumni by ranking Universities according to the number of their graduates that are currently CEOs of Fortune Global 500 companies. The global number one for 2017 is by a considerable margin, Harvard University. The only African University that appears on the Global top 100 is the University of the Witwatersrand. The 2017 South African rankings are as follows:[30]

SA Rank World Rank University
2 54 University of the Witwatersrand

Tredence-Emerging Global Employability University Ranking

This is a global ranking of universities by the perceived quality of their graduates by top employers around the world. The only African university in the top 150 is the University of the Witwatersrand. 

SA Rank World Rank University
1 139 University of the Witwatersrand

Bloomberg Billionaire Ranking

This ranks universities according to their popularity among US based billionaires. The only ranked South African university is the University of the Witwatersrand. 

SA Rank World Rank University
1 8 University of the Witwatersrand

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