[imagesource: Youth Village]
Students are slowly returning to universities across the country in phases, as restrictions ease up under alert level 3.
At the same time, the Centre for World University Rankings (CWUR) has released its list of the 2020-2021 top 2 000 universities in the world.
For the 2020-21 list of the CWUR World University Rankings, 20 000 higher education institutions were graded, with only the top 2 000 making the cut in the final rankings.
13 South African universities made it on to the list, four of which featured in the top 500, with two featured in the top 300 globally.
According to the CWUR website, universities are graded based on seven factors determined without additional potentially biased information like surveys or university data submissions: quality of teaching, alumni employment, quality of faculty, research output, high-quality publications, influence, and citations.
The top 10 universities in the world are:
1. Harvard University (1)
2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2)
3. Stanford University (3)
4. University of Cambridge (4)
5. University of Oxford (5)
6. Columbia University (6)
7. Princeton University (7)
8. University of Pennsylvania (9)
9. University of Chicago (10)
10. Yale University (12)
Harvard takes the top spot for the ninth year in a row.
Moving on to South Africa.
Until it was unseated by the University of Cape Town (268th overall) in 2018, the University of Witwatersrand (275 overall) had held the top spot. Now it takes second place, with Stellenbosch (429 overall) in third.
The University of KwaZulu-Natal comes in fourth, followed by the University of Pretoria in fifth place.
The top 10:
You can see the complete South African rankings, here.
The University of Cape Town dropped from 252nd place to 268th place, while the University of Witwatersrand dropped from 254th to 275th since the CWUR released its report for 2019.
All local universities dropped down the rankings with the exception of UJ, which improved its placement by 55 to rank 706th overall, while UNISA went up eight places, to 1 409.
All in all, not bad.
It will be interesting to see how the pandemic affects the rankings next year.
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