Seven South African universities are in the top 200 of the 2019 Times Higher Education (THE) Emerging Economies University Rankings, with UCT ranking top in the continent.
At position 9, the University of Cape Town (UCT) was ahead of other local institutions such as Wits at 11, Stellenbosch University at 24, the University of KwaZulu-Natal at 49, the University of the Western Cape at 121, the University of Johannesburg at 99, and the University of Pretoria at 78.
The ranking listed 442 universities from 43 countries, classified by the FTSE as "advanced emerging", "secondary emerging" or "frontier".
South Africa has nine institutions in the index, up from eight last year, and occupies seven in the top 200.
The institutions are measured on a range of outcomes, including teaching and research categories, industry links and international outlook, among other things.
All BRICS nations, which South Africa is part of, are represented in the index, with China’s Tsingua University taking the number one spot, followed by Peking University in second place.
China is the most represented nation in the 2019 list, with 72 institutions, and occupies seven spots of the top 10.
Brazil is the most represented Latin American nation.
"Elsewhere, emerging nations across Europe have generally declined, while several countries in the Middle East and North Africa and Southeast Asian regions have progressed," according to the report.
A total of 442 universities from 43 countries were featured in the ranking.