Stellenbosch University ranks as one of the best universities among emerging countries

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Stellenbosch University.
Stellenbosch University.
  • Stellenbosch University (SU) ranked at number 23 out of 606 institutions from emerging countries.
  • SU said the new ranking shows its steady improvement after initially being ranked at 42 in 2017.
  • In 2020, SU cemented its place among the top universities in the world when it appeared on three major global university rankings.

Stellenbosch University (SU) has been ranked as one of the best tertiary education facilities in the world from countries classified as advanced emerging, secondary emerging or frontier.

The university ranked at number 23 out of 606 institutions from countries with the same classification by the 2021 Times Higher Education (THE) Emerging Economies Universities Rankings, released on Tuesday.

READ | Thirteen South African universities make it into Best Global Universities Rankings

SU spokesperson Martin Viljoen said the new ranking shows the university's steady improvement after initially being ranked at 42 in 2017.

"Described as the 'most competitive THE Emerging Economies Universities Rankings so far' by THE's Chief Knowledge Officer Phil Baty, the 2021 ranking includes a record number of institutions, representing a 14% increase from 2020 (533)," Viljoen said.

According to THE, universities are ranked according to:

Their core missions of teaching (the learning environment)

Research (volume, income and reputation)

Knowledge transfer (industry income)

International outlook (staff, students and research)

"In terms of research, SU occupies the third position among South African universities.

"According to THE, the 2021 ranking demonstrates that emerging universities are improving faster than those in developed countries or regions around the rest of the world (REF)."

Professor Hester Klopper, deputy vice-chancellor for strategy and internationalisation at SU, said the improvement on the ranking systems underscored one of their core strategic themes, namely "Research for Impact".

"The fact that Stellenbosch is able to improve its ranking during the Covid-19 pandemic is no mean feat."

She added that it was proof of SU's research impact across the globe and the recognition afforded to the calibre and stature of its researchers.

"While we are cognisant of the importance of rankings in the overall perception of an institution's (global) academic and research standing, our focus is on academic and research excellence that will shape a better world for all," she said.

"It is, however, hugely gratifying when we gain international recognition in our quest to deliver solutions to societal problems through world-class research and scientific programmes."

In 2020, SU cemented its place among the top universities in the world when it appeared on three major global university rankings, namely the Academic Ranking of World Universities (also known as the Shanghai Rankings), the THE World University Rankings, and the US News and World Report Best Global Universities Ranking, Viljoen concluded.

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