The University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) took the top spot in South Africa, and was placed 61st out of the 475 universities world-wide on the 2021 Times Higher Education (THE) Young University Rankings.
Sixty-eight countries and regions featured in the rankings for universities that are 50 years old and younger.
UKZN, which ranked ahead of the Durban University of Technology, North-West University and the University of Johannesburg, is the only South African tertiary institution to feature in the top 100 and has improved on its 2020 position of 71st.
When rating universities a number of key performance areas are assessed. These include teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.
UKZN received high scores in the areas of teaching and research and performed well in the international outlook indicator.
Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation at UKZN, Professor Mosa Moshabela, said the merger between the former universities of Natal (1910-2003) and Durban-Westville (1972-2003) helped create the successful “young” University of KwaZulu-Natal in January 2004.
“It gives me great comfort that UKZN is doing well from a global perspective and that staff and students are persisting with ongoing collective efforts to grow the University both in stature and impact,” Moshabela added.
This year’s best young university is Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and Paris Sciences et Lettres (PSL Research University Paris) took second place.
The United Kingdom has the highest number of universities in the rankings, with 37 institutions listed, followed by India with 34 and Spain 33.