Top 7 Global Universities in South Africa: Discover the Best Academic Institutions

By | July 26, 2023

In this article, we are going to look at the best global universities in South Africa. South Africa has a total of 26 established public universities.

Notably amongst these universities are University of Cape Town, University Of Stellenbosch, University Of South Africa, Central University Of Technology, Durban University Of Technology and many others.

Best global universities in South Africa

The universities that made it into the list of the Best global universities in South Africa were evaluated based on their research performance and their ratings by members of the academic community around the world and within Africa.

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This ranking uses seven indicators grouped into four areas:

education – measured by the number of a university’s alumni who have earned significant academic achievements, relative to its size (25%)
employability – measured by the number of its alumni who have held top executive positions in the largest global companies, relative to the size of the university (25%)
faculty – measured by the number of faculty members who have received top academic distinctions (10%)
the research component, which counts for 40%, includes the following criteria:
research output – measured by the total number of research articles (10%)
high-quality publications – measured by the number of research articles appearing in top-tier journals (10%)
influence – measured by the number of research articles published in highly influential journals (10%)
citations – measured by the number of highly cited research articles (10%).

Cape Town University

Cape Town University simply known as UCT is the best global university in South Africa.

Located in Cape Town, The University was established in 1829 as a college and later got full Univerity recognition in 1918 making it the oldest University in South Africa.

Univeristy of Cape Town is a public research university that has produced over a million graduates for over 90 years of its establishment.

global universities in South Africa

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University of Cape Town offers over 75 courses including (Data Analysis, Supply Chain Management, IT management, Paralegal practitioner, Property Development and Investment, Agile Project Management, Public Management and Governance, business analytics, strategic business management etc).
1st in South Africa
1st in Africa
160th in the world

Currently, the Univerity of Cape Town has over 23,000 enrollment of students offering both undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

University of Witwatersrand

University of Witwatersrand is the second-best global university in South Africa. It’s also ranked as the 264th-best university in the world.

Currently, the university offers 275 postgraduate programs for both local and international students.
The avergae Tution fee for University of Witwatersrand is $4,700.

It has over 5 faculties and they are ( Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Health Sciences, Faculty of Humanities, Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management, Faculty of Humanities)
University of Witwatersrand is located in the heart of Johannesburg.

Stellenbosch University

– The University Of Stellenbosch is one of the leading universities in Africa at the moment. The prestigious tertiary institution was established in the 17th century when regular school education was initiated in the town of Stellenbosch in 1685.

The university’s academic life shares a striking resemblance with the European tradition where courses are a mixture of lectures, seminars, and individual laboratory works.

Currently, the school has a total of 35,000 enrolled in its 10 different faculties that offer both postgraduate and undergraduate programs.

Apparently, the main campus is situated about 50 km from Cape Town and 30 km from Cape Town International Airport.

At the moment, only 8 out of the 10 faculties are on the main campus, with the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences situated on Tygerberg campus adjacent to the Tygerberg academic hospital, and the Faculty of Military Sciences – the only one of its kind in South Africa and one of only two in Africa – based at the South African National Defence Force Military Academy in Saldanha.

The Stellenbosch Business School is located on the Bellville Park campus. The fifth campus, in Worcester, was officially opened in 2012 with the launch of the Ukwanda Rural Clinical School of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.

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It’s the third-best global university in South Africa and is recognized as the 304-best university in the world.

University of Kwazulu Natal

University of Kwazulu Natal is located in Durban. It boasts of multiple campuses and is known as a teaching and research-led university located in the picturesque province of KwaZulu-Natal.

Due to its astounding students’ performance, UKZ brags about its academic excellence.

This vast wealth of knowledge production lies at the heart of the University’s success as one of the top institutions on the African continent.

UKZN groups the courses offered into colleges and assigns each of its campuses different courses.

Some of the colleges in University of Kwazulu Natal are ( College Of Agriculture And Engineering Science, College Of Humanities, College Of Law and Management studies, College ) etc.

Currently, University of University of Kwazulu Natal is considered as the 4th best global university in South Africa and has a global ranking of 307.

University of Johannesburg

The University of Johannesburg is part of the 29 public universities located in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The University of Johannesburg was established on 1 January 2005 as the result of a merger between the Rand Afrikaans University, the Technikon Witwatersrand and the Soweto and East Rand campuses of Vista University.

It offers courses and programs for both undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Currently, University of Johannesburg has a total enrollment of about 60,000 students comprising both local and international.

University of Johannesburg is currently considered as the 5th best university in South Africa and has a world ranking of 421.

University of Pretoria

University of Pretoria is one of the leading univerities in Africa.

The University of Pretoria commonly known as (UP) was established in 1908 with just four professors and 32 students, in a little house called Kya Rosa.

With its humble beginnings, today, it happily brags as being one of the largest research universities in not South Africa alone but the whole of Africa at large.

University of Pretoria accepts both local and international students.

According to details on the school’s official website, it was born from a vision to create a space for quality education and for new ideas to flourish. Over the course of its existence, and through different phases of political power and social change, UP has been resilient in its commitment to academic quality.

According to verifiable statistics, UP is among the top 1,9% of universities worldwide.
It currently ranks as the 5th best global university in South Africa and is also considered as the 462 best university globally.

North West University

The North-West University household name when it comes to tertiary education in South Africa.
It’s a public research university located on three campuses in Potchefstroom, Mahikeng, and Vanderbijlpark in South Africa.

The North-West University offers courses for both regular and distance learners.

Established on 1st January 2004, the university has done remarkably well to achieve the feat as the 7th best global university in South Africa and also 487 best universities globally.

North West University has 8 faculties and these are (Education, Humanities, Health Sciences, Law, Natural and agricultural sciences, Theology, and engineering).

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Global Universities in South Africa FAQs

What is the best University in South Africa world ranking?

The best Global University In South Africa is University Of Cape Town.

What is the Number 1 Univerity In South Africa

The Number 1 university in South Africa at the moment is Univerity of Cape Town which ranks a No1 in Africa and 160th in the world.

What Universities in South Africa are Internationally recognized

  1. University of Cape Town
  2. University of Johannesburg
  3. University of Kwazulu Natal
  4. Stellenbosch University
  5. North West Univerisity
  6. Univerity Of Pretoria
  7. University of Witwatersrand

I hope your query “Global universities in South Africa” has been answered