UCT right up there with the world's best
Academic excellence in eight subject areas has put the University of Cape Town among the top 100 universities in the world, according to the QS World University Rankings, released yesterday.
The quality of the university's education and training subject area catapulted it to 32nd in this year's edition of the annual rankings.
The other seven subject areas in which UCT fared well are earth and marine sciences, politics, psychology, law and legal studies, history and archaeology, geography and English language and literature.
Now in its third year, the QS World University Rankings by Subject lists the top 200 universities in 30 subjects. A total of 2858 universities and 678 other institutions were rated.
UCT's deputy vice-chancellor for research, professor Danie Visser, said the university's research impact was above the world average in many areas and it was the institution of choice for many international students.
"We are mindful that [the ranking] is just one view of the cathedral but we are very pleased about this renewed confirmation of the value of our work," he said.
Visser said a university in the southern hemisphere might not be expected to do particularly well in such surveys given that most of the respondents were probably from the northern hemisphere.
"It is therefore most pleasing that UCT's work has registered sufficiently internationally to be placed in the top 100 in no fewer than eight areas and in the top 200 in 19 areas," he said.
University of Pretoria professor of educational psychology Kobus Maree, though upbeat about UCT's place in the latest rankings, questioned the rankings' criteria.
"For instance, reputation for research excellence among peers. How do you quantify that? Perceived prestige per institution. How do you quantify that?"