Top 10 Universities in South Africa

In South Africa, you can find many universities that have high ranking globally. In this article, we will present the top universities in South Africa.

Learn more about the higher education system in South Africa

University of Cape Town UTC

The University of Cape Town is the oldest in the country. It opened in 1829 as the South African College.

The university is located at the foot of Table Mountain’s Devil’s Peak and has a beautiful panoramic view. It ranks the 19th in BRICS ranking and 191st in the global one.

However, it is the first among the South African universities. The UTC aims to be the leading research university in South Africa. It comes in the 26th in the BRICS ranking for its citations per faculty, a measure of research impact.

The university hosts around 29,000 students, most of them come from outside South Africa. Moreover, it earns the 13th place for the international students’ indicator in BRICS.

Read more at the University of Cape Town UTC.

University of the Witwatersrand

The University of Witwatersrand is known as the Wits University. It first operated as a mining school in 1896 in Kimberley. The institute is located in Johannesburg. It ranks the 36th in BRICS ranking and 364th in the global one. The university hosts around 33,700 students.

Moreover, Wits University is one of 50 schools around the world in the field of mining engineering. It also comes in 18th place for development studies. 

The university ranks as one of the best institutes in 22 other subjects. Some of its alumni are Nobel Prize winners.

Learn more at University of the Witwatersrand.

University of Pretoria

The University of Pretoria is one of the biggest universities in South Africa. Advancing 11 ranks, it comes in the 38th rank and 501-550 globally.

It is a leading research university, offering more than 1,800 programs in Afrikaans and English. In 1949, the university launched the first MBA program outside North America.

It is the only university in the country with a veterinary science faculty members.

Furthermore, the university is internationally ranked for 16 subjects, including the top 150 subjects for theology, divinity and religious studies, law, and agriculture.

Check the University of Pretoria for more information.

Stellenbosch University

The university was established in 1918 in Stellenbosch, a town in the Western Cape province of South Africa. It ranks the 24th in BRICS ranking.

Moreover, the university is one of the biggest universities in South Africa, hosting around 30,850 students, including 4,000 international students.

Likewise, Wits University, it receives a very high rank for its international teaching staff and ranks fourth in the whole BRICS ranking.

For more information, visit Stellenbosch University.

University of Johannesburg

The University of Johannesburg is the youngest on this list in South Africa. It was formed in 2005 through a merger between Rand Afrikaans University, Technikon, Witwatersrand, and parts of Vista University.

 The institute is now a large one, hosting around 50,000 students, including 3,000 international students from 80 countries.

Additionally, it ranks among the world’s best for four subjects and in the top 100 for development studies. The university ranks the 58th in BRICS ranking and 601-650 in the world.

Visit the website of University of Johannesburg to know more.

University of KwaZulu-Natal

The university ranks the 80th in BRICS ranking and 701-750 in the world. It is another young South African university that was also formed by a merger (the University of Durban-Westville and University of Natal) in 2004.

The institute consists of five campuses in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. Its scientists play an important role in the global fight against HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis, with the Center for AIDS Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) that is located on the university’s medical school campus.

Moreover, it ranks among the world’s best for six subjects and is one of the top South African universities for development studies.

Learn more on the website of the University of KwaZulu-Natal

North-West University (NWU)

North-West University is a public multi-campus research university that was established in 2004. Part of the country’s effort to develop higher education in South Africa, NWU is a merger of 3 other universities’ campuses: University of North-West, Potchefstroom University, and Vista University. It has become since one of the largest universities of South Africa. All 3 campuses together hosted more than 60,000 students in 2010.

Among the most innovative, diverse and well-managed universities in South Africa, North-West University is ranked among the best 500 universities of the country. It offers various study fields such as natural and agricultural sciences, economic and management sciences, health sciences, as well as law study or humanities.

Find out more on the North-West University’s website

University of the Western Cape (UWC)

The University of the Western Cape is a South-African public university located in the suburb of the city of Cape Town. Established in 1960, the institution positions itself as a research-led university, committed to maintain a legacy of social justice, graduate employability as well as community engagement. 

In the university’s research-rich environment, UWC has 6 faculties: Arts, Community and Health, Economic and Management Science, Law, Natural Science and Dentistry. Most of the university’s departments offer graduate programs, while 20% of the students at UWC are postgraduate. 

Get more info on the website of University of the Western Cape

University of South Africa (UNISA)

Formerly called, University of the Cape of Good Hope, the University of South Africa (UNISA) is the largest institution of higher education of the country. An internationally recognized mega-university in South Africa, UNISA hosts one third of the university students of the country, more than 400,000 students in all. 

Founded in 1873, the university’s main concerns are teaching, research and community engagement. It’s also the pioneer in distance education in South Africa. UNISA offers many fields of study from certificate level to postgraduate degrees and varying from anthropology, nursing science, education, visual arts, accounting science and much more.

Learn more at University of South Africa

Rhodes University

Rhodes University is located in Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. It is a research-oriented institution, established in 1904 and also the sixth-oldest university of South Africa. Rhodes University is also the tenth on the ranking of the top best universities in South Africa in 2021, according to Times Higher Education University Rankings. 

Host of more than 7000 students, Rhodes University has 26% of them enrolled in postgraduate programs. Also, 20% of the students are international from 40 countries around the world. Boasting an outstanding success rate for postgraduate degrees, Rhodes has 6 faculties: Law, Education, Commerce, Pharmacy, Science and Humanities.

Learn more on the website of Rhodes University

About Sara

A professional Eng><Ara translator and writer.

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