Stellenbosch University (SU) has improved its position on the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings. In the 2018 version, which has just been released (Tuesday 5 September), SU is now placed in the category 351 – 400.
More than a 1000 institutions from 77 countries feature in the rankings. Last year SU was in the category 401-500.
“Stellenbosch University is pleased with its new position on this particular ranking, but maintains a nuanced approach to university rankings in general – given the current realities of the institution, our country and our continent as well as the methodology of the various rankings of which there are well-documented differences of opinion," says Prof Eugene Cloete, Vice-Rector: Research, Innovation and Postgraduate Study.
“The fact that Stellenbosch is included in some of the most well-known rankings over the last few years, is however a strong indication of the institution receiving international recognition for the quality and stature of its teaching and research," he adds.
“We are also pleased with the fact that we have shown an improvement on the research pillar of the THE World University 2018 Rankings. This is a reflection of the University's research status in South Africa and on the continent."
According to figures of South Africa's Department of Higher Education and Training, SU has maintained the highest research output per fulltime staff member of all universities in the country for the last seven consecutive years.
“Our clear point of departure is still that we do not place too much emphasis on rankings, that academic excellence is non-negotiable, that quality always comes first and that no attempt is being made to artificially influence any rankings," adds Cloete.
According to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, research-intensive universities across all their core missions such as teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook are judged. 13 calibrated performance indicators are used to provide comparisons.