University rankings

A good way to start researching which university to go to is to look at university rankings or league tables. League tables of South African universities are largely based on international university rankings, because there have not as yet been published any rankings specifically for South Africa.

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Webometrics

The January 2010 edition of the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities ranked South African universities as follows:

SA rank World rank University Size Visibility Rich files Scholar
1 317 University of Cape Town 322 343 293 451
2 531 University of Pretoria 457 1046 721 63
3 549 Stellenbosch University 732 971 414 229
4 688 University of the Witwatersrand 1536 969 646 222
5 997 Rhodes University 1396 1258 1276 567
6 1014 University of KwaZulu-Natal 1217 1507 926 681
7 1032 University of the Western Cape 1133 1394 1072 805
8 1290 University of South Africa 1080 2386 2291 144
9 2095 University of the Free State 2399 3844 1561 1035
10 2179 University of Johannesburg 3378 4451 1929 407
11 2300 Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University 3245 1785 3173 3341
12 3023 North-West University 6980 3826 4640 845
13 3954 Cape Peninsula University of Technology 6108 5511 4478 1807
14 4050 Durban University of Technology 5123 6677 5784 978
15 5662 Tshwane University of Technology 6769 6403 3988 6261
16 5882 University of Zululand 8540 8255 5553 2160
17 6302 University of Fort Hare 5571 6437 5867 8563
18 7520 Vaal University of Technology 6394 8914 6200 6825
19 7846 Central University of Technology 6301 8657 7104 8563
20 8027 Monash University South Africa 8169 7365 8140 9750

2010 Centre for Higher Education Transformation report

The Red cluster constitutes the top research-intensive universities, green the middle and blue scoring the lowest. The clusters in alphabetical order are:

Red Cluster Green Cluster Blue Cluster
University of Cape Town University of the Free State Cape Peninsula University of Technology
University of Pretoria University of KwaZulu-Natal Central University of Technology
Rhodes University North-West University Durban University of Technology
University of Stellenbosch University of Fort Hare Mangosuthu University of Technology
University of the Witwatersrand University of Limpopo Tshwane University of Technology
University of the Western Cape Vaal University of Technology
University of Johannesburg University of Venda
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Walter Sisulu University for Technology and Science
University of Zululand

ARWU

The Academic Ranking of World Universities has ranked the top South African universities as follows (These are the only ranked South African universities):

SA rank University 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003
1 University of Cape Town 201–300 201–302 201–302 203–304 201–300 203–300 202–301 251–300
2 University of the Witwatersrand 301–400 303–401 303–401 305–402 301–400 301–400 302–403 451–500
3 University of KwaZulu-Natal 401–500 402–501 402–503 403–510 401–500 401–500 404–502 451–500
4 University of Pretoria 403–510 401–500 401–500 404–502 401–450

For comparison, here is the  top 10 universities in the world according to the ARWU in 2010:

Rank University
1 Harvard University
2 University of California, Berkeley
3 Stanford University
4 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
5 University of Cambridge
6 California Institute of Technology
7 Princeton University
8 Columbia University
9 University of Chicago
10 University of Oxford
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