“Our performance has consistently improved in many of the rankings over the last few years.”

Wits University has improved its ranking in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2020, moving up to 194 from the 201 – 250 band.

Wits and the University of Cape Town (UCT) are the only universities in Africa to appear in the top 200, with UCT ranked 136 on the list.

Wits vice-chancellor Professor Adam Habib told Wits Vuvuzela that, “We have leaped to spot 194 which now puts Wits and UCT in the top 200 universities in the world. Wits attained the highest research score among universities in Africa, based on its research output and its reputation for producing research that moves society forward.

“This is a massive improvement to what existed and our performance has consistently improved in many of the rankings over the last few years, in a context where resources are far more constrained.”

The Wits research output increased by 55% in the last five years [118% in the last nine years].

Over 9 100 students graduated from Wits last year, the highest in the university’s history. “This is partly why Wits has leaped into spot 194 in the world. There are about 24 000 universities worldwide and about 1 400 were ranked in this ranking,” said Habib.

Professor Zeblon Vilakazi, the deputy vice-chancellor, told Wits Vuvuzela: “We are in the top 1% worldwide and we are pleased with this improved position.

“It’s a significant jump, reflective of the performances-tracking indicators put in place by the university. Wits has made significant investment in supporting research output over the last two to three years.”

According to Habib, “Africa needs research-intensive universities. Wits and UCT are these universities. We can, however, only sustain and improve the performance of these institutions if we have the necessary resources to do so.”

The University of Oxford tops the latest rankings which are “based on 13 carefully calibrated performance indicators that measure an institution’s performance across teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook”, according to the THE website.

FEATURED IMAGE: STANDING FOR EXCELLENCE: The Wits University Great Hall Photo: Tshego Mokgabudi