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7 August 2019
A Hub Of Research Excellence: CWUR World University Rankings 2019/2020

(Published - 7 August 2019)

The University of the Western Cape has been acknowledged, yet again, as one of the world’s premier teaching and research institutions, according to the recent Center for World University Rankings (CWUR) 2019/2020.

CWUR’s rankings grade 20 000 universities on seven factors without relying on surveys and university data submissions: quality of teaching, alumni employment, quality of faculty, research output, quality publications, influence, and citations. 

This year, the University of the Western Cape ranks 8th in South Africa, and 1034th in the world - putting the institution in the top 5.2% worldwide. The University was also ranked 990th for research performance.

It’s no surprise that UWC made the cut. The University produces world-class research into matters big and small, from anthropology to astrophysics, from xenophobia to zoology.

“The University draws on its history for inspiration, and aims to inspire a more equal society through its teaching and research,” says Professor Tyrone Pretorius, UWC’s Rector and Vice-Chancellor. “Good research is good for all of us, as a society. When we perform the hard work needed to produce new knowledge - and the equally tough work needed to place older ideas in a new light - we can use our knowledge to produce new techniques, products, and technologies that improve our world.” 

The University also believes in producing graduates who will go on to make a difference.

“At the same time, we try to empower students with the knowledge and skills necessary to become the doctors, educators, entrepreneurs, innovators and thought leaders who will celebrate, discuss, and explore diverse ideas and collaborations,” says Prof Pretorius. “UWC graduates will rise to meet the challenges we face as a country and a society.”

Thirteen South African universities made it to the CWUR top 2000, ranking them among the top 10% in the world: the University of Cape Town (252); the University of the Witwatersrand (254); Stellenbosch University (424); University of Pretoria (556); University of Johannesburg (761); North-West University (869); UWC (1034); University of the Free State (1183); Rhodes University (1224); UNISA (1417); Nelson Mandela University (1620); and Tshwane University of Technology (1926). 

It’s been a busy year thus far for the University of the Western Cape, as far as international recognitions go. The University was recently ranked among the top 1000 international institutions in the QS World University Rankings; among the top 800 - and top 200 in emerging economies - in the Times Higher Education rankings; and in the top 1000 in the 2018 URAP ratings. It’s also the only South African university to have been ranked among the world’s top 200 higher education institutions in the very first Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings 2019.

“Rankings aren’t what the University of the Western Cape is all about,” says Prof Pretorius. “But they are a nice reminder of how far we’ve come, and of what this University means to South Africa, and to the world - as an example of how to overcome adversity and achieve excellence, while never forgetting where we came from.”

Not sure why the University of the Western Cape is featured in all these rankings? Well, did you know...

  • UWC’s Law Faculty has led the fight for justice for 40 years, and is recognized as a world leader in Constitutional Law and Child Rights Law, and academics and alumni from UWC were intimately involved in drafting South Africa’s Constitution - widely considered one of the world’s leading democratic documents.
  • The Co-Curricular Record at UWC allows for a more holistic take on student development. It's a way of recognising students’ contributions and leadership experiences outside of the lecture rooms, whether in academic support, entrepreneurship, sports achievements or community engagement.
  • UWC held just one South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARChI) Chair in 2008 - and currently holds 18 of them, providing leadership in research and capacity-building in areas from Astrophysics to Health Systems Governance to Visual History (and much, much more).

Want to know more about UWC’s amazing achievements? Keen to learn a little more about the University’s history of fascinating firsts? Or the UWC technology that’s changing the world? We’ve got you covered...