(Published - 7 November 2019)
Astronomy in the twenty-first century is changing our understanding of the Universe, and the University of the Western Cape is playing a big role in that - such a big role that it’s been ranked 157th in the world in Astronomy & Astrophysics according to the 2019/2020 URAP World University Rankings.
“A decade ago UWC took a decision to start building Astrophysics and to get involved in the Square Kilometre Array project,” says Professor Roy Maartens, SARChI/SKA Research Chair and an NRF A-rated researcher. “That strategy has paid off very successfully - and now we are doing groundbreaking work that opens up our understanding of gravity, dark energy, and the evolution of the cosmos.”
The Universal Ranking by Academic Performance (URAP) lists the top 1000 universities in the world across 61 fields of study, with 13 South African universities ranked in 37 of them.
In addition to Astronomy, UWC also received recognition in the URAP rankings for Economics (ranking 383 worldwide), Physical Science (ranking at 470 in the world), and Medical and Health Sciences (ranking 844), and is ranked among the best 1000 universities in the world overall.
“At UWC we engage in research that matters - not just for academia, but beyond,” 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 change our communities, our way of thinking, and our world.”
The key focus of the URAP is on academic performance, which is measured based on various academic performance indicators including current scientific productivity, research impact, research quality and international acceptance.
“We as an institution were never meant to be a research-intensive led teaching and learning university, never meant to learn the mysteries of the universe, seek answers to poverty and hunger or understand how culture will be impacted by the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” says Prof Frantz. “But we did it anyway - and we’re inspiring others to make a difference.”
UWC: A Global Phenomenon
The University of the Western Cape was recently ranked among the top 1000 international institutions in both the US News & World Report 2020 Best Global Universities ranking and the QS World University Ranking; among the top 800 - and top 200 in emerging economies - in the Times Higher Education rankings; and in the top 5.2% worldwide in the 2019 Center for World University Rankings.
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.
“As a previously disadvantaged institution, the University of the Western Cape has made significant strides in a very short period of time,” says Prof Pretorius. “UWC has proven itself to be able to play in the big leagues. We’ve grown from hope to action through knowledge - and we’re only getting started.”
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...