Once again, the University of the Western Cape (UWC) has been declared one of the top 200 emerging economy universities, according to the Times Higher Education Emerging Economies University Rankings 2019 - a testament to the University’s commitment to research, education and empowerment.
UWC has been ranked 121st of the top 442 universities in 43 emerging-economy countries across four continents. UWC’s Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tyrone Pretorius, believes that the ranking is (once again) a reflection of UWC’s ongoing (but far from complete) academic journey, and its commitment to making a positive difference in the world.
“Global climate change, poverty, inequality and the clash of cultures - these are just some of the issues the world will be facing in years to come,” says Prof Pretorius. “To grapple with these complex issues will require an engaged university - a nexus of research, teaching and learning that responds to the needs of a society in transition in critical and creative ways. This announcement is further affirmation that we are on the right track, and that UWC has a role to play on the global stage.”
As a previously disadvantaged institution, UWC has made significant strides in a very short period of time - and has been recognised in previous global THE rankings as one of the top 800 universities in the world, a sentiment echoed by the 2018 URAP ratings that placed it in the top 1000 universities.
As Times Higher Education explains, the rankings are composed using 13 rigorous performance indicators examining each university’s strengths against its core missions: teaching (the learning environment); research (volume, income and reputation); citations (research influence); international outlook (staff, students and research); and industry income (knowledge transfer).
Six other South African universities joined UWC in the top 200: the University of Cape Town (9); the University of the Witwatersrand (11); Stellenbosch University (24); University of KwaZulu-Natal (49); University of Pretoria (78); and University of Johannesburg (99). Tshwane University of Technology and UNISA also made the Advanced Emerging Economies rankings, though not the top 200.
“From humble origins as a ‘bush university’, UWC has grown to firmly establish itself as one of the top tier of South African universities - while staying true to the institution’s commitment to access,” Prof Pretorius notes. “With the help of our partners in South Africa and abroad, we will continue to help future generations move from hope to action, through knowledge.”
Not sure what makes UWC so great? Here are a few things you might not know:
- UWC’s Science Learning Centre for Africa (SLCA) is promoting the culture of maths and science through tutorial programmes, science competitions and clubs, robotics and aviation initiatives, and constructing state-of-the-art science labs at underprivileged schools.
- 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 more).
- UWC researchers are playing a leading role in the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Project, joining international researchers ininvestigating the secrets of the cosmos, while stimulating technological advancements such as the IDIA research cloud.
- The University is a world leader in Constitutional Law and Child Rights Law, and academics and alumni from the University’s Dullah Omar Institute were intimately involved in drafting South Africa’s Constitution.
- UWC’s HySA Systems is leading the way when it comes to hydrogen power, partnering with industry leaders to produce South Africa’s first hydrogen-powered fuel cell backup power systems, forklift and refueller, and a fleet of green golf carts (and that’s not all).