The QS World University Rankings 2014/15, which rates over 800 of the best performing universities worldwide, has just been released. And it looks like it’s both good and bad news for South Africa’s top institutions.

The University of Cape Town, ranked the best on the entire African continent, rose slightly in global ranking from 145th to 141st. But the same can’t be said for the Universities of Pretoria, KwaZulu-Natal, Johannesburg, Stellenbosch, Rhodes and Wits.

QS is an international network and information provider for high institutions of learning, students, lecturers, professors and institution boards. It has been publishing the QS World University Rankings since 2004 to help students make informed comparisons between their international study options.

The 800 featured universities are compared according to four broad areas including research, teaching, employability and international outlook. Under these areas, six indicators are used to assess the universities. They are: academic reputation, employer reputation, faculty/student ratio, citations per faculty, international student ratio and international staff ratio.

These screenshots below of the QS World University Rankings 2013/14 and 2014/15 show the comparison in the ranking of each university with the search function filtered to the African region.

The top 400 universities are given individual ranking positions, and after this, universities are placed within a group, starting from 401-410, up to 701+

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QS World University Rankings 2013/14
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QS World University Rankings 2014/15

STEM faculty rankings

UCT is the only South African university that features in the engineering and tech faculty rankings, coming in at 294th, while Cairo University from Egypt is the top African STEM university 244th.

The first screenshot (below) shows the African university rankings in the life sciences and medicine faculty – the second screenshot shows rankings in the natural science faculty.

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Screenshot (216)Unsurprisingly, Massachusetts’ well-known Institute of Technology (MIT) leads in the engineering, technology and natural science faculty, while Harvard University takes top prize for their life science and mecial faculties.

[Image – CC 2.0 – Ian Barbour]