The North-West University’s (NWU’s) continued good performance in rankings has been further cemented with a top 5 spot among local universities ranked in the latest Emerging Economies University Ranking of Times Higher Education (THE).
This follows after the NWU was also placed in the top 5 and top 7 of local universities in the THE World University Rankings for law studies and business economics respectively in November last year. The THE announced the newest rankings on 18 February.
Overall, the NWU is placed in position 109 out of the 533 universities from 47 countries. Apart from the NWU, nine other South African universities were also ranked.
Although the THE uses the same 13 carefully calibrated performance indicators in their Emerging Economies University Rankings as they use in their World University Rankings, the weightings are different to reflect the development priorities of universities in emerging economies. This provides the most comprehensive and balanced comparisons, trusted by students, academics, university leaders, the industry, and governments.
These performance indicators are grouped into five areas: Teaching (the learning environment); research (volume, income and reputation); citations (research influence); international outlook (staff, students and research); and industry income (knowledge transfer).
Although China’s performance dominates the rankings, South Africa is the top performer among institutions in the top 200 based on countries’ average overall score. South Africa achieved an average score of 41,3 out of 100. Saudi Arabia, a first-time participant in the rankings, is second with a score of 40,3.
Prof Linda du Plessis, deputy vice-chancellor for planning and Vanderbijlpark Campus operations, says a higher-education institution is an enabler for economic growth.
“It is therefore of the utmost importance that the public funding of students is seen as a good investment. The relevance and quality of qualifications are critical for the survival of universities in the 21st century.” She says international recognition serves as an indicator that we are on the right track.
Prof Dan Kgwadi, vice-chancellor, emphasised that although ranking is not a goal the university wants to pursue, the rankings confirm that the NWU is realising its dream of being an internationally recognised university in Africa.
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